Stock Markets' Dynamics in Oil-Dependent Economies: Evidence from the GCC Countries

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Sbeiti, Wafaa
Haddad, Ayman
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This paper investigates the relationship between stock prices and main macroeconomic variables (i.e. oil prices, short-term interest rate and domestic credit) that are believed to affect stock prices in the context of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) markets. For this purpose, this paper employed recent time series techniques of cointegration and Granger causality tests. The multivariate cointegration tests identified that oil prices, interest rates and domestic credit have long-term equilibrium effects on stock market prices in four GCC countries. In addition, the Granger causality test highlighted that the causality is running from oil prices to the stock price index in the case of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman. Also, the causal flow from the domestic credit to the index has been found in the case of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia; while the interest rate has causal effect on the stock price index in the case of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman. Further assessment of the relationship between these variables, based on generalised variance decomposition and generalised impulse response functions, reveals the importance of oil prices in explaining a significant part of the forecast error variance of the index in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman. Most of the variations in the stock prices can be captured by innovations in the three selected variables. Therefore, the causal relationship that macroeconomic variables granger caused stock prices are quantitatively supported by innovation analysis.
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