Central bank intervention and the volatility of foreign exchange rates: evidence from the options market
This paper tests the effects of central bank intervention on the ex ante volatility of $/DM and $/Yen exchange rates. In contrast to previous research which employed GARCH estimates of conditional volatility, we estimate ex ante volatility using the implied volatilities of currency options prices. We also control for the effects of other macroeconomic announcements. We find little support for the hypothesis that central bank intervention decreased expected exchange rate volatility between 1985 and 1991. Federal Reserve intervention was generally associated with a positive change in exante $/DM and $/Yen volatility, or with no change. Perceived Bundesbank intervention did not alter $/DM ex ante volatility in any of the periods, while perceived Bank of Japan intervention was associated with positive changes in ex ante $/Yen volatility during the 1985-91 period as a whole and during the February 1987 to December 1989 post-Louvre Accord subperiod.
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