Comovement Dynamics between Central and Eastern European and Developed European Stock Markets during European Integration and Amid Financial Crises – A Wavelet Analysis
Stock market comovements between developed (represented in the article by markets of Austria, France, Germany, and the UK) and developing stock markets (represented here by three Central and Eastern European (CEE) markets of Slovenia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary) are of great importance for the financial decisions of international investors. From the point of view of portfolio diversification, short-term investors are more interested in the comovements of stock returns at higher frequencies (short-term movements), while long-term investors focus on lower frequencies comovements. As such, one has to resort to a time-frequency domain analysis to obtain insight about comovements at the particular time-frequency (scale) level. The empirical literature on the CEE and developed stock markets interdependence predominantly apply simple (Pearsons) correlation analysis, Granger causality tests, cointegration analysis, and GARCH modeling. None of the existent empirical studies examine time-scale comovements between CEE and developed stock market returns.
By applying a maximal overlap discrete wavelet transform correlation estimator and a running correlation technique, we investigated the dynamics of stock market return comovements between individual Central and Eastern European countries and developed European stock markets in the period from 1997-2010. By analyzing the time-varying dynamics of stock market comovements on a scale-by-scale basis, we also examined how major events (financial crises in the investigated time period and entrance to the European Union) affected the comovement of CEE stock markets with developed European stock markets.
The results of the unconditional correlation analysis show that the developed European stock markets of France, the UK, Germany and Austria were more interdependent in the observed period than the CEEs stock markets. The later group of countries exhibited a lower degree of comovement between themselves as well as with the developed European stock markets during all the observed time period. The Slovenian stock market was the least correlated with other stock markets.By using the rolling wavelet correlation technique, we wanted to answer the question as to how the correlation between CEE and developed stock markets changed over the observed period. In particular, we wanted to examine whether major economic (financial) and political events in the world and European economies (the Russian financial crisis, the dot-com financial crisis, the attack on the WTC, the CEE countries joining the European union, and the recent global financial crisis) have influenced the dynamics of CEE stock market comovements with developed European stock markets. The results show that stock market return comovements between CEE and developed European stock markets varied over time scales and time. At all scales and during the entire observed time period the Hungarian and Czech stock markets were more interconnected to developed European stock markets than the Slovenian stock market was. The highest comovement between the investigated CEE and developed European stock market returns was normally observed at the highest scales (scale 5, corresponding to stock market return dynamics over 32-64 days, and scale 6, corresponding to stock market return dynamics over 32-64 and 64-128 days). At all scales the Hungarian and Czech stock markets were more connected to developed European stock markets than the Slovenian stock market. We found that European integration lead to increased comovement between CEE and developed stock markets, while the financial crises in the observed period led only to short-term increases in stock market return comovements.