Factors Affecting International Equity Returns

Macroeconomic factors, exchange rates, and industrial structures affect international equity returns.

Macroeconomic Factors

Solnik (1984) examined the effect of exchange rate fluctuations, interest rate differences, the domestic interest rate, and changes in domestic inflation expectations. He found that international monetary variables had only weak influence on equity returns. Asprem (1989) stated that fluctuations in industrial production, employment, imports, interest rates, and an inflation measure affect a small portion of the equity returns.

Exchange Rates

Adler and Simon (1986) tested the sample of foreign equity and bond index returns to exchange rate changes. They found that exchange rate changes generally had a variability of foreign bond indexes than foreign equity indexes. However, some foreign equity markets were more vulnerable to exchange rate changes than the foreign bond markets.

Industrial Structure

Roll (1992) concluded that the industrial structure of a country was important in explaining a significant part of the correlation structure of international equity index returns.

In contrast, Eun and Resnick (1984) found that the correlation structure of international security returns could be better estimated by recognized country factors rather than industry factors.

Heston and Rouwenhorst (1994) stated that “industrial structure explains very little of the cross-sectional difference in country returns volatility, and that the low correlation between country indices is almost completely due to country-specific sources of variation.”

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