Changes in shipping freight rates predict stock market returns. In today’s global world, where economies are linked through international trade, shipping freight rates carry information about economic activity which is reflected in stock returns. Our results are statistically and economically significant and cannot be explained by time-varying risk premia as shipping freight rate changes significantly predict negative excess returns. Consistent with the delayed reaction hypothesis, it seems that investors are slow in responding to the information on changes in shipping freight rates. Moreover, results are robust across world and international stock indexes.
Keywords: Stock returns, freight rates, shipping, market efficiency
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