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Performance of Exchange Traded Funds during the Brexit Referendum: An Event Study

Akram Alkhatib () and Murad Harasheh ()
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Akram Alkhatib: Department of Economics, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 6708 Pine Street, Omaha, NE 68182, USA
Murad Harasheh: Department of Business, Finance and Law, University of Milano-Bicocca, 20126 Milan, Italy

International Journal of Financial Studies, 2018, vol. 6, issue 3, 1-12

Abstract: In today’s interrelated economies, financial information travel at speed of light to reach investors around the globe. Global financial markets experience regular shocks that transmit negative waves to other equity markets and different asset classes. Given the unique characteristics of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), this paper examines how different ETFs that are traded on London Financial center reacted to the Brexit event in 23 June 2016. The unexpected referendum result the day after is viewed as the next significant financial event since 2008. The paper employs an event study market model on daily and abnormal returns of the selected ETFs with respect to FTSE 250 around the event date. Contrary to what is expected, the world equities fund experienced significant positive abnormal return on the event day. Emerging markets again proved to be a preferred investment destination in times of financial turmoil; the emerging equities fund gained 3% while enjoying an 11.5% positive significant abnormal returns. The US T-Bond fund recorded a 9% return with a significant 7.2% abnormal return. The gold fund soared as much as 4% as investors seeks refuge from Brexit, and the oil fund retraced 1% amid concerns of slowing global demand.

Keywords: exchange-traded funds (ETFs); event study model; emerging markets; commodities; world equities; abnormal returns (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G1 G2 G3 F2 F3 F41 F42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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