Many reports and analyses interpret the release of new economic data based on the headline surprise—for instance, total inflation, real GDP growth and the unemployment rate. However, we find that headline news alone cannot adequately explain the responses of market prices to new information. Rather, market prices react more strongly, on average, to non-headline news such as the composition of GDP growth, quality of jobs created and revisions to past data. Thus, tracking the impact of non-headline information released on the news day is crucial in analyzing how markets interpret and react to new economic data.
We draw a parallel between the dramatic increases of systematic variations in exchange rates and international bank lending. We find that when a country’s currency has a larger share of systematic variations, lending flows by international banks to that country become more sensitive to global lending - they also become more systematic. This parallel is particularly prevalent for large commodity exporters, including Canada. Global financial intermediation may open a new channel between the real economy and exchange rates.