Research Discussion Paper – RDP 9301 The Response of Australian Stock, Foreign Exchange and Bond Markets to Foreign Asset Returns and Volatilities


This paper is a data-analytic study of the relationships among international asset price volatilities and the time-varying correlations of asset returns in a small open economy (Australia) with international asset returns.

Making use of recent developments in time-series approaches to volatility estimation, impulse response functions, variance decomposition, and Kalman filtering, I show that the Australian stock market volatility is most closely linked with volatility in the UK stock market, and the correlation of Australian stock returns with UK returns are high when there is increasing turbulence in financial markets. Volatility in the Australian dollar/US dollar exchange rate is most closely linked with volatility measures of the US dollar/Canadian dollar rate, and volatility in Australian long-term bond yields is most closely linked to volatility measures of long term German bond returns.

The results indicate that asset markets in a small open economy can adapt in different ways during periods of high or increasing volatility. The ways in which domestic volatility measures react to foreign turbulence, and the ways in which domestic returns correlate with international returns, depend on the particular circumstances (such as transactions costs and degree of risk aversion) which prevail in each financial market.

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