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Foreign Exchange Volume: Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing?

In: The Microstructure of Foreign Exchange Markets

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  • Richard K. Lyons

Abstract

This paper examines whether currency trading volume is informative, and under what circumstances. Specifically, we use transactions data to test whether trades occurring when trading intensity is high are more informative -- dollar for dollar -- than trades occurring when intensity is low. Theory admits both possibilities, depending primarily on the posited information structure. We present what we call a hot-potato model of currency trading, which explains why low-intensity trades might be more informative. In the model, the wave of inventory-management trading among dealers following innovations in order flow generates an inverse relationship between intensity and information content. Empirically, low-intensity trades are more informative, supporting the hot-potato hypothesis.
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Suggested Citation

  • Richard K. Lyons, 1996. "Foreign Exchange Volume: Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing?," NBER Chapters,in: The Microstructure of Foreign Exchange Markets, pages 183-208 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11365
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange

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