This study investigates the relationship between daily returns of oil and ten European industrial equity indices for the period 2008–2017 using the spatial econometric technique. In our settings, the historical co-movements of sectoral returns are incorporated while modelling the contemporaneous relationships between oil and European sectoral returns. After controlling for regional and global equity risk factors, we find that oil returns pose a significantly positive effect on sectoral indices’ returns in line with previous studies. However, the magnitude of economic impact found mostly by earlier studies was largely underestimated without considering the co-movements of sectoral indices. The use of spatial econometric technique allowed us to disaggregate the total impact into a direct (due to oil price) and an indirect (due to spillover effect because of intra-industry co-movements) effect of oil price changes. Our results indicate that the direct economic impact of changes in oil prices on industrial returns is almost 31% more than what has been found by earlier studies. The negative spatial dependence among sectoral indices provides a useful tool to identify the source of the indirect impact of oil on overall equity prices in Europe that in turn explains the overestimation of direct impact by 31%.
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