Want higher stock returns? Wait for last days of a month!

These are the findings of an analysts' team from global research firm Macquaire, who poured over data since 1988 about various indices worldwide including MSCI India.
"Returns around the change of a calendar month account for all positive returns in equity markets," the analysts' said in their research report.
Noting that daily data since 1988 for a variety of indices were used, the report said there is a strong surge in returns can be seen leading into the turn of the month.
"The effect is not just an Asian effect – it happens globally," Macquaire added.
The results are based on analysis of 32 global (Morgan Stanley Composite) indices. Their average daily returns of the two days before and the two days after the turn of the month were compared to the average daily returns for the rest of the month.
"Of the 32 markets analysed, "all showed higher-than average returns around the turn of the month. And for many of the markets, the average return for the rest of the month was below, or close to zero," the report said.
On the other hand, the research has also concluded that lunar cycles too affects stock market returns.

Based on daily data from the MSCI indices, the research found that in many markets, there was an increase in average returns, especially while leading into the lunar new month.
According to the report, the trend is extremely consistent throughout the global equity markets.
"If we look at the five trading days leading into, and five trading days leading out of the new moon period, and compare that with the rest of the month, we note that every market showed a very slight increase in the average return over the new moon period," it said.
For arriving at lunar data, Macquaire used the Chinese lunar calendar rather than the actual lunar cycle, which have some small differences.

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