Evidence of Macroeconomic Policy Effects over Company-Sector Stock Returns

Mara Madaleno, Carlos Pinho


Given that stock markets may act as an economy mirror, it is explored the sensitivity of company-sector-specific stock returns to macroeconomic news reflecting different economic environments for the UK, US, Germany, Japan and Australian markets between March 1993 and February 2013 using monthly data. Results seem to indicate that portfolio investors need to be aware that movements in the market index is the best predictor to forecast stock returns of individual companies and sectors in developed economies. Sentiment influences individual company’s returns of the utilities sector, even if these are considered of limited growth and stable earnings, for UK, USA and Australia, turning investor confidence a relevant variable to be included. Information increases about industrial production have no influence on company and sector stocks, thus not affecting investor’s decision in developed countries. As for Japan, results seem to indicate that the higher the need of oil imports of a country, the higher will be the positive impact of oil price changes over company returns. Finally, the riskless interest rate has no effect on sector stock returns independently of the country under analysis. For developed economies, we confirm the finding that stocks cannot be used as a hedge against inflation.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.19093/res.v16i31.1977


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