Oxford-Man Institute: Mind Your Language! Market Reactions to Central Bank Speeches

Can machine learning give investors a better insight into monetary policymaker speeches? Maximilian Ahrens, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in NLP at the Oxford-Man Institute of Quantitative Finance shares his research findings.


Mind Your Language: Market Responses to Central Bank Speeches

Maximilian Ahrens, Deniz Erdemlioglu, Michael McMahon, Christopher J. Neely, Xiye Yang

Researchers have carefully studied post-meeting central bank communication and have found that it often moves markets, but they have paid less attention to the more frequent central bankers' speeches. We create a novel dataset of US Federal Reserve speeches and use supervised multimodal natural language processing methods to identify how monetary policy news affect financial volatility and tail risk through implied changes in forecasts of GDP, inflation, and unemployment. We find that news in central bankers’ speeches can help explain volatility and tail risk in both equity and bond markets. We also find that markets attend to these signals more closely during abnormal GDP and inflation regimes. Our results challenge the conventional view that central bank communication primarily resolves uncertainty.


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