Wavelet multiresolution analysis of high-frequency Asian FX rates, Summer 1997
FX pricing processes are nonstationary and their frequency characteristics are time-dependent. Most do not conform to geometric Brownian motion, since they exhibit a scaling law with a Hurst exponent between zero and 0.5 and fractal dimensions between 1.5 and 2. This paper uses wavelet multiresolution analysis, with Haar wavelets, to analyze the nonstationarity (time-dependence) and self-similarity (scale-dependence) of intra-day Asian currency spot exchange rates. These are the ask and bid quotes of the currencies of eight Asian countries (Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand), and of Germany for comparison, for the crisis period May 1, 1998 - August 31, 1997, provided by Telerate (U.S. dollar is the numeraire). Their time-scale dependent spectra, which are localized in time, are observed in wavelet based scalograms. The FX increments can be characterized by the irregularity of their singularities. This degrees of irregularity are measured by homogeneous Hurst exponents. These critical exponents are used to identify the fractal dimension, relative stability and long term dependence of each Asian FX series. The invariance of each identified Hurst exponent is tested by comparing it at varying time and scale (frequency) resolutions. It appears that almost all FX markets show anti-persistent pricing behavior. The anchor currencies of the D-mark and Japanese Yen are ultra-efficient in the sense of being most anti-persistent. The Taiwanese dollar is the most persistent, and thus unpredictable, most likely due to administrative control. FX markets exhibit these non- linear, non-Gaussian dynamic structures, long term dependence, high kurtosis, and high degrees of non-informational (noise) trading, possibly because of frequent capital flows induced by non-synchronized regional business cycles, rapidly changing political risks, unexpected informational shocks to investment opportunities, and, in particular, investment strategies syn
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