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Liquidity in the Forward Exchange Market


  • Michael J Moore;

    (Queen's University Belfast)

  • Maurice Roche



There are a number of major anomalies that arise from forward foreign exchange rates. Though the level of the forward rate is an unbiased predictor of the future spot rate, the forward premium is poor predictor of future spot rate changes; speculative profits are so volatile that implausibly large degrees of risk aversion are required to explain them and finally, the forward premium is 'excessively' autoregressive. These conclusions emerge from, inter alia, Macklem (1991), Engel (1992) and Backus, Gregory and Telmer (1993). We construct a Lucas-Fuerst model of a two-country world. This framework provides rigorous foundations for liquidity constraints and premia. In our application, there are two insights. The first is that spot forex purchases require cash-in-advance just like goods in the standard Lucas model. However, forward contracts are not bound by this liquidity constraint. This drives a wedge between the spot and forward forex markets. The other insight is that the forward market is incomplete in that the agents that conduct the spot forex transactions in the goods market have a different information set to asset market traders. The model is then simulated using the techniques that are normally associated with the real business cycle literature. We compare its ability to overcome the 'anomalies' with the standard model. The results give rise to cautious optimism.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael J Moore; & Maurice Roche, 1995. "Liquidity in the Forward Exchange Market," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n580795, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  • Handle: RePEc:may:mayecw:n580795 Note: A Technical Appendix (N590795) is available which provides two fully worked out examples of solving nonlinear stochastic first order efficiency conditions using methods of Chrisiano (1990, 1991).

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hassler, Uwe & Wolters, Jurgen, 1995. "Long Memory in Inflation Rates: International Evidence," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(1), pages 37-45, January.
    2. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles L., 1997. "Sticky price and limited participation models of money: A comparison," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1201-1249, June.
    3. Stockman, Alan C & Tesar, Linda L, 1995. "Tastes and Technology in a Two-Country Model of the Business Cycle: Explaining International Comovements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 168-185, March.
    4. Engel, Charles, 1992. "On the foreign exchange risk premium in a general equilibrium model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3-4), pages 305-319, May.
    5. Sibert, Anne, 1996. "Unconventional preferences: do they explain foreign exchange risk premia?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 149-165, February.
    6. Tiff Macklem, R., 1991. "Forward exchange rates and risk premiums in artificial economies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 365-391, September.
    7. Grilli, Vittorio & Roubini, Nouriel, 1992. "Liquidity and exchange rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3-4), pages 339-352, May.
    8. Engel, Charles, 1996. "The forward discount anomaly and the risk premium: A survey of recent evidence," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 123-192, June.
    9. Abul M.M. Masih & Rumi Masih, 1998. "A Fractional Cointegration Approach to Testing Mean Reversion Between Spot and Forward Exchange Rates: A Case of High Frequency Data with Low Frequency Dynamics," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(7&8), pages 987-1003.
    10. Backus, David K & Gregory, Allan W & Telmer, Chris I, 1993. " Accounting for Forward Rates in Markets for Foreign Currency," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1887-1908, December.
    11. Fuerst, Timothy S., 1992. "Liquidity, loanable funds, and real activity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 3-24, February.
    12. Baillie, Richard T & Bollerslev, Tim, 1994. "The long memory of the forward premium," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 565-571, October.
    13. Bekaert, Geert, 1994. "Exchange rate volatility and deviations from unbiasedness in a cash-in-advance model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 29-52, February.
    14. Baillie, Richard T & Chung, Ching-Fan & Tieslau, Margie A, 1996. "Analysing Inflation by the Fractionally Integrated ARFIMA-GARCH Model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(1), pages 23-40, Jan.-Feb..
    15. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1990. "Liquidity and interest rates," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 237-264, April.
    16. Moore, Michael J, 1994. "Testing for Unbiasedness in Forward Markets," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 62(0), pages 67-78, Suppl..
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    Cited by:

    1. Moore, Michael J. & Roche, Maurice J., 2002. "Less of a puzzle: a new look at the forward forex market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 387-411, December.
    2. Ledenyov, Dimitri O. & Ledenyov, Viktor O., 2015. "Wave function method to forecast foreign currencies exchange rates at ultra high frequency electronic trading in foreign currencies exchange markets," MPRA Paper 67470, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Peter G. Szilagyi & Jonathan A. Batten, 2006. "Arbitrage, Covered Interest Parity and Long-Term Dependence between the US Dollar and the Yen," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp128, IIIS.
    4. Batten, Jonathan A. & Szilagyi, Peter G., 2007. "Covered interest parity arbitrage and temporal long-term dependence between the US dollar and the Yen," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 376(C), pages 409-421.

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