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Title: Stock markets' responses to COVID-19 in developing countries: evidence from the SAARC region

Authors: P.K. Mishra; S.K. Mishra

Addresses: Central University of Punjab, Ghudda, Bathinda, Punjab, 151401, India ' Siksha 'O' Anusandhan (Deemed to be University), Jagamohan Nagar, Jagamara, Bhubaneswar, Dist. Khordha, State: Odisha, 751030, India

Abstract: This study examined the stock markets' responses to the unprecedented outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in SAARC countries. The results support these countries' surge in stock market return volatilities amid the rapid spread of the COVID-19 infection caused by investors' pessimistic sentiments. The intensive media coverage of information related to the pandemic has weakened investors' sentiments and caused sudden market plunges in the SAARC region. During the pandemic, the performances of the stock markets in SAARC countries are found to be influenced by the number of COVID-19 confirmed and death cases, and movements in the fear index. The implication is that the stock markets of the SAARC region do not qualify to be semi-strong information efficient. This implication is important for investors.

Keywords: COVID-19; stock market; return volatility; investors' behaviour; SAARC.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGENVI.2022.122937

International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, 2022 Vol.21 No.1, pp.59 - 81

Received: 11 Jan 2021
Accepted: 05 Nov 2021

Published online: 17 May 2022 *

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