International arbitrage pricing theory : empirical evidence from the United Kingdom and the United States
The objective of this thesis was to analyse the empirical applicability of the Arbitrage Pricing Theory to international asset markets (UK stock market and US stock market) and to identify the set of economic variables which correspond most closely with the stock market factors obtained from the traditional factor analysis. Factor analysis and canonical correlation analysis were used as the principal tools for the empirical testing. Although factor analysis is frequently used, canonical correlation analysis is an new technique in this area and provides a method of linking factors extracted from the two sets of data. Various economic indicators were investigated as systematic influences on stock returns. It was shown that, based on the foundations of the APT and the characteristics of the factor scores from the factor analysis on the security returns and the economic indicators, canonical correlation analysis is an approximate technique to link the stock market and the economic forces. The results using the UK data imply that there is a good correspondence between factor scores generated by the factor analysis on the UK security returns and on the UK economic indicators. The results using the US data show that there is also a fair correspondence, but lower than that for the UK data, between factor scores generated by the factor analysis on the US security returns and on the US economic indicators. The APT was also investigated in an international setting by considering the UK data and the US data together. The results show that the canonical correlation analysis successfully links the stock returns and economic forces. The conclusion of these empirical findings is that security returns are influenced by a number of systematic economic forces. The validity and applicability of the APT were also empirically evaluated. The regression results show that the explanatory power of the APT model is fairly good. The overall results obtained here appear to suggest that the APT pricing relationship is supported by the testing methodology. In addition, the international correlation structure of financial markets movements between the UK economy and the US economy has been analysed. On balance, the evidence favours the APT and there is available evidence of inter-market linkage between the UK and the US. Individual sets of economic variables have been identified which correspond most closely with the UK and the US stock market factors by using the canonical correlation analysis. The results, at least partially, contribute to the understanding of security market pricing.