Rock around the clock: an agent-based model of low- and high-frequency trading
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AbstractWe build an agent-based model to study how the interplay between low- and high frequency trading affects asset price dynamics. Our main goal is to investigate whether high-frequency trading exacerbates market volatility and generates flash crashes. In the model, low-frequency agents adopt trading rules based on chronological time and can switch between fundamentalist and chartist strategies. On the contrary, high-frequency traders activation is event-driven and depends on price the contrary, high-frequency traders activation is event-driven and depends on price formation produced by low-frequency traders. Monte-Carlo simulations reveal that the model replicates the main stylized facts of financial markets. Furthermore, we found that the presence of high-frequency trading increases market volatility and plays a fundamental role in the generation of flash crashes. The emergence of flash crashes is explained by two salient characteristics of high-frequency traders, i.e., their ability to i) generate high bid-ask spreads and ii) synchronize on the sell side of the limit order book. Finally, we found that higher rates of order cancellation by high-frequency traders increase the incidence of flash crashes but reduce their duration.
Agent-based models; Limit order book; High-frequency trading; low-frequency trading; Flash crashes; Market volatility