The Global Dash for Cash in March 2020
The economic disruptions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a global dash-for-cash as investors sold securities rapidly. This selling pressure occurred across advanced sovereign bond markets and caused a deterioration in market functioning, leading to a number of central bank actions. In this post, we highlight results from a recent paper in which we show that these disruptions occurred disproportionately in the U.S. Treasury market and offer explanations for why investors’ selling pressures were more pronounced and broad-based in this market than in other sovereign bond markets.
What can the data tell us about carry trades in Japanese yen?
This paper examines the available data that may shed light on the carry trade in Japanese yen. We define an individual or a sector to be engaged in the carry trade if it has a short position in yen and a long position in other currencies. The tendency of large yen movements to be skewed toward appreciations is consistent with the existence of substantial carry positions, and other evidence from market prices provides some modest support for an effect from the carry trade. Data on bank loans and bond holdings by currency reveal a large apparent yen carry position of the Japanese official ...
Rise of the machines: algorithmic trading in the foreign exchange market
We study the impact that algorithmic trading, computers directly interfacing at high frequency with trading platforms, has had on price discovery and volatility in the foreign exchange market. Our dataset represents a majority of global interdealer trading in three major currency pairs in 2006 and 2007. Importantly, it contains precise observations of the size and the direction of the computer-generated and human-generated trades each minute. The empirical analysis provides several important insights. First, we find evidence that algorithmic trades tend to be correlated, suggesting that the ...
Frequency of observation and the estimation of integrated volatility in deep and liquid financial markets
Using two newly available ultrahigh-frequency datasets, we investigate empirically how frequently one can sample certain foreign exchange and U.S. Treasury security returns without contaminating estimates of their integrated volatility with market microstructure noise. Using volatility signature plots and a recently-proposed formal decision rule to select the sampling frequency, we find that one can sample FX returns as frequently as once every 15 to 20 seconds without contaminating volatility estimates; bond returns may be sampled as frequently as once every 2 to 3 minutes on days without ...
Trading activity and exchange rates in high-frequency EBS data
The absence of data has, until now, precluded virtually all research on trading volume in the foreign exchange market. This paper introduces a new high-frequency foreign exchange dataset from EBS (Electronic Broking Service) that includes trading volume in the global interdealer spot market. The dataset gives volumes and prices at the one-minute frequency over a five-year time period in the euro-dollar and dollar-yen currency pairs. We first document intraday volume patterns in euro-dollar and dollar-yen trading, noting the effects of macroeconomic news announcements but also purely ...
An assessment of the impact of Japanese foreign exchange intervention: 1991-2004
We analyze the short-term price impact of Japanese foreign exchange intervention operations between 1991 and 2004, using official data from Japan's Ministry of Finance. Over the period as a whole, we find some evidence of a modest "against the wind" effect, but interventions do not have value as a forecast that the exchange rate will move in a direction consistent with the operations. Interventions conducted between 1995 and 2002, which were large and infrequent, met with a much higher degree of success. For the most recent episode of intervention, in 2003 and 2004, despite the record size ...
The Global Dash for Cash: Why Sovereign Bond Market Functioning Varied across Jurisdictions in March 2020
As the economic disruptions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic increased in March 2020, there was a global dash-for-cash by investors. This selling pressure occurred across advanced sovereign bond markets and caused a deterioration in market functioning, leading to central bank interventions. We show that these market disruptions occurred disproportionately in the U.S. Treasury market and were due to investors’ selling pressures being far more pronounced and broad-based. Furthermore, we assess differences in key drivers of the market disruptions across sovereign bond markets, based on an ...
Order Flow and Exchange Rate Dynamics in Electronic Brokerage System Data
We analyze the association between order flow and exchange rates using a new dataset representing a majority of global interdealer transactions in the two most-traded currency pairs. The data consist of six years (1999-2004) of order flow and exchange rate data for the euro-dollar and dollar-yen currency pairs at the one-minute frequency from EBS, the electronic broking system that now dominates interdealer spot trading in these currency pairs. This long span of high-frequency data allows us to gain new insights about the joint behavior of these series. We first confirm the presence of a ...
The high-frequency effects of U.S. macroeconomic data releases on prices and trading activity in the global interdealer foreign exchange market
We introduce a new high-frequency foreign exchange dataset from EBS (Electronic Broking Service) that includes trading volume in the global interdealer spot market, data not previously available to researchers. The data also gives live transactable quotes, rather than the indicative quotes that have been used in most previous high frequency foreign exchange analysis. We describe intraday volume and volatility patterns in euro-dollar and dollar-yen trading. We study the effects of scheduled U.S. macroeconomic data releases, first confirming the finding of recent literature that the conditional ...
An analysis of Japanese foreign exchange interventions, 1991-2002
The effectiveness of Japanese interventions over the past decade depended in large part on the frequency and size of the transactions. Prior to June 1995, Japanese interventions only had value as a forecast that the previous day's yen appreciation or depreciation would moderate during the current day. After June 1995, Japanese purchases of dollars had value as a forecast that the yen would depreciate. Probit analysis confirms that large, infrequent interventions, which characterized the later period, had a higher likelihood of success than small, frequent interventions.