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Understanding the importance of Variable Impact on Stock Prices

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Date added: 17-06-26

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In this chapter the available literature on the topic will be reviewed critically to enable a better understanding of the variables impacting on stock prices. This section examines different studies published by researchers, followed by empirical evidence on macroeconomic variables that could affect the stock price.

2.1 Theoretical Review

In this study we will examine the relationship between macroeconomic variables and stock prices. Three variables namely money supply, inflation and exchange rate will be discussed.

2.1.1 Macroeconomic Variables and stock prices

A firm's economic; industry and stock analysis should be taken in account during the valuation process (Reily and Brown,2006; 361). The top down approach (the three-step) approach asserts that both the economy and industry affects the returns of individual stocks on the valuation process compared to the bottoms-up approach which indicate that it is possible to provide superior returns to find stock irrespective of the direction of the economy and state of the industry. The basic difference between these two approaches is how investors regard the importance of economic and industry influences on individual stock returns. Various studies analyzing the results of economic variables on stock returns have maintained the top-down investment process. The economic background and the performance of firm's industry affect the value of security and its rate of return. Thus some macroeconomic variables would be regarded as a priori of risk that are common to all companies. The relationship between stock prices and macroeconomic variables is well illustrated by the Dividend Discount Model (DDM) proposed by Miller and Modigliani (1961) than any other theoretical stock valuation model. The stock's value is still just the present value of its future cash flows. Since the only cash flows an equity owner ever gets are dividends, the model is called the dividend discount model. Therefore, the current price of share of common stock is presented as follows: Where Po = the current stock price D = the expected cash dividend, n = the expected year in which the payment of dividend is expected k = the required rate of return. If an investor sells the stock, the purchaser of the stock is just buying the remaining dividend stream, so the stock's value is still determined by the dividend it pays. The most widely known DDM model is the Gordon growth model (Gordon, 1962). It expresses the value of a stock based on a constant growth rate of dividends. The equation shows that the value of a stock is determined by the current dividend, its growth rate and the discount rate. Gordon Growth Model has simplified the valuation of stock as follows: This equation simplifies to the infinite period dividend discount model. Projected stock value P=D/k-g where D = expected dividend per share one year from now; k = required rate of return for equity investor; G = growth rate in dividends This model is appropriate for finding the stock value with the assumptions that dividend are expected to continue growing at a constant rate and the growth rate is supposed to be lower than the required return on equity, ke In accordance with the model the current price of an equity share equals the present value of the future cash flows. Hence, the determinants of share prices are the required rate of return and expected cash flows implying that economic factors that affect the expected future cash flow and required rate of return influence the share price. (Humpe and Mcmillan, 2007, Gan 2006) Another method of associating macroeconomics variables and stock market returns is through arbitrage pricing (APT) (Ross,1976), where multiple risk factors can analyze asset returns. It may be used as a cumulative stock market scheme, where a change in a given macroeconomic variable could reflect a change in an underlying systemic risk factor affecting future returns. Some of the empirical work on APT theory, combining the state of the macroeconomic to stock returns, is identified by modeling a short run relationship between macroeconomic variables and stock price in terms of first difference, estimating trend stationarity. Subsequently, Chen, Roll and Ross (1986), have showed that economic forces affect discount rates, the ability of ¬rms to bring about cash ¬‚ows, and future dividend payouts, given the assumption that a long-term equilibrium existed among macroeconomic variables and stock prices. Granger (1986) says that the efficacy of this asssumption can be analyzed using a cointegration analysis. In statistics, the existence of cointegration between appropriate factors indicates that a linear combination of nonstationary time series shows a stationary series. In economics, the presence of such a linear combination creates a long term equilibrium relationship. Chen, Roll and Ross 1986 analyze the impact of macroeconomics variables on the stock return. The economic theory says that stock prices should reflect anticipations about futures corporate performance which typically reflect the level of economic activities. Thus, if stock prices correctly reflect the underlying fundamentals, then the stock prices should be applied as crucial indicators of future economic activity. Nevertheless, if economic activities reflect the movement of stock prices, then the results should be the opposite, meaning economic activities should lead stock price. Thus the causal relationship and correlations between economics factors and stock prices are important in formulating the country's macroeconomic policy. According to Oberuc (2004), the economic factors commonly linked with stock prices by researchers are industrial production, dividend yield, interest rate, term spread, default spread, exchange rates, inflation ,money supply, GNP or GDP and previous stock returns, among others.

2.1.2 Money supply and stock prices

Monetary policy influences the general economy through a transmission mechanism. In an expansionary monetary policy, the government creates excess liquidity through open market operation, resulting in an increase in bond prices and lowering interest rate which leads to lower required rate of return and thus higher stock price. Furthermore, higher money supply will lead to higher stock prices due to higher demand. Thus, resulting in higher inflation and higher nominal interest rate (Fisher equation). Higher interest rate leads to higher required rate of return and thus lower stock price. Friedman and Schwartz (1963) analyzed the relationship between money supply and stock returns by considering that the growth rate of money supply would affect the economy and thus the expected stock returns. Peter Sellin (2001) suggest that the money supply will affect stock price only if a change in money supply change assumption about future monetary policy. He suggests that a positive money supply shock will compel people to predict tightening monetary policy in the future. The subsequent rise in bidding for bonds will raise the current rate of interest. As interest rate increase, the discount rates rise as well, and the present value of future earnings decline. Thereby decreasing stock prices. In addition, Sellin (2001) denotes economic activities diminish in accordance to a rise in interest rates, which further reduces stock prices. On the other hand, the economists argue that a positive money supply shock will lead to rise in stock prices. They explain that a change in the money supply supplies information on money demand, which is caused by future output expectations. If the money supply rise, it implies that money demand is rising, which, effectively, indicates a rise in economic activity. Higher economic activity means higher cash flows, causing stock prices to rise.

2.1.3 Inflation and stock prices

Inflation rate varies from one period to another, it is important to consider the effect of inflation on stock prices. In theory stocks should be inflation neutral, with only unanticipated inflation negatively impacting stock prices. Inflation has a large impact on stock valuations. Therefore, lower inflation means higher price/earnings ratios and higher stock prices and vice versa. Fisher (1930) speculates that the nominal rate of interest is made up of two components: the expected rate of inflation (πte) and the real rate of interest (rt): it = rt + πte This simple equation is based on the fact that economic agents , need to be compensated if their purchasing power has decreased due to an increase in the price level. What has come to be concluded as fisher effect creates a one for one relationship between expected inflation and nominal interest rates and the ex ante real rate of interest that remains constant over the over the long-run. Applying the generalized Fisher hypothesis Gultekin (1983) study find a negative regression coefficient between inflation and stock returns for 26 countries from 1947 to 1979.Thus this indicates that it could not find support for this hypothesis. In literature a negative relationship is explained between inflation and stock prices by Fama and Schwert (1977), Chen, Roll and Ross (1986) because a rise in inflation rate is prone to lead to economic tightening policies which inturn raised the nominal risk free rate and hence the discount rate in the valuation model. A number of hypotheses have been advanced in the literature to explain this negative relationship. (i) The proxy hypothesis by Fama 1981 which include a correlation between expected inflation and expected real economic growth. He tried to explain the proxy hypothesis, the relationship between returns and inflation is not true relation, it is only the proxy relationship between stock return and growth rate of real GNP with the inverse relationship between stock returns and inflation. It illustrates that high inflation rate may reduced money demand which lowers growth in real activity. Nevertheless, the rise in inflation rate decreases the future expected profit which will impact on the fall in stock prices through the Fisher (1930) hypothesis asserting that real returns are determined by real factors. The author believed that if real output growth is controlled the negative relation will cease. (ii) Modigliani and Cohn (1979) -inflation relation maybe that investors suffer from money illusion. If investors wrongly use the inflated nominal interest rate to discount future dividends they will minimize the value of equity with a resulting fall in prices. (iii)Fieldstein (1980)- the US inflation non-neutralities tax code which deforms accounting profits. He presents that taxation associated to depreciation and capital gain is affected by inflation which consequently affects asset valuation. He explained that rising inflation decreases share prices because of the interaction of inflation with the tax system.

2.1.4 Exchange rate and stock prices

In literature a number of hypotheses support the relationship between exchange rate and stock prices.

(i)'Goods market approaches' (Dornbusch and Fischer, 1980)

This approach says that changes in exchange rates influence the competitiveness of a firm as fluctuations in exchange rate affects the value of the earnings and cost of its funds as many companies borrow in foreign currencies to fund their operations and hence its stock price. A currency depreciation makes exporting goods attractive and leads to an increase in foreign demand and hence revenue for the firm and its value would appreciate and hence the stock prices. Moreover, an appreciating currency reduces profits for an exporting firm because it leads to a fall in foreign demand of its products. Nevertheless, the sensitivity of the value of an importing firm to exchange rate changes is just the opposite to that of an exporting firm. Therefore an appreciating currency has both a negative and a positive effect on the domestic stock market for an export-dominant and an import-dominated country, respectively (Ma and Kao, 1990). Furthermore, variations in exchange rates affect a firm's transaction exposure. That is, exchange rate movements also influence the value of a firm's future payables (or receivables) denominated in foreign currency. Hence on a macro basis, the impact of exchange rate fluctuations on stock market seems to depend on both the importance of a country's international trades in its economy and the degree of the trade imbalance.

(ii)Portfolio Balance approach

This approach lays emphasis on the role of capital account transaction. (Tahir and Ghani, 2004). In this approach, rising (falling) of stock prices would attract capital inflows from international investors which may cause a rise in the demand for a country's currency. An increase (decrease) in stock prices will lead to an appreciation (depreciation) in exchange rates due to an increase in the demand (supply) of local currency. However, an exogenous increase in domestic stock prices will lead to a rise in domestic wealth and as a result lead to an increase in the demand for money, thus increasing interest rates. High interest rates will cause capital inflows resulting in an appreciation of domestic currency (Krueger, 1983).

2.2 Empirical Review

2.2.1 Macroeconomics Variables and Stock prices

The work introduced by Chen, Roll and Ross (1986) explained that macroeconomic variables were affecting asset returns systematically applying the APT models namely, the spread between long and short-term interest rate, expected and unexpected inflation , industrial production and the spread between high- and low- grade bonds using 20 equally weighted portfolios of US securities from1958 to 1984. They take Industrial production to proxy for the current real cash flows, inflation influences returns as nominal cash flow growth rates are not equal to expected inflation rate, the spread between long and short term interest rates and the high or low grade bond spread affect the choice of discount rate. He found that a long term equilibrium relationship exists between stock prices and macroeconomic variables and conclude asset prices react sensitively to economic news, especially to unanticipated news. However, Hamao (1988) analyze the Japanese equity market by applying the multi-factor APT similar to Chen, Roll and Ross (1986) in US security market. Factors examined include (1) industrial production, (2) inflation, (3) investor confidence, (4) interest rate, (5) foreign exchange, and (6) oil prices. He found that stock returns are significantly affected by changes in expected inflation and unanticipated changes in risk premia and in the slope of the term structure of interest rates and that changes in monthly production and trade terms appear insignificant in asset pricing whereas unexpected changes in exchange rate and changes in oil prices are not priced in the stock market. Using the multivariate analysis, Mahmood et al (2009) analyzed the relationship between economic variables and stock price in six Asian Pacific countries . By using monthly data on foreign exchange rate , consumer price index, industrial production and stock price he finds that there is a long run relationship between the variables in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Australia. There is no such relationship between stock price and macroeconomic variables in the short run period for all countires except Thailand and Hong Kong. The results show evidence of short run relationship running from output to stock price in Thailand and between foreign exchange rate and stock price in Hong Kong. This relationship will help investors in taking effective investment decisions and policy-makers in implementing policies to support more capital inflow into the capital markets of the specific countries.


Employing cointegration analysis, Chowdhury A.R(1995) examine the issue of informational efficiency in the Dhaka Stock Exchange in Bangladesh. By using monthly data on narrow and broad money supply and stock price, he finds that the bivariate models indicate independence between stock prices and the monetary aggregated implying the market is informationally inefficient. Nonetheless, it is distinguished that bivariate models were unsuccessful to address the obvious possibility that the relationship may be driven by another variable acting both on the stock price and the money supply. Therefore the multivariate models were estimated by using two more variables namely industrial production index and the nominal exchange rate. This model demonstrates a unidirectional causality from the money supply to stock price. These results appear to be indifferent to the functional form of the variables used. Thus stock price do not reflect immediate changes in monetary policy and fail to anticipate future growth in money supply thus the market is inefficient. Using Johansen's (1998) VECM, Mukherjee and Naka (1995) examine the dynamic relationship between six macroeconomic variables and the Japanese stock market. They considered monthly data from January 1971 to December 1990 of Japanese stock market and macroeconomic variables, involving money supply, exchange rate, industrial production, inflation, long-term government bond rate and call money rate. A VECM model of seven equations was used. Obtained results illustrate that stock returns are cointegrated with a set of macroeconomic variables by providing long term equilibrium. He found a positive relationship between, money supply, exchange rate real activity and short term interest rate and a negative relationship between long term bond and inflation Using quarterly data from 1991 to 2007 Adam and Tweneboah (2008) analyzed the impact of macroeconomic variables on stock prices in Ghana using quarterly data from 1991 to 2007. They examined both the long-run and short-run dynamic relationships between the stock market index and the economic factors-inward foreign direct investment, treasury bill rate, consumer price index, average oil prices and exchange rates using a multivariate analysis and developed the following equation: Where β0 is a constant , β1,….β4 are the sensitivity of each of the macroeconomic variables to stock price and is a stationary error correction term. Variables Concept LDSI Log of stock index LCPI Log of consumer price index LXR Log of exchange rate LTB Log of treasury bills LFDI Log of foreign direct investment They found a long run cointegrating relation between macroeconomic factors and stock prices. The VECM analysis illustrates that the lagged values of inflation and interest rate have a significant impact on the stock market whereas the inward foreign direct investments, oil prices, and the exchange rate show weak influence on price changes. To examine the informational efficiency of stock market in Malaysia, Ibrahim (1999) study the dynamic relation between stock prices and seven macroeconomic variables from 1977 to 1996 and suggests there is cointegration between credit aggregates, consumer prices, foreign reserves and stock prices and there is Granger causality between foreign reserves and exchange rate in the short run. The findings strongly suggest informational inefficiency of the Malaysian market. The analysis shows that stock prices expect variation in the money supply, industrial production, and the exchange rate while they respond to the changes from long run path of credit aggregates, consumer prices and foreign reserves.

2.2.2 Money and Stock Market

Ho (1983) analyzed the relationship of money supply and stock returns for six Asian Pacific countries. The countries studied were Hong Kong, Australia, Philippines, Japan, Thailand and Singapore. By using monthly data for stock price and two money supply, M1 and M2 and by applying cointegration test and causality test , he found that there is a unidirectional causality from money supply to stock price in Japan and Philippines but found bidirectional causality in Singapore. However, Hong Kong, Australia and Thailand also found unidirectional causality but only for M2. Using quarterly data for the period 1961 to 1986 Friedman (1996), analyzed the role of the real stock price as a variable in the demand function for money .He found that real quantity of money (defined as M2) demanded relative to income is positively related to the deflated price of equities (Standard and Poor's composite) three quarters earlier and negatively related to the simultaneous real stock price. The positive relationship seemed to reflect a wealth effect; the negative, a substitution effect. The wealth effect appears stronger than the substitution effect. The volume of transactions has an appreciable impact on M1 velocity but not on M2 velocity.

2.2.3 Inflation and Stock prices

According to Fama's (1981) proxy hypothesis, expected inflation is negatively correlated with anticipated real activity that there should be a negative relationship. Kaul (1990) examined the relationship between expected inflation and the stock market and found positive returns on the stock market. He clearly models the relationship between expected inflation and stock market returns rather than using the short term interest rate as a proxy for expected inflation; his finding is consistent with Fama's (1981) proxy hypothesis and demonstrates that the relationship between stock returns and expected inflation in the US is significant and negative. Fama and Schwert (1977) found that common stock returns were negatively related to the expected component of the inflation rate and apparently also to the unexpected component from the period 1953-1971. They claimed, "We can reject the hypothesis that common stocks are a hedge against the expected monthly inflation rate." Arjoon.R et al (2010) examine the long run relationship between inflation and real stock price in South Africa by employing the bivariate vector autoregressive methodology developed by King and Watson (1997). The results indicate that real stock prices are consistent to permanent changes in the long run. The impulse response showed a positive stock price response to a permanent shock in inflation in the long run, implying that any deviations in the short run stock price will be adjusted towards the long run. Hence, the long run estimates of the real stock price response to a permanent inflation shock that are zero or positive are theoretically reasonable. It is concluded that inflation does not lower the real value of stocks in South Africa at least in the long run. Maysami 2004, reported a positive relation between inflation and Singapore stock returns as such it is contrary to the results of Fama and Schwert (1977), Nelson (1976). Adam and Tweneboah for Ghana (2008) also reported a positive relationship between inflation and stock returns. In case of CPI, the US and Japan shows a negative coefficient for the stock price.(Humpe Macmillan 2007).These results differ from the empirical works which have obtained a significant negative relationship between stock prices and inflation.

2.2.4 Exchange rate and Stock prices

The results of these studies are, however, inconclusive.

Author's Name

Time Frame


Results of Exchange Rates and Stock prices

Aggarwal (1981) 1974-1978 US Correlation analysis Positive correlation Soenen and Hanniger (1988) 1980-1986 Correlation analysis Strong negative Abdalla and Murinde (1997) 1985-1994 Pakistan Granger causality test Unidirectional causality Amare and Mohsin (2000) 1980-1998 Philippines Long run relationship Muhammad and Rasheed (2002) 1994-2000 Inida Cointegration and Granger causality test, VECM No association between exchange rate and stock price Kim (2003) 1974-1998 U.S.A ECM and Variance Decomposition Negartive relationship between S&P' and the exchange rate Doong et al. (2005) Thailand Cointegration and Granger Causality Bidirectional causality Aggarwal (1981) analyzed the impact of exchange rate changes in US stock prices by using monthly data from 1974 to 1978 for the floating exchange rate period. Employing cointegration analysis he found that there is a positive relationship between the US dollar and the changes in stock prices. However, Soenen and Hennigar (1980) analyzed the exchange rate and stock price in the same market but at different time period found a negative relationship. Moreover, Solnik(1987) examine the influence of several economic variables including exchange rates on stock prices in nine industrialized countries. He found a weak positive relation between real stock return differentials and changes in the real exchange rates and found that this would support the idea that anticipated real growth has a positive influence on the exchange rate. Hence this weak relation might be generated by the fact that stock returns are a poor proxy for real economic growth and a more complete model should be designated. The result indicates that the exchange rate proved to be a non significant factor in explaining the development of stock price. By examining the relationship between exchange rate and stock price for eight advanced economies from 1985 to 1991 Ajay and Mougoue (1996) found that there are significant short run and long run feedback relations between these two financial markets. An increase in stock price has a negative short run effects as well as a positive long run effect on domestic currency value. Also, currency depreciation has a negative both short run and long run effect on the stock market. In applying both the Engle-Granger AND Johansen's test Nieh and Lee (2001) found no significant long run relationship between stock prices and exchange rate in G-7 countries, and they conclude that each country's difference in economic stage, government policy and expectation pattern may explain the differing results. Furthermore, they found significant short term relationships for these countries. Nevertheless, in some countries, stock prices and exchange rate may serve to predict the future paths of these variables. For instance, they found that currency depreciation stimulates Canadian and UK stocks markets with a one-day lag, and that increases in stock prices cause currency depreciation in Italy and Japan, again with a one- day lag. Economists have tried to examine exchange rates-stock price relationship for a long time. Most studies find some relations and causality, other find no causality between these two variables. Furthermore, direction of causality changes from one economy to another. The inconsistency in the findings is due to the different time lags and frequency of data used. The reason for these differences can be explained by time period used for data, econometric models used and economic policies of countries.

2.3 Conclusion

The relation between inflation and stock prices should be negative as hypothesized by Fama (1981),he argued that the main determinant of the stock price is the company's future earnings potential .If inflation and future expected output in the economy are negatively correlated, then inflation may proxy for future real output. This may lead to a negative relationship between stock price and inflation. As the result of studies is conflicting, the actual relationship between money supply and stock prices is an empirical question and the effect varies over countries and time. Likewise money supply and inflation, the relationship between stock return and exchange rate is not stable overtime and that there are differences among countries regardless of either developed or emerging markets. The relationship between stock prices and rate of interest should be negative. An increase in interest rates will increase the required rate of return, causing stock prices to fall.
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