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Currency speculation and dollar fluctuations

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  • Stephan Schulmeister

Abstract

In this study the reasons behind the wide fluctuations of the dollar exchange rate following the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system, for the most part unexplained by the prevailing exchange rate theories, are explored. To do so, the author investigates the exchange rate between the two most traded currencies, the dollar and the deutschemark, from 1973 to 1988. In the first part, the pattern of the daily exchange rate movements is examined to show that a sequence of upward and downward trends interrupted by non-directional movements is typical of exchange rate dynamics in the short run. Moreover, this pattern is systemically exploited through currency speculation, particularly through the use of “technical analysis”. In the second part, the author focuses on the medium-term, arguing that fluctuations can be explained as the result of interacting disequilibria in the goods and asset markets. Although currency speculation has been systemically profitable for most currencies, it should be considered to be destabilizing since the sequence of price runs caused large and persistent deviations of exchange rates from their equilibrium values (purchasing power parity).

Suggested Citation

  • Stephan Schulmeister, 1988. "Currency speculation and dollar fluctuations," Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 41(167), pages 343-365.
  • Handle: RePEc:psl:bnlqrr:1988:41
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    File URL: http://ojs.uniroma1.it/index.php/PSLQuarterlyReview/article/view/10837/10716
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frydman, Roman, 1982. "Towards an Understanding of Market Processes: Individual Expectations, Learning, and Convergence to Rational Expectations Equilibrium," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(4), pages 652-668, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Vitale, Paolo, 2000. "Speculative noise trading and manipulation in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 689-712, October.
    2. Rogerio Andrade & Daniela Prates, 2013. "Exchange rate dynamics in a peripheral monetary economy," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 399-416.
    3. John Harvey, 2009. "Currency Market Participants' Mental Model and the Collapse of the Dollar: 2001-2008," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(4), pages 931-949.
    4. John T. Harvey, 2002. "The determinants of currency market forecasts: an empirical study," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 33-49.
    5. Cialenco, Igor & Protopapadakis, Aris, 2011. "Do technical trading profits remain in the foreign exchange market? Evidence from 14 currencies," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 176-206, April.
    6. Schulmeister, Stephan, 2006. "The interaction between technical currency trading and exchange rate fluctuations," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 212-233, September.
    7. Lee, Chun I. & Mathur, Ike, 1996. "Trading rule profits in european currency spot cross-rates," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 949-962, June.
    8. Daniela Magalhães Prates & Luiz Fernanda De Paula & Barbara Fritz, 2016. "Keynes At The Periphery: Currency Hierarchy And Challenges For Economic Policy In Emerging Economies," Anais do XLII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 42ndd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 110, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    9. Paul Grauwe & Hans Dewachter, 1993. "A chaotic model of the exchange rate: The role of fundamentalists and chartists," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 351-379, December.
    10. L. Menkhoff & M. Schlumberger, 1995. "Persistent profitability of technical analysis on foreign exchange markets?," BNL Quarterly Review, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, vol. 48(193), pages 189-215.
    11. Lee, Chun I & Gleason, Kimberly C. & Mathur, Ike, 2001. "Trading rule profits in Latin American currency spot rates," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 135-156.
    12. Stephan Schulmeister, 2007. "The Interaction Between the Aggregate Behaviour of Technical Trading Systems and Stock Price Dynamics," WIFO Working Papers 290, WIFO.
    13. Frydman, R. & Goldberg, M.D., 2003. "Imperfect Knowledge and Asset Price Dynamics: Modeling the Forecasting of Rational Agents, Dynamic Prospect Theory and Uncertainty Premia on Foreign Exchange," Working Papers 03-03, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    14. Richard M. Levich & Lee R. Thomas, 1991. "The Significance of Technical Trading-Rule Profits in the Foreign Exchange Market: A Bootstrap Approach," NBER Working Papers 3818, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Nguyen, James, 2004. "The Efficient Market Hypothesis: Is It Applicable to the Foreign Exchange Market?," Economics Working Papers wp04-20, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    16. Schulmeister, Stephan, 2009. "Profitability of technical stock trading: Has it moved from daily to intraday data?," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 190-201, October.
    17. Okunev, John & White, Derek, 2003. "Do Momentum-Based Strategies Still Work in Foreign Currency Markets?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(02), pages 425-447, June.
    18. John Harvey, 2001. "Psychological and Institutional Forces and the Determination of Exchange Rates," Working Papers 200101, Texas Christian University, Department of Economics.
    19. Daniela Magalhães Prates & Luiz Fernando De Paula, 2016. "Financial Flows To Emerging Economies And Policy Alternatives In Post-2008," Anais do XLIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 43rd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 117, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    20. Frenkel Michael & Stadtmann Georg, 2004. "Trading Rule Profitability and Central Bank Interventions in the Dollar-Deutsch mark Market / Der Zusammenhang zwischen der Profitabilität einer technischen Handelsstrategie und Zentralbankinterventio," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 224(6), pages 653-672, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    dollar exchange rate; Bretton Woods system; price; speculation;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects

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