Downside risk in Dow Jones Islamic equity indices: Precious metals and portfolio diversification before and after the COVID-19 bear market
Besides great turmoil in financial markets, the COVID-19 pandemic also disrupted the global supply chain, putting the precious metal market into great uncertainty. In this study, we revisit the diversifying role of precious metals – gold, silver, and platinum – for six Dow Jones Islamic (DJI) equity index portfolios using a battery of tests: dynamic conditional correlations (DCCs), four-moment modified value at risk (VaR) and conditional VaR, and global minimum-variance (GMV) portfolio approach. Our empirical results exhibit drastically increased DCCs between sample assets during the COVID period; however, pairing gold with any of the DJI equity indices (except for the Asia-Pacific region) decreases the downside risk of these portfolios. Other precious metals (silver and platinum) do not provide such benefits. Furthermore, we find that a higher allocation of wealth in DJI Japanese equities and gold is required to achieve a GMV portfolio in the post-COVID-19 era, implying higher transaction (hedging) costs to rebalance portfolios (weights) accordingly. Our out-of-sample tests examining the global financial crisis, European debt crisis, and extended sample (2000–2020) periods yield similar findings as gold glitters across all market conditions. Overall, our findings provide notable practical implications for both domestic and international investors.