Liquidity skewness in the London Stock Exchange

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Review of Financial Analysis, 2018, 56 pp. 12 - 18
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© 2017 Elsevier Inc. We study liquidity on the London Stock Exchange. We find that the average bid-ask spread declines, but that the skewness of the spread increases. These results are robust to firm size, trading volume and price level. Our findings hold when the bid-ask spread is estimated utilising high frequency data. We find that the bid-ask spread prior to earnings announcements dates is significantly higher than that of post earnings announcements, suggesting that asymmetric information has driven the increase in liquidity skewness. We also find that the effect of earnings announcements is more pronounced in the 2007 global financial crisis, consistent with the notion that extreme market downturns amplify asymmetric information. Our overall evidence also implies that increased competition and transparent trading environments limit market makers’ abilities to cross-subsidize bid-ask spreads between periods of high and low levels of asymmetric information.
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