Informed Trading of Futures Markets During the Financial Crisis: Evidence from the VPIN

  •  Yen-Hsien Lee    
  •  Wen-Chien Liu    
  •  Chia-Lin Hsieh    


This paper examines the impact of informed trading on futures returns during the 2008-2009 financial crisis. To precisely capture the informed trading in the highly volatile market during this period, we adopt the Volume-Synchronized Probability of Informed Trading (VPIN) of Easley, Hvidkjaer and O’Hara (2012) as our main measurement for informed trading. Besides, we also use a unique transaction dataset with investor identity to classify investors into domestic and foreign institutional investors, which the foreign institutional investors are supposed to be characterized by a higher degree of informed trading. Our empirical results show that the VPIN of foreign institutional investors has indeed significantly positive impacts on futures returns at the individual level. By contrast, the effect of the VPIN of domestic institutional investors on futures returns is only significant on Wednesdays, which could be seen as a special kind of day-of-the-week effect.

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