Complexity of ECB Communication and Financial Market Trading
Joint Discussion Paper Series in Economics No. 19-2019
42 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2019
Date Written: August 8, 2019
We examine how the verbal complexity of ECB communications affects financial market trading based on high-frequency data from European stock index futures trading. Studying the 34 events between May 2009 and June 2017, during which the ECB Governing Council press conferences covered unconventional monetary policy measures, and using the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level to measure the verbal complexity of introductory statements to the press conferences, we find that more complex communications are associated with a lower level of contemporaneous trading. Increasing complexity of introductory statements leads to a temporal shift of trading activity towards the subsequent Q&A session, which suggests that Q&A sessions facilitate market participants’ information processing.
Keywords: ECB, Central Bank Communication, Textual Analysis, Linguistic Complexity, Readability, Financial Markets, European Stock Markets
JEL Classification: D83, E52, E58, G12, G14
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