Spot Arbitrage in FX Market and Algorithmic Trading: Speed is Not of the Essence
37 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2017 Last revised: 28 Mar 2019
Date Written: March 25, 2019
This paper studies the properties of spot arbitrage opportunities in the interdealer foreign exchange market. We cast into question current understanding of spot FX arbitrage in the literature vis-á-vis algorithmic trading. The presence of algorithmic traders does not offer significant improvement in price discovery by quickly detecting and exploiting mispricing of currency pairs.Traders - algorithmic or otherwise - in fact mostly do not exploit spot arbitrage opportunities in the market. To the contrary, algorithmic trading facilitates the creation of arbitrage by tighter liquidity provision. This effect is blunted by microstructure frictions, resulting in decreasing number of arbitrage opportunities.
Keywords: Foreign Exchange Market, Triangular Arbitrage, Algorithmic Trading, Price Discovery, Inventory Risk
JEL Classification: F31, G10, G14
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