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Foreign Exchange Volume: Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing?

In: The Microstructure of Foreign Exchange Markets

  • Richard K. Lyons

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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This chapter was published in:
  • Jeffrey A. Frankel & Giampaolo Galli & Alberto Giovannini, 1996. "The Microstructure of Foreign Exchange Markets," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fran96-1, August.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11365.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11365
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. O'Hara, Maureen & Oldfield, George S., 1986. "The Microeconomics of Market Making," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(04), pages 361-376, December.
    2. Hasbrouck, Joel, 1988. "Trades, quotes, inventories, and information," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 229-252, December.
    3. Goodhart, Charles, 1988. "The Foreign Exchange Market: A Random Walk with a Dragging Anchor," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 55(220), pages 437-60, November.
    4. Lyons, Richard K., 1995. "Tests of microstructural hypotheses in the foreign exchange market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 321-351.
    5. Jerry A. Hausman & Andrew W. Lo & A. Craig MacKinlay, 1991. "An Ordered Probit Analysis of Transaction Stock Prices," NBER Working Papers 3888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. Hasbrouck, Joel, 1991. "The Summary Informativeness of Stock Trades: An Econometric Analysis," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 4(3), pages 571-95.
    8. Richard K. Lyons, 1993. "Optimal Transparency in a Dealership Market with an Application to Foreign Exchange," NBER Working Papers 4467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Lawrence R. Glosten & Paul R. Milgrom, 1983. "Bid, Ask and Transaction Prices in a Specialist Market with Heterogeneously Informed Traders," Discussion Papers 570, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    10. Roell, Ailsa, 1990. "Dual-capacity trading and the quality of the market," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 105-124, June.
    11. Easley, David & O'Hara, Maureen, 1992. " Time and the Process of Security Price Adjustment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 576-605, June.
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    15. Bollerslev, Tim & Domowitz, Ian, 1993. " Trading Patterns and Prices in the Interbank Foreign Exchange Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1421-43, September.
    16. Amihud, Yakov & Mendelson, Haim, 1980. "Dealership market : Market-making with inventory," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 31-53, March.
    17. Garman, Mark B., 1976. "Market microstructure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 257-275, June.
    18. Easley, David & O'Hara, Maureen, 1987. "Price, trade size, and information in securities markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 69-90, September.
    19. Lee, Charles M C & Ready, Mark J, 1991. " Inferring Trade Direction from Intraday Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(2), pages 733-46, June.
    20. Bessembinder, Hendrik, 1994. "Bid-ask spreads in the interbank foreign exchange markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 317-348, June.
    21. Goodhart, C. A. E. & Figliuoli, L., 1991. "Every minute counts in financial markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 23-52, March.
    22. Manaster, Steven & Mann, Steven C, 1996. "Life in the Pits: Competitive Market Making and Inventory Control," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(3), pages 953-75.
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