DO MONEY AND INTEREST RATES MATTER FOR STOCK PRICES? AN ECONOMETRIC STUDY OF SINGAPORE AND USA
This paper examines the long-term as well as short-term equilibrium relationships between the major stock indices and selected macroeconomic variables (such as money supply and interest rate) of Singapore and the United States by employing the advanced time series analysis techniques that include cointegration, Johansen multivariate cointegrated system, fractional cointegration and Granger causality. The cointegration results based on data covering the period January 1982 to December 2002 suggest that Singapore's stock prices generally display a long-run equilibrium relationship with interest rate and money supply (M1) but a similar relationship does not hold for the United States. To capture the short-run dynamics of the relationship, we replicate the same experiments with different subsets of data representing shorter time periods. It is evident that stock markets in Singapore moved in tandem with interest rate and money supply before the Asian Crisis of 1997, but this pattern was not observed after the crisis. In the United States, stock prices were strongly cointegrated with macroeconomic variables before the 1987 equity crisis but the relationships gradually weakened and totally disappeared with the emergence of Asian Crisis that also indirectly affected the United States. The results of fractional cointegration and the Johansen multivariate system are consistent with the earlier cointegration results that both Singapore and US stock markets did possess equilibrium relationships with M1 and interest rate at the early days. However, the stability of the systems was disturbed by a series of well-known financial turbulence in the past two decades and eventually weakened for Singapore and completely disappeared for the US. This may imply that monetary authority may take action to respond to the asset price turbulence in order to maintain the stability of monetary economy and thus break the existing equilibrium between stock markets and macroeconomic variables like interest rate and M1. Another possible explanation is that the market became more efficient after 1997 Asian crisis. Finally, the results of Granger causality tests uncover some systematic causal relationships, implying that stock market performance might be a good gauge for Central Bank's monetary policy adjustment.
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