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Macroeconomic surprises and stock returns in South Africa

  • Rangan Gupta
  • Monique Reid

Purpose – The objective of this paper is to explore the sensitivity of industry-specific stock returns to monetary policy and macroeconomic news. The paper looks at a range of industry-specific South African stock market indices and evaluates the sensitivity of these indices to various unanticipated macroeconomic shocks. Design/methodology/approach – The authors begin with an event study, which examines the immediate impact of macroeconomic shocks on the stock market indices, and then use a Bayesian vector autoregressive (BVAR) analysis, which provides insight into the dynamic effects of the shocks on the stock market indices, by allowing them to treat the shocks as exogenous through appropriate setting of priors defining the mean and variance of the parameters in the VAR. Findings – The results from the event study indicate that with the exception of the gold mining index, where the CPI surprise plays a significant role, monetary surprise is the only variable that consistently negatively affects the stock returns significantly, both at the aggregate and sectoral levels. The BVAR model based on monthly data, however, indicates that, in addition to the monetary policy surprises, the CPI and PPI surprises also affect aggregate stock returns significantly. However, the effects of the CPI and PPI surprises are quite small in magnitude and are mainly experienced at shorter horizons immediately after the shock. Originality/value – To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first study conducted on South Africa which analyses the impact of a wide range of unanticipated macroeconomic shocks on stock returns. This paper improves on earlier efforts by using measures of monetary policy, as well as other macroeconomic news, which more cleanly isolates the unanticipated elements of the monetary policy variable and other macroeconomic indicators, in studying the impact of these surprises on stock returns in South Africa.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Studies in Economics and Finance.

Volume (Year): 30 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 266-282

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Handle: RePEc:eme:sefpps:v:30:y:2013:i:3:p:266-282
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Rangan Gupta & Alain Kabundi, 2008. "Forecasting Macroeconomic Variables Using Large Datasets: Dynamic Factor Model versus Large-Scale BVARs," Working Papers 200816, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  2. Monique Reid, 2009. "The sensitivity of South African inflation expectations to surprises," Working Papers 16/2009, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  3. Marta Banbura & Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2010. "Large Bayesian vector auto regressions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(1), pages 71-92.
  4. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy rules based on real-time data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Robert B. Litterman, 1985. "Forecasting with Bayesian vector autoregressions five years of experience," Working Papers 274, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Marta Bańbura, 2008. "Large Bayesian VARs," 2008 Meeting Papers 334, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Thomas Doan & Robert B. Litterman & Christopher A. Sims, 1986. "Forecasting and conditional projection using realistic prior distribution," Staff Report 93, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Rangan Gupta & Alain Kabundi, 2008. "A Dynamic Factor Model for Forecasting Macroeconomic Variables in South Africa," Working Papers 200815, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  9. Clive Coetzee, 2002. "Monetary Conditions and Stock Returns: A South African Case Study," Finance 0205002, EconWPA.
  10. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "The Sensitivity of Long-Term Interest Rates to Economic News: Evidence and Implications for Macroeconomic Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 425-436, March.
  11. Z. Chinzara, 2010. "Macroeconomic uncertainty and emerging market stock market volatility: The case for South Africa," Working Papers 187, Economic Research Southern Africa.
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