The carry of an asset is the return obtained from holding it (if positive), or the cost of holding it (if negative) (see also Cost of carry).
For instance, commodities are usually negative carry assets, as they incur storage costs or may suffer from depreciation, but in some circumstances, appropriately hedged commodities can be positive carry assets if the forward/futures market is willing to pay sufficient premium for future delivery.
This can also refer to a trade with more than one leg, where you earn the spread between borrowing a low carry asset and lending a high carry one; such as gold during financial crisis, due to its safe haven quality.
Carry trades are not arbitrages: pure arbitrages make money no matter what; carry trades make money only if nothing changes against the carry's favor.
Read more about Carry (investment): Interest Rates Carry Trade / Maturity Transformation, Currency
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