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Exchange Rate Fundamentals and Order Flow


  • Martin D. D. Evans

    () (Department of Economics, Georgetown University and NBER, Washington DC 20057, USA)

  • Richard K. Lyons

    () (Haas School of Business, U. C. Berkeley and NBER, Berkeley, CA 94707, USA)


We address whether transaction flows in foreign exchange markets convey fundamental information. Our General Equilibrium model includes fundamental information that first manifests at the micro level and is not symmetrically observed by all agents. This produces foreign exchange transactions that play a central role in information aggregation, providing testable links between transaction flows, exchange rates, and future fundamentals. We test these links using data on all end-user currency trades received at Citibank over 6.5 years, a sample sufficiently long to analyze real-time forecasts at the quarterly horizon. The predictions are borne out in four empirical findings that define this paper's main contribution: (1) transaction flows forecast future macro variables such as output growth, money growth, and inflation, (2) transaction flows forecast these macro variables significantly better than the exchange rate does, (3) transaction flows (proprietary) forecast future exchange rates, and (4) the forecasted part of fundamentals is better at explaining exchange rates than standard measured fundamentals.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin D. D. Evans & Richard K. Lyons, 2012. "Exchange Rate Fundamentals and Order Flow," Quarterly Journal of Finance (QJF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(04), pages 1-63.
  • Handle: RePEc:wsi:qjfxxx:v:02:y:2012:i:04:n:s2010139212500188 DOI: 10.1142/S2010139212500188

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Charles Engel & Kenneth D. West, 2005. "Exchange Rates and Fundamentals," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 485-517, June.
    2. Martin D.D. Evans & Richard K. Lyons, 2004. "A New Micro Model of Exchange Rate Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 10379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Martin D. D. Evans, 2005. "Where Are We Now? Real-Time Estimates of the Macroeconomy," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(2), September.
    4. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Chinn, Menzie D. & Pascual, Antonio Garcia, 2005. "Empirical exchange rate models of the nineties: Are any fit to survive?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(7), pages 1150-1175, November.
    5. Campbell, John Y. & Viceira, Luis M., 2002. "Strategic Asset Allocation: Portfolio Choice for Long-Term Investors," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296942.
    6. Martin D. D. Evans & Richard K. Lyons, 2017. "Understanding Order Flow," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Studies in Foreign Exchange Economics, chapter 13, pages 507-546 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    7. Faust, Jon & Rogers, John H. & H. Wright, Jonathan, 2003. "Exchange rate forecasting: the errors we've really made," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 35-59, May.
    8. Croushore, Dean & Stark, Tom, 2001. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 111-130, November.
    9. Lyons, Richard K., 1997. "A simultaneous trade model of the foreign exchange hot potato," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-4), pages 275-298, May.
    10. Stark, Tom & Croushore, Dean, 2002. "Forecasting with a real-time data set for macroeconomists," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 507-531, December.
    11. Meese, Richard A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Empirical exchange rate models of the seventies : Do they fit out of sample?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 3-24, February.
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    More about this item


    Exchange rate dynamics; microstructure; order flow; F3; F4; G1;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading


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