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Judgement Day: Algorithmic Trading Around the Swiss Franc Cap Removal

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  • Francis Breedon
  • Louisa Chen
  • Angelo Ranaldo

    ()

  • Nicholas Vause

Abstract

A key issue raised by the rapid growth of computerised algorithmic trading is how it responds in extreme situations. Using data on foreign exchange orders and transactions that includes identification of algorithmic trading, we find that this type of trading contributed to the deterioration of market quality following the removal of the cap on the Swiss franc on 15 January 2015, which was an event that came as a complete surprise to market participants. In particular, we find that algorithmic traders withdrew liquidity and generated uninformative volatility in Swiss franc currency pairs, while human traders did the opposite. However, we find no evidence that algorithmic trading propagated these adverse effects on market quality to other currency pairs.

Suggested Citation

  • Francis Breedon & Louisa Chen & Angelo Ranaldo & Nicholas Vause, 2018. "Judgement Day: Algorithmic Trading Around the Swiss Franc Cap Removal," Working Papers on Finance 1808, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:sfwpfi:2018:08
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    Cited by:

    1. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Lafarguette, Romain & Mehl, Arnaud, 2019. "Fast trading and the virtue of entropy: evidence from the foreign exchange market," Working Paper Series 2300, European Central Bank.
    2. Hertrich, Markus, 2020. "Foreign exchange interventions under a one-sided target zone regime and the Swiss franc," Discussion Papers 21/2020, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    3. Angelo Ranaldo & Fabricius Somogyi, 2018. "Asymmetric Information Risk in FX Markets," Working Papers on Finance 1820, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance, revised Apr 2020.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Swiss franc; algorithmic trading; liquidity; volatility; price discovery; arbitrage opportunities;

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors

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