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Working Paper

Are the intraday effects of central bank intervention on exchange rate spreads asymmetric and state dependent?


Abstract: This paper investigates the intraday effects of unannounced foreign exchange intervention on bid-ask exchange rate spreads using official intraday intervention data provided by the Danish central bank. Our starting point is a simple theoretical model of the bid-ask spread which we use to formulate testable hypotheses regarding how unannounced intervention purchases and intervention sales influence the market asymmetrically. To test these hypotheses we estimate weighted least squares (WLS) time-series models of the intraday bid-ask spread. Our main result is that intervention purchases and sales both exert a significant influence on the exchange rate spread, but in opposite directions: intervention purchases of the smaller currency, on average, reduce the spread while intervention sales, on average, increase the spread. We also show that intervention only affects the exchange rate spread when the state of the market is not abnormally volatile. Our results are consistent with the notion that illiquidity arises when traders fear speculative pressure against the smaller currency and confirms the asymmetry hypothesis of our theoretical model.

Keywords: Financial markets; Banks and banking, Central; Monetary policy; Foreign exchange rates; International finance;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Part of Series: Globalization Institute Working Papers

Publication Date: 2010

Number: 59