On the Lease Rate, the Convenience Yield and Speculative Effects in the Gold Futures Market
AbstractBy examining the gold leasing market and employing data on the gold forward offered rate (GOFO) and derived lease rates, we propose that rather than using the interest-adjusted basis as a proxy for the convenience yield of gold, the convenience yield is better approximated by the derived gold lease rate. Additionally, using the interest-adjusted basis as opposed to the lease rate can lead to incorrect inferences pertaining to the convenience yield. Using the lease rate, we study the relationship between gold leasing and the level of COMEX discretionary inventory. The results suggest that the lease rate has an asymmetric relationship with the level of discretionary inventory, which we calculate using weekly inventory data obtained from the COMEX futures trading exchange. Linear regressions of the level of discretionary inventory on lagged lease rates reveals that, for short-duration gold leases, bullion repayments result in decreased inventory levels. After controlling for speculative effects, we show that only leases of one month maturity have a statistically significant effect on inventory levels, and thus conclude that speculative pressure acts to increase the amount of bullion available to the gold futures market by decreasing the repayment effect. Finally, we show that the presence of speculation in gold futures contracts can be associated with increased futures contract returns and that this effect increases with increased futures contract maturity. These results suggest that speculation plays a significant role in the COMEX gold futures market.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Swiss Finance Institute in its series Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper Series with number 09-07.
Length: 64 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
central bank; commitments of traders; commodity market; convenience yield; gold futures; gold leasing; speculation;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models &bull Diffusion Processes
- E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
- G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
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