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Opening and Closing the Market: Evidence from the London Stock Exchange

  • Hyun Song Shin

    ()

  • Ian Tonks

    ()

  • Andrew Ellul

Various markets, particularly NASDAQ, have been under pressure from regulators and market participants to introduce call auctions for their opening and closing periods. We investigate the performance of call markets at the open and close from a unique natural experiment provided by the institutional structure of the London Stock Exchange. As well as a call auction, there is a parallel ¶off-exchange¶ dealership system at both the market's open and close. Although the call market dominates the dealership system in terms of price discovery, we find that the call suffers from a high failure rate to open and close trading, especially on days characterized by difficult trading conditions. In particular, the call's trading costs increase significantly when (a) asymmetric information is high, (b) trading is expected to be slow, (c) order flow is unbalanced, and (d) uncertainty is high. Furthermore, traders' resort to call auctions is negatively correlated with firm size, implying that the call auction is not the optimal method for opening and closing trading of medium and small sized stocks. We suggest that these results can be explained by thick market externalities.

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Paper provided by Financial Markets Group in its series FMG Discussion Papers with number dp506.

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Date of creation: Jul 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fmg:fmgdps:dp506
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/fmg/

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  1. Diamond, Peter A, 1982. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 881-94, October.
  2. Pagano, Marco, 1986. "Trading Volume and Asset Liquidity," CEPR Discussion Papers 142, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Kjell G. Nyborg & Kristian Rydqvist & Suresh M. Sundaresan, 2002. "Bidder Behavior in Multiunit Auctions: Evidence from Swedish Treasury Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 394-424, April.
  4. Michael J. Barclay, 2003. "Price Discovery and Trading After Hours," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 16(4), pages 1041-1073.
  5. Madhavan, Ananth & Panchapagesan, Venkatesh, 2000. "Price Discovery in Auction Markets: A Look Inside the Black Box," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(3), pages 627-58.
  6. Bruno Biais & Pierre Hillion & Chester Spatt, 1999. "Price Discovery and Learning during the Preopening Period in the Paris Bourse," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1218-1248, December.
  7. Lin, Ji-Chai & Sanger, Gary C & Booth, G Geoffrey, 1995. "Trade Size and Components of the Bid-Ask Spread," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(4), pages 1153-83.
  8. Madhavan, Ananth, 1992. " Trading Mechanisms in Securities Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 607-41, June.
  9. Charles Cao & Eric Ghysels & Frank Hatheway, 2000. "Price Discovery without Trading: Evidence from the Nasdaq Preopening," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1339-1365, 06.
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