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Foreign Exchange Volume: Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing?

  • Richard K. Lyons

This paper examines whether currency trading volume is informative, and under what circumstances. Specifically, we use transactions data to test whether trades occurring when trading intensity is high are more informative - dollar for dollar - than trades occurring when intensity is low. Theory admits both possibilities, depending primarily on the posited information structure. We present what we call a hot-potato model of currency trading, which explains why low-intensity trades might be more informative. In the model, the wave of inventory-management trading among dealers following innovations in order flow generates an inverse relationship between intensity and information content. Empirically, low-intensity trades are more informative, supporting the hot-potato hypothesis."

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4984.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4984.

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Date of creation: Jan 1995
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Publication status: published as Jeffrey Frankel, Giampaolo Galli and Alberto Giovannini, eds. The Microstructure of Foreign Exchange Markets University of Chicago Press, 1996, pp. 183-201
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4984
Note: IFM
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  1. Goodhart, C. A. E. & Figliuoli, L., 1991. "Every minute counts in financial markets," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 23-52, March.
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  3. Ananth Madhavan & Seymour Smidt, . "A Bayesian Model of Intraday Specialist Pricing," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 2-91, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
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  10. Richard K. Lyons, 1993. "Optimal Transparency in a Dealership Market with an Application to Foreign Exchange," NBER Working Papers 4467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
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  14. Amihud, Yakov & Mendelson, Haim, 1980. "Dealership market : Market-making with inventory," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 31-53, March.
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  16. Kyle, Albert S, 1989. "Informed Speculation with Imperfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 317-55, July.
  17. Glosten, Lawrence R. & Milgrom, Paul R., 1985. "Bid, ask and transaction prices in a specialist market with heterogeneously informed traders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 71-100, March.
  18. Manaster, Steven & Mann, Steven C, 1996. "Life in the Pits: Competitive Market Making and Inventory Control," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(3), pages 953-75.
  19. Bollerslev, Tim & Domowitz, Ian, 1993. " Trading Patterns and Prices in the Interbank Foreign Exchange Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1421-43, September.
  20. Anat R. Admati, Paul Pfleiderer, 1988. "A Theory of Intraday Patterns: Volume and Price Variability," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(1), pages 3-40.
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