The role of hedge funds in the Swiss franc foreign exchange market

April 30, 2024
Issue 2024-05

Download file now

The file can be downloaded with the button below.


This paper investigates the role of hedge funds within the Swiss franc (CHF) foreign exchange (FX) market, using a novel and comprehensive flow dataset that covers a large proportion of the CHF FX market. Employing a two-stage-least-squares (2SLS) approach, I isolate the causal effect of hedge funds’ net flow on CHF returns, taking into account reverse causality. The analysis reveals that hedge funds’ net flow significantly impacts CHF returns, with a net buying of one billion leading to an approximate 0.4% increase in returns. In contrast, the net flow from other market participants has a negligible impact, even when potential reverse causality is dismissed. This influence of hedge funds’ net flow becomes particularly noticeable on days when the Swiss National Bank (SNB) delivers contractionary monetary policy surprises. On such days, even a small surprise amplifies the impact of hedge funds’ net flow significantly. The analysis of market participants’ trading prices substantiates the hypothesis that hedge funds, due to their expertise in FX forecasting and best execution as well as superior transaction timing abilities, in aggregate tend to trade at more advantageous prices than other market participants.

JEL classification:
G12, G14, F31
Swiss franc, Market microstructure, Asymmetric information, Monetary policy shocks

Additional files

Related content


  • Jessica Gentner

Your settings

Required: These cookies (e.g. for storing your IP address) cannot be rejected as they are necessary to ensure the operation of the website. These data are not evaluated further.
Analytics: If you consent to this category, data such as IP address, location, device information, browser version and site visitor behaviour will be collected. These data are evaluated for the SNB's internal purposes and are kept for two years.
Third-party: If you consent to this category, third-party services (used, for example, to add social multimedia content to the SNB's website) will be activated which collect personal data, process these data, disclose them abroad - worldwide - and place cookies. The relevant data protection regulations are linked in the 'Privacy statement for the website of the Swiss National Bank'.

Choose your preferred settings:

This website uses cookies, analytics tools and other technologies to provide requested features, content and services, to personalise the content shown, to provide links to social media, and to analyse the use of the website in anonymised form for the purposes of improving usability. Personal data are also disclosed abroad - worldwide - to video service providers and the analytics tools of these providers are used. More information is available under 'Manage settings'.