Trading and Liquidity on the Tokyo Stock Exchange: A Bird's Eye View
The trading mechanism for equities on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) stands in sharp contrast to the primary mechanisms used to trade stocks in the United States. In the U.S., exchange-designated specialists have affirmative obligations to provide continuous liquidity to the market. Specialists offer simultaneous and tight quotes to both buy and sell and supply sufficient liquidity to limit the magnitude of price changes between consecutive transactions. In contradistinction, the TSE has no exchange-designated liquidity suppliers. Instead, liquidity is provided through a public limit order book and liquidity is organized through restrictions on maximum price changes between trades which serve to slow down trading. In this paper, we examine the efficacy of the TSE's trading mechanisms at providing liquidity. Our analysis is based on a complete record of transactions and best-bid and best-offer quotes for most stocks in the First Section of the TSE over a period of 26 months. We study the size of the bid-ask spread and its cross- sectional and intertemporal stability; intertemporal patterns in returns, volatility, volume, trade size, and the frequency of trades; and market depth based on the response of quotes to trades and the frequency of trading halts and warning quotes.
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