Investor herds and oil prices evidence in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) equity markets

This paper scrutinizes the effect of crude oil prices on herd behavior among investors in the GulfCooperation Council (GCC) stock markets. UsingŞrm level data from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait,Bahrain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi stock exchanges, we examine equity return dispersions within industryportfolios and test whether investor herds exist in these markets. We then assess whether crude oil pricemovements have any effect on the investment behavior of traders in the aforementioned markets. OurŞndings reveal signiŞcant evidence supporting herd behavior in all GCC equity markets with theexception of Oman and Qatar, more consistently during periods of market losses. Furthermore, weŞndsigniŞcant oil price effects on herd behavior in these markets, particularly during periods of extremepositive changes in the price of oil. OurŞndings suggest that investors’ tendency to act as a herd in thesaid markets is signiŞcantly affected by the developments in the oil market.

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