COVID-19, Oil Price, Bitcoin, and US Economic Policy Uncertainty: Evidence from ARDL Model

  •  Hanan Naser    


The pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19) creates fear and uncertainty causing extraordinary disruption to financial markets and global economy. Witnessing the fastest selloff in the American stock market in history with a plunge of more than 28% in S&P 500 has increased the volatility of global financial market to exceed the level observed during the financial crisis of 2008. On the other hand, Bitcoin value has shown considerable stability in the last couple of months peaking at $10,367.53 in the mid of February 2020. In this context, the aim of this paper is to investigate the impact of COVID-19 numbers on Bitcoin price taking into consideration number of controlling variables including WTI-oil price, S&P 500 index, financial market volatility, gold prices, and economic policy uncertainty of the US. To do so, ARDL estimation has been applied using daily data from December 31, 2019 till May 20, 2020. Key findings reveal that the daily reported cases of new infections have a marginal positive impact on Bitcoin price in the long term. However, the indirect impact associated with the fear of COVID-19 pandemic via financial market stress cannot be neglected. Bitcoin can also serve as a hedging tool against the economic policy uncertainty in the long term. In the short run, while the returns of economic policy uncertainty have no impact on Bitcoin price, the growth in the new cases of COVID-19 infection and returns of financial market volatility have more positive significant impact on Bitcoin returns.

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