The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Episodes of increased global risk aversion, also known as risk-off episodes, have become more frequent and severe since 2007. During these episodes, currency markets exhibit recurrent patterns, as the Japanese yen, Swiss franc, and U.S. dollar appreciate against other G-10 and emerging market currencies. The pattern of these moves can be explained by a combination of fundamental factors, such as the nominal interest rate, the international investment position and measures of exchange rate misalignment, and market-liquidity factors, such as bid-offer spreads and restrictions on international capital flows. We also find that currency performance in a risk-off episode has become more related to a currency?s yield and relationship to broader risks in recent years.