Segmentation and Time-of-Day Patterns in Foreign Exchange Markets

36 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2007

See all articles by Angelo Ranaldo

Angelo Ranaldo

University of St. Gallen; Swiss Finance Institute

Date Written: January 1, 2007


This paper sheds light on a puzzling pattern in foreign exchange markets: Domestic currencies appreciate (depreciate) systematically during foreign (domestic) working hours. These time-of-day patterns are statistically and economically highly significant. They pervasively persist across many years, even after accounting for calendar effects. This phenomenon is difficult to reconcile with the random walk and market efficiency hypothesis. Microstructural and behavioural explanations suggest that the main raison d'être is a domestic-currency bias coupled with market segmentation. The prevalence of domestic (foreign) traders demanding the counterpart currency during domestic (foreign) working hours implies a cyclical net positive (negative) imbalance in dealers' inventory. In aggregate, this turns into sell-price (buy-price) pressure on the domestic currency during domestic (foreign) working hours.

Keywords: foreign exchange market; microstructure, behavioural finance, time-of-day patterns, market segmentation, calendar effects, inventory, asymmetric information, high-frequency data

JEL Classification: F31, G10, G14, G15

Suggested Citation

Ranaldo, Angelo, Segmentation and Time-of-Day Patterns in Foreign Exchange Markets (January 1, 2007). EFA 2007 Ljubljana Meetings Paper, Available at SSRN: or

Angelo Ranaldo (Contact Author)

University of St. Gallen ( email )

School of Finance
Unterer Graben 21
St. Gallen, 9000
+41712247010 (Phone)


Swiss Finance Institute ( email )

c/o University of Geneva
40, Bd du Pont-d'Arve
CH-1211 Geneva 4
+41796637711 (Phone)


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