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Johan H. Van Rooyen


This study aims to investigate whether the phenomena found by Shnoll et al. when applying histogram pattern analysis techniques to stochastic processes from chemistry and physics are also present in financial time series, particularly exchange rate data. The phenomena are related to fine structure of non-smoothed frequency distributions drawn from tick high frequency currency exchange rates over a period of one week. Shnoll et al. use the notion of macroscopic fluctuations (MF) to explain the behaviour of sequences of histograms. Histogram patterns in time adhere to several laws that could not be detected when using time series analysis methods. In this study, which is a follow up of research by Van ZylBulitta, VH, Otte, R and Van Rooyen, JH, special emphasis is placed on the histogram pattern analysis of high frequency exchange rate data set. Following previous studies of the Shnoll phenomena from other fields, different steps of the histogram sequence analysis are carried out to determine whether the findings of Shnoll et al. could also be applied to financial market data. The findings presented here widen the understanding of time varying volatility and can aid in financial risk measurement and management. Outcomes of the study include an investigation of time series characteristics, more specifically the formation of discrete states and the repetition of histogram patterns.

Keywords: Histogram, Pattern, Volatility, Discrete, Clustering, States

How to cite this paper: Van Rooyen, J. V. (2009). Searching for histogram patterns in USD/ZAR foreign exchange financial time series. [Special issue]. Corporate Ownership & Control, 6(4-5), 575-584.