Financial markets

  • December 13, 1998

    Survey of the Canadian foreign exchange and derivatives markets

    In April 1998, the Bank of Canada conducted its triennial survey of activity in the Canadian foreign exchange and derivatives markets. This was part of a coordinated international effort in which 43 countries carried out similar surveys. The foreign exchange market in Canada is the 11th largest in the world, and the Canadian dollar is the 7th most-traded currency globally. The average daily turnover of traditional foreign exchange transactions has grown by 23 per cent (to US$37 billion) since the last survey in 1995. Although this growth was substantial, the rate of increase has declined steadily since the survey began in 1983. The average daily turnover for single-currency interest rate derivatives during April 1998 was US$6.4 billion, an increase of 48 per cent over the previous survey.
  • December 12, 1998

    Conference summary: Information in financial asset prices

    This article summarizes the proceedings of a conference hosted by the Bank of Canada in May 1998. This was the second Bank conference to focus directly on issues concerning financial markets. The topic for 1998—the extraction of information from the prices of financial assets—has been an area of extensive research by central banks worldwide because of its connection to monetary policy. The Bank wanted to encourage such work by Canadian researchers as well as solicit feedback on work conducted internally. It also wanted to broaden the understanding of the interplay in the markets between central banks and other participants. It therefore assembled a wide mix of researchers, central bankers, and market participants. The summary briefly outlines the papers presented as well as the wrap-up discussion.
  • August 12, 1998

    The declining supply of treasury bills and the Canadian money market

    The supply of treasury bills has fallen considerably since 1995, reflecting a decline in the financing needs of the Canadian government and a change in its debt-management strategy. This has had a major impact on different segments of the money market. Among the various implications of this development, the authors point out the decrease in turnover and, hence, liquidity in the treasury bill market since 1995, as well as high rates of growth in the market for short-term interest rate derivatives and for short-term asset-backed securities.
  • Buying Back Government Bonds: Mechanics and Other Considerations

    Staff Working Paper 1998-9 Toni Gravelle
    With the elimination of the federal deficit, the Bank of Canada, the Department of Finance, and financial market participants are examining ways to manage the reduction in the stock of marketable debt. This paper summarizes three different methods—reverse auction, over-the-counter purchases, and conversions—that could be used to buy back Government of Canada bonds before they […]
    Content Type(s): Staff Research, Staff Working Papers Topic(s): Debt management, Financial markets JEL Code(s): G, G1
  • May 13, 1998

    Canada-U.S. long-term interest differentials in the 1990s

    Long-term Canada-U.S. interest spreads have changed remarkably during the 1990s. The unusually wide spreads of the first half of the decade have given way to an unprecedented run of negative yield differentials. In this article, the author examines the conceptual aspects of yields on international assets and their application to the Canada-U.S. situation. Prior to 1995, investors were unsure that, over the long run, inflation would meet the targets set by the government and the Bank. Policy credibility was undermined by large budget deficits and political uncertainty. In the second half of the decade, confidence was re-established as the fiscal positions of governments improved, long-run price stability became established, and political concerns about Quebec lessened. As long as these fundamentals hold, long-term rates should remain relatively low, even when short-term rates rise.
  • May 11, 1998

    The use of forward rate agreements in Canada

    In this article, the authors identify forward rate agreements, or FRAs, as short-term interest rate guarantee instruments negotiated by two parties, one of which is typically a bank. In outlining the main features of FRAs, the authors contrast them with BAX contracts (futures contracts on bankers' acceptances that are negotiated through the Montreal Exchange). The article then describes how market participants use FRAs to cover short-term interest rate risk. The final section deals with the way the Bank of Canada uses information from the FRA market as an indicator of interest rate expectations. Econometric models used to retrieve information from FRA rates, as well as the underlying assumptions, are discussed in an appendix.