This thesis adopts an empirical approach to examine various market microstructure issues, using data from the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE). Whilst the respective empirical analyses may be
considered as self-contained investigations, they are primarily linked through the common objective of understanding the mechanics of the pricing process as it occurs on actual markets, using the NSE as exemplar. The first major focus of the dissertation is non-synchronous trading: empirical evidence of nonsynchronicity is obtained by testing for predictability as between indices of different levels of liquidity. A simple test of the analysis of trading-break returns is proposed to infer whether predictability may be mainly attributable to non-synchronous trading or whether it constitutes a delayed adjustment of traders' expectations. The second question tackled in the thesis is whether volatility on the NSE may be considered as justified or excessive. Rathert han adopting the established methodology of comparing stock price
changes to information about expected dividends, the research question is split up into two subsidiary ones. The first question is whether volatility is related to information flows, whilst the second related
questionc oncernst he relationship betweenv olatility and returns. Three sources of excessive volatility are pin-pointed. Monday effects are found in index data but not in the underlying stocks-indicating index fluctuations which are not information-related. A second indicator of excessive price movements is the pronounced volatility which coincides with the fiscal year end of quoted companies but which is not accompanied by a similar increase in long-term returns. A third indication of unjustified price fluctuations is that volatility seems unrelated to returns when considering a long-term time series.
The third topic of the thesis relates to the efficacy of opening and closing call auctions. This issue may be considered as the crux of the dissertation and it is tackled by analysing the effects of the suspension of a call auction system on NSE. Changes in volatility, efficiency and liquidity following the suspension are analysed, and an event study is presented. The relationship between call auctions and
long-term volatility is also investigated. The findings suggest that the expected benefits of call auctions may not always materialise, possibly due to an inappropriately structured auction, or because a liquidity threshold for stocks must be surpassed for the expected benefits to accrue.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.