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Senior official speeches and severe price discontinuities in the foreign exchange market

Mohamed A. Ayadi (Department of Finance, Operations and Information Systems, Goodman School of Business, Brock University, St. Catharine’s, Canada)
Walid Ben Omrane (Department of Finance, Operations and Information Systems, Goodman School of Business, Brock University, St. Catharine’s, Canada)
Jiayu Wang (Department of Finance, Operations and Information Systems, Goodman School of Business, Brock University, St. Catharine’s, Canada)
Robert Welch (Department of Finance, Operations and Information Systems, Goodman School of Business, Brock University, St. Catharine’s, Canada)

Studies in Economics and Finance

ISSN: 1086-7376

Article publication date: 6 October 2023

Issue publication date: 13 November 2023

54

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to better understand the effects of speeches as a valuable communication tool for central banks. It extends the analysis of the effects of public speeches on jumps to determine whether individual speakers matter partly because of their name, position or institution.

Design/methodology/approach

This study detects intraday jumps using a robust-to-jump volatility estimator that accounts for deterministic seasonality. As a result, this study removes spurious jumps that occur when volatility is high and consider the relatively small jumps that occur when volatility is low. After identifying jumps, this study examines their reactions to senior official speeches and macroeconomic news surrounding the US and European Union (EU) financial crises.

Findings

Despite having the most influential individual speakers, this study finds that the impact of the Federal Reserve (Fed) and European Central Bank (ECB) is mitigated because the two institutions have a relatively small impact on currency jumps. This finding shows that the speaker’s name is more important than his or her institution affiliation. While the Federal Reserve Bank President and Chief Executive, as well as ECB board members, significantly reduce jump sizes, particularly during the EU crisis period, both the Fed Chairman and the ECB President increase the magnitude of the jump in both the US crisis and noncrisis periods, contributing to market instability.

Practical implications

The implications of the results include international portfolio management, currency derivatives pricing and hedging, risk management and market efficiency.

Originality/value

The findings contribute to a better understanding of the effects of senior official speech attributes on currency jumps in various economic states. The results raise questions about the speaker’s name, institution and position’s effectiveness in calming markets and reducing uncertainty.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Hatem Ben Ameur, Samir Saadi, Skander Lazrak, the editor and two anonymous referees for providing insightful comments that improved the paper’s quality.

Citation

Ayadi, M.A., Ben Omrane, W., Wang, J. and Welch, R. (2023), "Senior official speeches and severe price discontinuities in the foreign exchange market", Studies in Economics and Finance, Vol. 40 No. 5, pp. 773-794. https://doi.org/10.1108/SEF-01-2023-0015

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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