September 2010 issue contents
Bank of England Interest Rate Announcements and the Foreign Exchange Market

by Michael Melvina, Christian Saborowskib,c, Michael Sagerc,e and Mark P. Taylord,f


Since 1997, the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has met monthly to set the UK policy interest rate. Using a Markov-switching framework that incorporates endogenous transition probabilities, we examine intraday, five-minute return data for evidence of systematic patterns in exchange rate movements on MPC policy announcement days. We find evidence for non-linear regime switching between a high-volatility, informed trading state and a low volatility, liquidity trading state. MPC surprise announcements are shown to significantly affect the probability that the market enters and remains within the informed trading regime, with some limited evidence of market positioning just prior to the announcement.

JEL Codes: E42, E44, F31.

Full article (PDF, 37 pages 446 kb)

a BlackRock
b World Bank c Department of Economics, University of Warwick d Warwick Business School e Wellington Management f Centre for Economic Policy Research