The structural relationship between stock market returns and macroeconomic variables in international equity markets
This study is concerned with investigating the structural relationship between stock markets and economic variables in different countries. In investigating the relationships, the following six questions are posed:- Are stock markets in the United States, the United Kingdom, West Germany, France, Norway, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and South Africa related to each other and do they influence each other? Does the level of any relationship change over time? Are variables representing economic activity in each country related to similar variables in the other countries? Does the level of any economic relationship change over time? Are the comovements of both equity markets and economic indicators consistent? and Are stock markets examined in this study influenced by similar common underlying factors? The empirical results suggest positive answers to these questions. The main findings from the study suggest that equity returns are related and although some markets have a higher degree of similarity, the covariance between international equity returns remain stable over the short period but tend to change in the long run. It is also found that economic variables of different countries are related in a consistent way to the equity markets. Finally it is shown that stock prices in each country are systematically affected by similar economic factors.