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Are the Intraday Effects of Central Bank Intervention on Exchange Rate Spreads Asymmetric and State Dependent?

  • Rasmus Fatum

    (School of Business, University of Alberta)

  • Jesper Pedersen

    (Danish Economic Council)

  • Peter Norman Sørensen

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

This paper investigates the intraday effects of unannounced foreign exchange intervention on bid-ask exchange rate spreads using official intraday intervention data provided by the Danish central bank. Our starting point is a simple theoretical model of the bid-ask spread which we use to formulate testable hypotheses regarding how unannounced intervention purchases and intervention sales influence the market asymmetrically. To test these hypotheses we estimate weighted least squares (WLS) time-series models of the intraday bid-ask spread. Our main result is that intervention purchases and sales both exert a significant influence on the exchange rate spread, but in opposite directions: intervention purchases of the smaller currency, on average, reduce the spread while intervention sales, on average, increase the spread. We also show that intervention only affects the exchange rate spread when the state of the market is not abnormally volatile. Our results are consistent with the notion that illiquidity arises when traders fear speculative pressure against the smaller currency and confirms the asymmetry hypothesis of our theoretical model.

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Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 10-20.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuiedp:1020
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  1. Torben G. Andersen & Tim Bollerslev & Francis X. Diebold & Clara Vega, 2002. "Micro Effects of Macro Announcements: Real-Time Price Discovery in Foreign Exchange," NBER Working Papers 8959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Dominguez, Kathryn M. E., 2003. "The market microstructure of central bank intervention," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 25-45, January.
  3. Hans R. Stoll, . "The Supply of Dealer Services in Securities Markets," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 2-78, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  4. Pasquariello, Paolo, 2007. "Informative trading or just costly noise? An analysis of Central Bank interventions," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 107-143, May.
  5. Bollerslev, Tim & Melvin, Michael, 1994. "Bid--ask spreads and volatility in the foreign exchange market : An empirical analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3-4), pages 355-372, May.
  6. Anusha Chari, 2007. "Heterogeneous Market-Making in Foreign Exchange Markets: Evidence from Individual Bank Responses to Central Bank Interventions," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(5), pages 1131-1162, 08.
  7. Fischer, Andreas M., 2006. "On the inadequacy of newswire reports for empirical research on foreign exchange interventions," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(8), pages 1226-1240, December.
  8. Fatum, Rasmus & Pedersen, Jesper, 2009. "Real-time effects of central bank intervention in the euro market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 11-20, June.
  9. Rasmus Fatum, 2010. "Foreign exchange intervention when interest rates are zero: does the portfolio balance channel matter after all?," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 57, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  10. Ho, Thomas & Stoll, Hans R., 1981. "Optimal dealer pricing under transactions and return uncertainty," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 47-73, March.
  11. Fischer, Andreas M & Zurlinden, Mathias, 1999. "Exchange Rate Effects of Central Bank Interventions: An Analysis of Transaction Prices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(458), pages 662-76, October.
  12. Bhattacharya, Utpal & Weller, Paul, 1997. "The advantage to hiding one's hand: Speculation and central bank intervention in the foreign exchange market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 251-277, July.
  13. Kumhof, Michael, 2010. "On the theory of sterilized foreign exchange intervention," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 1403-1420, August.
  14. Christopher J. Neely, 2005. "An analysis of recent studies of the effect of foreign exchange intervention," Working Papers 2005-030, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  15. Dacorogna, Michael M. & Muller, Ulrich A. & Nagler, Robert J. & Olsen, Richard B. & Pictet, Olivier V., 1993. "A geographical model for the daily and weekly seasonal volatility in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 413-438, August.
  16. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-35, November.
  17. Michael R. King & Rasmus Fatum, 2005. "The Effectiveness of Official Foreign Exchange Intervention in a Small Open Economy: The Case of the Canadian Dollar," Working Papers 05-21, Bank of Canada.
  18. Vitale, Paolo, 1999. "Sterilised central bank intervention in the foreign exchange market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 245-267, December.
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