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Effects of Speculation and Interest Rates in a “Carry Trade” Model of Commodity Prices

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  • Jeffrey A. Frankel

Abstract

The paper presents and estimates a model of the prices of oil and other storable commodities, a model that can be characterized as reflecting the carry trade. It focuses on speculative factors, here defined as the trade-off between interest rates on the one hand and market participants’ expectations of future price changes on the other hand. It goes beyond past research by bringing to bear new data sources: survey data to measure expectations of future changes in commodity prices and options data to measure perceptions of risk. Some evidence is found of a negative effect of interest rates on the demand for inventories and thereby on commodity prices and positive effects of expected future price gains on inventory demand and thereby on today’s commodity prices.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19463.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19463

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  1. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1976. "Expectations and Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1161-76, December.
  2. Ye, Michael & Zyren, John & Shore, Joanne, 2005. "A monthly crude oil spot price forecasting model using relative inventories," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 491-501.
  3. Bopp, Anthony E. & Lady, George M., 1991. "A comparison of petroleum futures versus spot prices as predictors of prices in the future," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 274-282, October.
  4. Robert B. Barsky & Lutz Kilian, 2002. "Do We Really Know that Oil Caused the Great Stagflation? A Monetary Alternative," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 137-198 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Frankel, Jeffrey & Rose, Andrew K., 2010. "Determinants of Agricultural and Mineral Commodity Prices," Working Paper Series rwp10-038, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  6. Ron Alquist & Lutz Kilian & Robert J. Vigfusson, 2011. "Forecasting the Price of Oil," Working Papers 11-15, Bank of Canada.
  7. Ron Alquist & Lutz Kilian, 2010. "What do we learn from the price of crude oil futures?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(4), pages 539-573.
  8. Christiane Baumeister & Lutz Kilian, 2013. "What Central Bankers Need to Know about Forecasting Oil Prices," Working Papers 13-15, Bank of Canada.
  9. Robert Barsky & Lutz Kilian, 2004. "Oil and the Macroeconomy Since the 1970s," NBER Working Papers 10855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2006. "The Effect of Monetary Policy on Real Commodity Prices," NBER Working Papers 12713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. James D. Hamilton & Jing Cynthia Wu, 2013. "Risk Premia in Crude Oil Futures Prices," NBER Working Papers 19056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1987. "Commodity Futures Prices: Some Evidence on Forecast Power, Premiums,and the Theory of Storage," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(1), pages 55-73, January.
  13. Ye, Michael & Zyren, John & Shore, Joanne, 2006. "Forecasting short-run crude oil price using high- and low-inventory variables," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 2736-2743, November.
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