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Liquidity problems in the FX liquid market: Ask for the "BIL"

  • Borgy, V.
  • Idier, J.
  • Le Fol, G.

Even though the FX market is one of the most liquid financial market, it would be an error to consider that it is immune against any liquidity problem. This paper analyzes on a long sample (2000-2009), the all set of quotes and transactions in three main currency pairs (EURJPY, EURUSD, USDJPY) on the EBS platform. To characterize the FX market liquidity, we consider the spread, the traded volume, the number of transactions and the Amihud (2002) statistic for illiquidity. We also propose the computation of a new liquidity indicator, BIL, that solely relies on price series availability. The main benefit of such measure is to be easily calculated on almost any financial market as well as to have a clear interpretation in terms of liquidity costs. Using all these advanced liquidity analyses, we finally test the accuracy of these measures to detect liquidity problems in the FX market. Our analysis, based on a signaling approach, shows that liquidity problems have arisen during specific episodes in the early 2000's and more generally during the recent financial turmoil.

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Paper provided by Banque de France in its series Working papers with number 279.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:279
Contact details of provider: Postal: Banque de France 31 Rue Croix des Petits Champs LABOLOG - 49-1404 75049 PARIS
Web page: http://www.banque-france.fr/

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  1. Martin D.D. Evans & Richard K. Lyons, 1999. "Order Flow and Exchange Rate Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 7317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Michael J. Fleming, 2001. "Measuring treasury market liquidity," Staff Reports 133, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Graciela Laura Kaminsky, 1997. "Leading Indicators of Currency Crises," IMF Working Papers 97/79, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Engle, Robert F. & Lange, Joe, 2001. "Predicting VNET: A model of the dynamics of market depth," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 113-142, April.
  5. Takatoshi Ito & Yuko Hashimoto, 2006. "Intra-Day Seasonality in Activities of the Foreign Exchange Markets: Evidence From the Electronic Broking System," NBER Working Papers 12413, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Goyenko, Ruslan Y. & Holden, Craig W. & Trzcinka, Charles A., 2009. "Do liquidity measures measure liquidity?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 153-181, May.
  7. Michael Melvin & Bettina Peiers Melvin, 2003. "The Global Transmission of Volatility in the Foreign Exchange Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 670-679, August.
  8. Berger, David W. & Chaboud, Alain P. & Chernenko, Sergey V. & Howorka, Edward & Wright, Jonathan H., 2008. "Order flow and exchange rate dynamics in electronic brokerage system data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 93-109, May.
  9. Viral V. Acharya & Lasse Heje Pedersen, 2004. "Asset Pricing with Liquidity Risk," NBER Working Papers 10814, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Roberto Rigobon, 2003. "Identification Through Heteroskedasticity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 777-792, November.
  11. Grossman, Sanford J & Miller, Merton H, 1988. " Liquidity and Market Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 617-37, July.
  12. Sadka, Ronnie, 2006. "Momentum and post-earnings-announcement drift anomalies: The role of liquidity risk," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 309-349, May.
  13. Melvin, Michael & Taylor, Mark P, 2009. "The Crisis in the Foreign Exchange Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 7472, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. William Barker, 2007. "The Global Foreign Exchange Market: Growth and Transformation," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2007(Autumn), pages 4-13.
  15. Gabriele Galati & Alexandra Heath, 2007. "What drives the growth in FX activity? Interpreting the 2007 triennial survey," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
  16. Cai, Fang & Howorka, Edward & Wongswan, Jon, 2008. "Informational linkages across trading regions: Evidence from foreign exchange markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1215-1243, December.
  17. Aitken, Michael & Comerton-Forde, Carole, 2003. "How should liquidity be measured?," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 45-59, January.
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