Electronic versus open outcry markets: The case of the Bund futures contract
The Bund (10 year German Government Bond) futures contract is the most actively traded bond contract in Europe; it is traded in both London (LIFFE) and Frankfurt (DTB) on open outcry and electronic trading platforms respectively. In an attempt to reconcile the conflicting results of earlier studies this paper evalutes the relative liquidity and price discovery roles of these two markets using data from 1995 Q2. The paper finds that this conflict is largely a product of the price data used. Using both transactions prices and quotes data (on a minute by minute basis), variable transaction costs, i.e. spreads, are found to be similar on both markets. There is some evidence to suggest that the order processing component of the spread is larger on LIFFE, but that the compensation required for adverse selection risk is greater on the DTB. Also, the contribution to price formation of each market is found to be similar; there is no clear leader/follower relationship. The main differences between the two markets are the larger trade size on the open outcry market and a tendency for trading to move toward the open outcry market during volatile periods.
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