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Option prices, exchange market intervention, and the higher moment expectations channel: a user’s guide

  • Gabriele Galati
  • Patrick Higgins
  • Owen F. Humpage
  • William Melick

A vast literature on the effects of sterilized intervention by the monetary authorities in the foreign exchange markets concludes that intervention systematically moves the spot exchange rate only if it is publicly announced, coordinated across countries, and consistent with the underlying stance of fiscal and monetary policy. Over the past fifteen years, researchers have also attempted to determine if intervention has any effects on the dispersion and directionality of market views concerning the future exchange rate. These studies usually focus on the variance around the expected future exchange rate—the second moment. In this paper we demonstrate how to use over-the-counter option prices to recover the risk-neutral probability density function (PDF) for the future exchange rate. Using the yen/dollar exchange rate as an example, we calculate measures of dispersion and directionality, such as variance and skewness, from estimated PDFs to test whether intervention by the Japanese Ministry of Finance had any impact on the higher moments of the exchange rate. We find little or no systematic effect, consistent with the findings of the literature on the spot rate as Japanese intervention during the period 1996-2004 was not publicly announced, rarely coordinated across countries and, in hindsight, probably inconsistent with the underlying stance of monetary policy.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland in its series Working Paper with number 0618.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:0618
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