Should macroeconomic information be released during trading breaks in futures markets?
This study examines the impact of releasing macroeconomic information during trading breaks versus during continuous trading in futures markets. Recently, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange changed its trading hours, while the United States Department of Agriculture changed the release time of its monthly report. These changes provide a natural experiment for assessing the role of trading breaks in futures markets. In this study, price volatility and bid-ask spreads are found to be abnormally elevated and market depth abnormally low for a longer period during the continuous trading period. Therefore, releasing macroeconomic information during trading breaks in futures markets improves market quality.