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The impact of numerical superstition on the final digit of stock price

Wen-Chyan Ke, Hueiling Chen, Hsiou-Wei W. Lin and Yo-Chia Liu

The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, 2017, vol. 39, issue C, 145-157

Abstract: This paper investigates the extent to which the frequency distribution of the rightmost digit of stock prices is influenced by numerical superstitions. To identify the moderating variables that strengthen the superstition for numbers, we take into account factors including the amount of information, change of tick size, Chinese festivals, and bear market effect. Furthermore, we examine whether the frequency of lucky (unlucky) numbers as the final digit of prices decreases (increases) for firms with higher trading by institutional investors. The results indicate that investors in the Taiwan Stock Exchange tend to avoid number 4. Our results also find that the effects of numerical superstitions on the frequency of the final digit decrease when the amount of information increases. Investors appear to be more likely to avoid unlucky number 4 in the following four conditions: when the tick size becomes smaller, when it is one week before Chinese New Year, when it is the seventh month in the lunar calendar, and when it is in a bear market. We further document that institutional investors are not affected by numerical superstition. Moreover, our results support the notion that informed traders buy and sell more (less) actively the stocks with a lower (higher) frequency of prices ending with 4.

Keywords: Numerical superstition; Lucky number; Unlucky number; Bear market effect; Institutional investor trading (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G02 G12 G23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecofin:v:39:y:2017:i:c:p:145-157