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Speculation in the oil market

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  • Luciana Juvenal
  • Ivan Petrella

Abstract

The run-up in oil prices after 2004 coincided with a growing flow of investment to commodity markets and an increased price comovement between different commodities. We analyze whether speculation in the oil market played a key role in driving this salient empirical pattern. We identify oil shocks from a large dataset using a factor-augmented autoregressive (FAVAR) model. We analyze the role of speculation in comparison to supply and demand forces as drivers of oil prices. The main results are as follows: (i) While global demand shocks account for the largest share of oil price fluctuations, financial speculative demand shocks are the second most important driver. (ii) The comovement between oil prices and the price of other commodities is explained by global demand and financial speculative demand shocks. (iii) The increase in oil prices in the last decade is mainly explained by the strength of global demand. However, financial speculation played a significant role in the oil price increase between 2004 and 2008, and its subsequent collapse. Our results support the view that the financialization process of commodity markets explains part of the recent increase in oil prices.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2011-027.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2011-027

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Keywords: Petroleum products - Prices ; Vector autoregression ; Speculation;

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References

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  1. Alquist, Ron & Kilian, Lutz, 2007. "What Do We Learn from the Price of Crude Oil Futures?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6548, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Kilian, Lutz & Rebucci, Alessandro & Spatafora, Nikola, 2007. "Oil Shocks and External Balances," CEPR Discussion Papers 6303, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Hicks, Bruce & Kilian, Lutz, 2009. "Did Unexpectedly Strong Economic Growth Cause the Oil Price Shock of 2003-2008?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7265, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Mario Forni & Domenico Giannone & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2007. "Opening the Black Box: Structural Factor Models with Large Cross-Sections," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 008, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics.
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  19. Luciana Juvenal & Ivan Petrella, 2012. "Speculation in the oil market," Economic Synopses, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
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  23. Kilian, Lutz & Murphy, Dan, 2010. "The Role of Inventories and Speculative Trading in the Global Market for Crude Oil," CEPR Discussion Papers 7753, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Selien De Schryder & Gert Peersman, 2013. "The U.S. Dollar Exchange Rate and the Demand for Oil," CESifo Working Paper Series 4126, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Luciana Juvenal & Ivan Petrella, 2012. "Speculation in the oil market," Economic Synopses, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  3. repec:ipg:wpaper:31 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Morana, Claudio, 2013. "Oil price dynamics, macro-finance interactions and the role of financial speculation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 206-226.
  5. Etienne, Xiaoli L. & Irwin, Scott H. & Garcia, Philip, 2013. "Dissecting Corn Price Movements with Directed Acyclic Graphs," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 151279, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  6. Sévi, Benoît & Le Pen, Yannick, 2013. "Futures trading and the excess comovement of commodity prices," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/11382, Paris Dauphine University.
  7. repec:ipg:wpaper:19 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Fattouh, Bassam & Kilian, Lutz & Mahadeva, Lavan, 2012. "The Role of Speculation in Oil Markets: What Have We Learned So Far?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8916, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Marc Joëts, 2013. "Heterogeneous beliefs, regret, and uncertainty: The role of speculation in energy price dynamics," Working Papers 2013-031, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
  10. Irwin, Scott H. & Sanders, Dwight R., 2012. "Financialization and Structural Change in Commodity Futures Markets," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 44(03), August.
  11. Michael Sockin & Wei Xiong, 2013. "Informational Frictions and Commodity Markets," NBER Working Papers 18906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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