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Macroeconomic uncertainty and emerging market stock market volatility: The case for South Africa

This paper analyses how systematic risk emanating from the macro-economy is transmitted into stock market volatility using augmented autoregressive GARCH (AR-GARCH) and Vector autoregression models. Also examined is whether the relationship between the two is bidirectional. By imposing dummies for the 1997-98 Asian and the 2007-2008 sub-prime financial crises, the study further analyses whether financial crises affect the relationship between macroeconomic uncertainty and stock market volatility. The findings show that macroeconomic uncertainty significantly influences stock market volatility. Although volatilities in inflation, the gold price and the oil price seem to play a role, it is found that volatility in short-term interest rates and exchange rates are the most important, suggesting that South African domestic financial markets are increasingly becoming interdependent. Finally, the results show that financial crises increase volatility in stock market and in most macroeconomic variables and, by so doing, strengthen the effects of changes in macroeconomic variables on the stock market.

Working Paper 187
1 September 2010
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