James Kyeong is an economist in the Financial Markets Department at the Bank of Canada. His primary research interests include macroeconomic, monetary policy spillovers and applied econometrics. James holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Masters in Economics from Queen’s University.
Staff analytical notes
Major stock indexes have bounced back from their March 23 trough to about 10 percent below their peaks. However, stocks that are more sensitive to the business cycle have not performed as well during this market rally. This suggests that stock markets are pricing in a slower, shallower economic recovery.
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.
In this note, we find that market participants react to an unexpected change in the tone of Canadian monetary policy statements. When the market perceives that the Bank of Canada plans to tighten (or alternatively, loosen) the monetary policy earlier than previously expected, the Canadian dollar appreciates (or depreciates) and long-term Government of Canada bond yields increase (or decrease). The tone of a statement is particularly relevant to the market when the policy rate has been unchanged for some time.
Foreign investment flows into Government of Canada (GoC) bonds have surged since the financial crisis. Our empirical analysis suggests that foreign flows of $150 billion lowered the 10-year GoC bond yield by 100 basis points between 2009 and 2012.