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Central Bank Communication or the Media’s Interpretation: What Moves Markets?


  • Scott Hendry


The goal of this paper is to investigate what type of information from Bank of Canada communication statements or the market commentary based on these statements has a significant effect on the volatility or level of returns in a short-term interest rate market. Two different text mining methods are used to extract interpretable themes from the document set. Bank FAD press release themes emphasizing the balance of risks, effects on GDP, labour, investment, and the CPI, the terrorist attacks of 2001, and the economic effects of SARS, BSE, blackouts, and other shocks all tended to significantly reduce short-term BAX market volatility. In contrast, discussions of oil prices, the Canadian dollar, the inflation projection and whether the economy is at capacity, and certain forward looking statements significantly increased volatility. Market news stories often offset the effects of the Bank’s communication statements and were much more likely to increase market volatility while the Bank reduced it. Market stories were also more likely to have significant effects the greater the difference from the Bank news they covered but could still be important when largely replicating the original information.

Suggested Citation

  • Scott Hendry, 2012. "Central Bank Communication or the Media’s Interpretation: What Moves Markets?," Staff Working Papers 12-9, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:12-9

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bernd Hayo & Matthias Neuenkirch, 2012. "Domestic Or U.S. News: What Drives Canadian Financial Markets?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(3), pages 690-706, July.
    2. Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2005. "Communication and decision-making by central bank committees: different strategies, same effectiveness?," Working Paper Series 488, European Central Bank.
    3. Refet S Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? The Response of Asset Prices to Monetary Policy Actions and Statements," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(1), May.
    4. Scott Hendry & Alison Madeley, 2010. "Text Mining and the Information Content of Bank of Canada Communications," Staff Working Papers 10-31, Bank of Canada.
    5. Christine Fay & Toni Gravelle, 2010. "Has the Inclusion of Forward-Looking Statements in Monetary Policy Communications Made the Bank of Canada More Transparent?," Discussion Papers 10-15, Bank of Canada.
    6. Michelle Bligh & Gregory D. Hess, 2006. "A Quantitive Assessment of the Qualitative Aspects of Chairman Greenspan's Communications," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 213, Society for Computational Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Ehrmann & Jonathan Talmi, 2016. "Starting from a Blank Page? Semantic Similarity in Central Bank Communication and Market Volatility," Staff Working Papers 16-37, Bank of Canada.
    2. Hansen, Stephen & McMahon, Michael, 2016. "Shocking language: Understanding the macroeconomic effects of central bank communication," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(S1), pages 114-133.
    3. Kohei Kawamura & Yohei Kobashi & Masato Shizume & Kozo Ueda, 2016. "Strategic Central Bank Communication: Discourse and Game-Theoretic Analyses of the Bank of Japan's Monthly Report," UTokyo Price Project Working Paper Series 062, University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Economics.
    4. Hayo, Bernd & Neuenkirch, Matthias, 2015. "Self-monitoring or reliance on media reporting: How do financial market participants process central bank news?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 27-37.

    More about this item


    Financial markets; Asset pricing;

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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