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The impact of electronic trading on bid‐ask spreads: Evidence from futures markets in Hong Kong, London, and Sydney


  • Michael J. Aitken
  • Alex Frino
  • Amelia M. Hill
  • Elvis Jarnecic


During 1999 and 2000, three major futures exchanges transferred trading in stock index futures from open outcry to electronic markets: the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE); the Sydney Futures Exchange (SFE); and the Hong Kong Futures Exchange (HKFE). These changes provide unique natural experiments to compare relative bid‐ask spreads of open outcry vs. electronically traded markets. This paper provides evidence of a decrease in bid‐ask spreads following the introduction of electronic trading, after controlling for changes in price volatility and trading volume. This provides support for the proposition that electronic trading can facilitate higher levels of liquidity and lower transaction costs relative to floor traded markets. However, bid‐ask spreads are more sensitive to price volatility in electronically traded markets, suggesting that the performance of electronic trading systems deteriorates during periods of information arrival. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Jrl Fut Mark 24:675–696, 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Michael J. Aitken & Alex Frino & Amelia M. Hill & Elvis Jarnecic, 2004. "The impact of electronic trading on bid‐ask spreads: Evidence from futures markets in Hong Kong, London, and Sydney," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(7), pages 675-696, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jfutmk:v:24:y:2004:i:7:p:675-696

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    Cited by:

    1. Rosati, Pierangelo & Cummins, Mark & Deeney, Peter & Gogolin, Fabian & van der Werff, Lisa & Lynn, Theo, 2017. "The effect of data breach announcements beyond the stock price: Empirical evidence on market activity," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 146-154.
    2. Henk Berkman & Carole Comerton‐Forde, 2011. "Market microstructure: A review from down under," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 51(1), pages 50-78, March.
    3. Liu, Qingfu & Hua, Renhai & An, Yunbi, 2016. "Determinants and information content of intraday bid-ask spreads: Evidence from Chinese commodity futures markets," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 135-148.
    4. Ledenyov, Dimitri O. & Ledenyov, Viktor O., 2015. "Wave function method to forecast foreign currencies exchange rates at ultra high frequency electronic trading in foreign currencies exchange markets," MPRA Paper 67470, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Carol Alexander & Andreza Barbosa, 2005. "Is Minimum Variance Hedging Necessary for Equity Indices? A study of Hedging and Cross-Hedging Exchange Traded Funds," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2005-16, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    6. Steven Li & Elia Alfay, 2006. "Evidence on the arbitrage efficiency of SPI index futures and options markets," Asia-Pacific Financial Markets, Springer;Japanese Association of Financial Economics and Engineering, vol. 13(1), pages 71-93, March.
    7. Orlowski, Lucjan T., 2015. "From pit to electronic trading: Impact on price volatility of U.S. Treasury futures," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 3-9.
    8. Alex Frino & Dionigi Gerace & Andrew Lepone, 2008. "Limit order book, anonymity and market liquidity: evidence from the Sydney Futures Exchange," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 48(4), pages 561-573, December.
    9. Carol Alexander & Andreza Barbosa, 2006. "Minimum Variance Hedging and Stock Index Market Efficiency," ICMA Centre Discussion Papers in Finance icma-dp2006-04, Henley Business School, Reading University, revised Sep 2006.
    10. Yiuman Tse & Paramita Bandyopadhyay, 2006. "Multi-market trading in the Eurodollar futures market," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 321-341, May.
    11. Luke Bortoli & Alex Frino & Elvis Jarnecic, 2004. "Differences in the Cost of Trade Execution Services on Floor-Based and Electronic Futures Markets," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 26(1), pages 73-87, August.

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