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Effectiveness of official daily foreign exchange market intervention operations in Japan

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  • Rasmus Fatum
  • Michael Hutchison

Abstract

Japanese official intervention in the foreign exchange market is of by far the largest magnitude in the world, despite little or no evidence that it is effective in moving exchange rates. Up until recently, however, official data on intervention has not been available for Japan. This paper investigates the effectiveness of intervention using recently published official daily data and an event study methodology. The event study better fits the stochastic properties of intervention and exchange rate data, i.e. intense and sporadic bursts of intervention activity juxtaposed against a yen/dollar rate continuously changing, than standard time-series approaches. Focusing on daily Japanese and US official intervention operations, we identify separate intervention "episodes" and analyze the subsequent effect on the exchange rate. Using the non-parametric sign test and matched-sample test, we find strong evidence that sterilized intervention systemically affects the exchange rate in the short-run (less than one month). This result holds even when intervention is not associated with (simultaneous) interest rate changes, whether or not intervention is "secret" (in the sense of no official reports or rumors of intervention reported over the newswires), and against other robustness checks. Large-scale (amounts over $1 billion) intervention, coordinated with the Bank of Japan and the Federal Reserve working in unison, give the highest success rate. During the period that the Bank of Japan has reduced interbank rates to 0.5 percent and below (from September 1995), however, only one intervention operation has been coordinated with the Fed and the success rate has been correspondingly low.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Pacific Basin Working Paper Series with number 2003-01.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpb:2003-01

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Keywords: Foreign exchange - Law and legislation ; Monetary policy - Japan;

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References

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  1. Rasmus Fatum & Michael M. Hutchison, . "Is Sterilized Foreign Exchange Intervention Effective After All? An Event Study Approach," EPRU Working Paper Series 99-09, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  2. Rasmus Fatum, 2002. "Post-Plaza intervention in the DEM/USD exchange rate," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(3), pages 556-567, August.
  3. Reuven Glick & Michael Hutchison, 1993. "Monetary policy, intervention, and exchange rates in Japan," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 93-07, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Campbell, Cynthia J. & Wesley, Charles E., 1993. "Measuring security price performance using daily NASDAQ returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 73-92, February.
  5. Svensson, Lars E O, 2000. "The Zero Bound in an Open Economy: A Foolproof Way of Escaping from a Liquidity Trap," CEPR Discussion Papers 2566, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Takatoshi Ito & V. Vance Roley, 1987. "News from the U. S. and Japan: Which Moves the Yen/Dollar Exchange Rate?," NBER Working Papers 1853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ramana Ramaswamy & Hossein Samiei, 2000. "The Yen-Dollar Rate - Have Interventions Mattered?," IMF Working Papers 00/95, International Monetary Fund.
  8. A. Craig MacKinlay, 1997. "Event Studies in Economics and Finance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 13-39, March.
  9. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, January.
  10. Reuven Glick & Michael Hutchison, 1994. "Foreign reserve and money dynamics with asset portfolio adjustment: international evidence," Pacific Basin Working Paper Series 94-09, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  11. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  12. Sarno, Lucio & Taylor, Mark P, 2001. "Official Intervention in the Foreign Exchange Market: Is It Effective, and, If So, How Does It Work?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2690, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Kathryn Dominguez & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1990. "Does Foreign Exchange Intervention Work?," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 16.
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