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Order Flows and The Exchange Rate Disconnect Puzzle

The aim of this paper is to establish the link between the high frequency dynamics of spot exchange rates and developments in the macroeconomy. To do so, I first present a theoretical model of exchange-rate determination that bridges the gap between existing microstructure and traditional models. I then report empirical evidence that strongly supports the presence of the link between the macroeconomy, order flow and high frequency exchange rate returns implied by the model. In fact, my empirical results indicate that between 20 and 30 percent of the variance in excess currency returns over one- and two-month horizons can be linked back to developments in the macroeconomy. This level of explanatory power is an order of magnitude higher than that found in traditional models even the newly developed monetary models incorporating central banks reaction functions. Moreover, it provides a straightforward solution to the exchange-rate disconnect puzzle. Namely, the high frequency behavior of spot exchange rates reflects the flow of new information reaching dealers concerning the slowly evolving state of the macroeconomy, rather than the effects of shocks that drive rapidly changing macroeconomic conditions.

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Paper provided by Georgetown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number gueconwpa~08-08-05.

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Date of creation: 03 Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:geo:guwopa:gueconwpa~08-08-05
Contact details of provider: Postal: Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
Phone: 202-687-6074
Fax: 202-687-6102
Web page: http://econ.georgetown.edu/
Email:

Order Information: Postal: Roger Lagunoff Professor of Economics Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
Web: http://econ.georgetown.edu/ Email:


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  1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2000. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," NBER Working Papers 7777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rime, Dagfinn & Sarno, Lucio & Sojli, Elvira, 2010. "Exchange rate forecasting, order flow and macroeconomic information," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 72-88, January.
  3. Kathryn Dominguez & Freyan Panthaki, 2005. "What Defines "News" in Foreign Exchange Markets?," NBER Working Papers 11769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice Some international evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1033-1067, June.
  5. Lyons, Richard K., 1997. "A simultaneous trade model of the foreign exchange hot potato," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-4), pages 275-298, May.
  6. Kenneth A. Froot & Tarun Ramadorai, 2005. "Currency Returns, Intrinsic Value, and Institutional-Investor Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1535-1566, 06.
  7. Charles Engel & Kenneth D. West, 2003. "Exchange rates and fundamentals," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  8. Martin D.D. Evans, 2005. "Where Are We Now? Real-Time Estimates of the Macro Economy," NBER Working Papers 11064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Martin D. D. Evans & Richard K. Lyons, 2002. "Order Flow and Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 170-180, February.
  10. Evans, Martin D.D. & Lyons, Richard K., 2008. "How is macro news transmitted to exchange rates?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 26-50, April.
  11. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Can Information Heterogeneity Explain the Exchange Rate Determination Puzzle?," Working Papers 03.02, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.
  12. Richard Payne, 2003. "Macroeconomic news, order flows and exchange rates," FMG Discussion Papers dp475, Financial Markets Group.
  13. Newey, Whitney K & West, Kenneth D, 1987. "A Simple, Positive Semi-definite, Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 703-08, May.
  14. Kenneth D. West & Whitney K. Newey, 1995. "Automatic Lag Selection in Covariance Matrix Estimation," NBER Technical Working Papers 0144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Martin D D Evans & Viktoria V Hnatkovska, 2007. "International Financial Integration and the Real Economy," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(2), pages 220-269, June.
  16. Philippe BACCHETTA & Eric VAN WINCOOP, 2004. "Higher Order Expectations in Asset Pricing," FAME Research Paper Series rp110, International Center for Financial Asset Management and Engineering.
  17. Rich Lyons & Martin Evans, 2004. "A New Micro Model of Exchange Rate Dynamics," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 622, Econometric Society.
  18. Evans, Martin D. D. & Lyons, Richard K., 2002. "Informational integration and FX trading," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 807-831, November.
  19. Engel, Charles & West, Kenneth D., 2006. "Taylor Rules and the Deutschmark: Dollar Real Exchange Rate," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(5), pages 1175-1194, August.
  20. Martin D. D. Evans & Richard K. Lyons, 2006. "Understanding order flow," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(1), pages 3-23.
  21. Charles Engel & Nelson C. Mark & Kenneth D. West, 2008. "Exchange Rate Models Are Not As Bad As You Think," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2007, Volume 22, pages 381-441 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Evans, Martin D.D. & Lyons, Richard K., 2005. "Do currency markets absorb news quickly?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 197-217, March.
  23. Mitchel Y. Abolafia (ed.), 2005. "Markets," Books, Edward Elgar, number 2788, July.
  24. Martin D. D. Evans & Richard K. Lyons, 2007. "Exchange Rate Fundamentals and Order Flow," NBER Working Papers 13151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Nelson C. Mark, 2005. "Changing Monetary Policy Rules, Learning, and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 11061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Michael Sager & Mark P. Taylor, 2008. "Commercially Available Order Flow Data and Exchange Rate Movements: "Caveat Emptor"," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(4), pages 583-625, 06.
  27. Richard K. Lyons, 1993. "Tests of Microstructural Hypotheses in the Foreign Exchange Market," NBER Working Papers 4471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Meese, Richard A. & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Empirical exchange rate models of the seventies : Do they fit out of sample?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1-2), pages 3-24, February.
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