Essays on Market Microstructure and Foreign Exchange Market

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Thesis type
(Thesis) Ph.D.
Date created
High frequency trading (HFT) has become a predominant feature of financial markets. Thisthesis studies different aspects of the HFT in the Electronic Broking Services (EBS) interbank foreign exchange (FX) market.The first paper of this Thesis (Chapter 1) studies changes in the spread, market depth anddegree of adverse selection due to the lower minimum tick size. The main conclusion is that thereduction in the spread was mostly absorbed by the HFTs, whereas the manual traders were pushedback from the top of the order book and experienced longer execution times. Manual marketmakers were willing to cross the spread and act as market takers changing the informationalcontent of the order flow. Market depth was reduced significantly following the introduction ofdecimal pip pricing. The second paper of this Thesis (Chapter 2) presents the effect of the tick size change onthe adverse selection problem in the EBS market. Econometric analysis of serial correlationproperties of jumps in exchange rates, and of the spread leads to the conclusion that adverseselection is reduced by tick size change. Similar cleavage occurs before and after tick size changein an empirical adverse selection proxy. This chapter sheds light on trading behavior of marketparticipants. The third paper of this thesis (Chapter 3) discusses the properties of triangular arbitrageopportunity in the EBS market. The results cast into question current understanding of triangulararbitrage in the literature, specifically in relation to algorithmic trading. The increasingpresence of algorithmic traders does not offer significant improvement in speed of price discoveryby quickly consuming the triangular arbitrage opportunities. Rather, algorithmic tradinginfluences the creation of triangular arbitrage by two countervailing effects.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Gencay, Ramazan
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