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What drives volatility persistence in the foreign exchange market?
We analyze the factors driving the widely-noted persistence in asset return volatility using a unique dataset on global euro-dollar exchange rate trading. We propose a new simple empirical specification of volatility, based on the Kyle-model, which links volatility to the information flow, measured as the order flow in the market, and the price sensitivity to that information. Through the use of high-frequency data, we are able to estimate the time-varying market sensitivity to information, and movements in volatility can therefore be directly related to movements in two observable variables, the order flow and the market sensitivity. The empirical results are very strong and show that the model is able to explain almost all of the long-run variation in volatility. Our results also show that the variation over time of the market's sensitivity to information plays at least as important a role in explaining the persistence of volatility as does the rate of information arrival itself. The econometric analysis is conducted using novel estimation techniques which explicitly take into account the persistent nature of the variables and allow us to properly test for long-run relationships in the data.
AUTHORS: Howorka, Edward; Berger, David W.; Chaboud, Alain P.; Hjalmarsson, Erik
Transmission of volatility and trading activity in the global interdealer foreign exchange market: evidence from electronic broking services (EBS) data
This paper studies the transmission of volatility and trading activity in the foreign exchange market across trading regions for the euro-dollar and dollar-yen currency pairs, using high-frequency intraday data from Electronic Broking Services (EBS). In contrast with previous studies that use indicative quote frequency to proxy for trading activity, we use actual regional trading volume to identify five distinct trading regions in the foreign exchange market: Asia Pacific, the Asia-Europe overlap, Europe, the Europe-America overlap, and America. Based on realized volatility computed from high-frequency data and a regional volatility model, we find statistically significant evidence for volatility spillovers at both the own-region and the inter-region levels, but the economic significance of own-region spillovers is much more important than that of inter-region spillovers. We also examine the transmission of trading activity (trading volume and number of transactions) across the five trading regions and find similar results to those for volatility, but the economic significance of own-region spillovers is even more dominant.
AUTHORS: Cai, Fang; Wongswan, Jon; Howorka, Edward
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 substantial association between interdealer order flow and exchange rate returns at frequencies ranging from one minute to one week, but, using our long span of data, we find that the association is weaker at lower frequencies, with far less long-term association between cumulative order flow and long-term exchange rate movements. We study the linearity and time-variation of the association between high-frequency exchange rate returns and order flow, and document an intradaily pattern to the relationship: it is weakest at times when markets are most active. Overall, our study tends to support the view that, while order flow plays a crucial role in high-frequency exchange rate movements, its role in driving long-term fluctuations is much more limited.
AUTHORS: Chaboud, Alain P.; Howorka, Edward; Wright, Jonathan H.; Chernenko, Sergey V.; Berger, David W.
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 mean of the exchange rate responds very quickly to the unexpected component of data releases. We next study the effects of data releases on trading volumes. News releases cause volume to rise, and to remain elevated for a longer period. However, in contrast to the result for the level of the exchange rate, even if the data release is entirely in line with expectations, we find that there is still typically a large pickup in trading volume.
AUTHORS: Chernenko, Sergey V.; Chaboud, Alain P.; Howorka, Edward; Liu, David; Iyer, Raj S. Krishnasami; Wright, Jonathan H.