Essays on the Scandinavian Stock Markets
Abstract: This thesis consists of three self-contained empirical essays related to the stock markets in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.In Essay I, the time-series dynamics of liquidity on the Scandinavian stock exchanges between January 1993 and June 2005 are studied with liquidity indices. We observe that on all Scandinavian stock exchanges, liquidity has increased during the examined period. However, the monthly variation in liquidity is large. Moreover, within these order-driven stock exchanges, the relationship between the market variables return, volatility, trading activity, and liquidity is examined in a VAR framework. In line with previous findings on the U.S. stock markets, we find that an increase in return predicts higher liquidity, that there is a negative relationship between volatility and liquidity, and that a positive shock in trading activity predicts increasing liquidity. However, in comparison to previous studies on U.S. stock exchanges, our results indicate that liquidity is more dependent on trading activity in the Scandinavian order-driven markets. Finally, the linkage between these stock exchanges in terms of liquidity is explored with VAR. In these VAR, we find evidence of liquidity spillover between the Scandinavian stock exchanges.Essay II evaluates 14 macroeconomic variables' ability to forecast changes in monthly liquidity on the Scandinavian order-driven stock exchanges. Every macroeconomic variable is evaluated both out-of-sample and in-sample and against three different benchmark models of market variables and asymmetries concerning up and down markets. Policy rate on Copenhagen, broad money growth on Oslo, and short-term interest rate and flows from mutual funds on Stockholm significantly improve the out-of-sample forecasts of liquidity at these exchanges. However, most proposed macroeconomic variables can be rejected as forecasters of liquidity on the Scandinavian stock exchanges. There are many variables that predict in-sample liquidity that do not forecast out-of-sample. This stresses the importance of conducting out-of-sample tests when examining whether macroeconomic variables predict liquidity. In addition, this is the first paper confirming that stock market liquidity can be forecast out-of-sample.Essay III examines whether the pairwise comovement between stocks quoted on the Stockholm stock exchange can be correctly quantified by the Gaussian copula, i.e., by linear correlation. Two different methods are used to test whether the dependence on the Swedish stock market can be modeled by the Gaussian copula. From these tests, we come to the conclusion that the Gaussian copula is not an appropriate choice of copula for the Swedish stock market. We also come to the same conclusion when observing sector and industry indices on the Swedish stock market. However, if performing a GARCH filtering of the return series, there is a substantial decrease in the number of pairs of either stocks or indices for which the Gaussian copula can be rejected. For the two test methods, a notable difference in the rejection rate of the Gaussian copula can also be observed.
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