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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
Date of revision:
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:

Order Information: Postal: Roger Lagunoff Professor of Economics Georgetown University Department of Economics Washington, DC 20057-1036
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  1. Martin D. D. Evans and Richard K. Lyons., 1999. "Order Flow and Exchange Rate Dynamics," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-288, University of California at Berkeley.
  2. 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.
  3. Rime, Dagfinn & Sarno, Lucio & Sojli, Elvira, 2009. "Exchange Rate Forecasting, Order Flow and Macroeconomic Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 7225, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Charles Engel & Kenneth D. West, 2003. "Exchange rates and fundamentals," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  5. Kathryn Dominguez & Freyan Panthaki, 2005. "What Defines "News" in Foreign Exchange Markets?," NBER Working Papers 11769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bacchetta, Philippe & van Wincoop, Eric, 2008. "Higher Order Expectations in Asset Pricing," CEPR Discussion Papers 6648, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Lyons, Richard K., 1995. "Tests of microstructural hypotheses in the foreign exchange market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2-3), pages 321-351.
  8. Evans, Martin D, 2005. "Where Are We Now? Real-Time Estimates of the Macroeconomy," MPRA Paper 831, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. 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.
  10. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2000. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt0sx02651, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  11. 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.
  12. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1994. "Automatic Lag Selection in Covariance Matrix Estimation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(4), pages 631-653.
  13. Nelson C. Mark, 2009. "Changing Monetary Policy Rules, Learning, and Real Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(6), pages 1047-1070, 09.
  14. 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.
  15. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1997. "Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence," Working Papers 97-32, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  16. Martin D.D. Evans & Richard K. Lyons, 2004. "A New Micro Model of Exchange Rate Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 10379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Berger, David W. & Chaboud, Alain P. & Chernenko, Sergey V. & Howorka, Edward & Wright, Jonathan H., 2008. "Order flow and exchange rate dynamics in electronic brokerage system data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 93-109, May.
  21. 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.
  22. Martin D. D. Evans & Richard K. Lyons, 2007. "Exchange Rate Fundamentals and Order Flow," NBER Working Papers 13151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Mitchel Y. Abolafia (ed.), 2005. "Markets," Books, Edward Elgar, number 2788.
  24. 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.
  25. Richard Payne, 2003. "Macroeconomic news, order flows and exchange rates," FMG Discussion Papers dp475, Financial Markets Group.
  26. Martin D. D. Evans (Georgetown University), 2005. "Understanding Order Flow," Working Papers gueconwpa~05-05-19, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
  27. Whitney K. Newey & Kenneth D. West, 1986. "A Simple, Positive Semi-Definite, Heteroskedasticity and AutocorrelationConsistent Covariance Matrix," NBER Technical Working Papers 0055, 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.
  29. 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.
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