Iceland’s Euro Fairytale Looks Like a Stock Market Boost

Scoring goals is good for shares. That, at least, is the experience of Iceland, where stock market rallies have saluted the national soccer team’s fairy-tale performance at the Euro 2016 championships in France.

The correlation shown in the chart might be spurious, of course. Analysts at Arion Bank note that trade volumes on the Icelandic stock market are relatively low at the moment, since the "roads are empty during games and nothing else seems to be on the news."

But they also point to evidence that suggests success in a major international tournament may lead to a beneficial feel-good factor for the economy.

While "it’s hard to measure euphoria in economic data," positive returns are expected, particularly through a growth in tourism, says Marino Melsted, head forecaster at Statistics Iceland in Reykjavik.

But with a sizable chunk of the country’s 330,000 citizens in France to follow the national team -- Icelanders bought some 27,000 tickets to the games, according to Arion -- the short-term impact on gross domestic product could be negative.

“We would see a drop in domestic credit card turnover and a bump up in services imports, which is where spending abroad is placed,” Melsted said in an email.

Still, if the chart above is anything to go by, investors might want to consider buying into the Icelandic stock market on Monday, should the tournament’s ultimate underdogs succeed in defying the odds and defeating hosts and favorites France on Sunday at the Stade De France in Paris.

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