Understanding world metals prices--Returns, volatility and diversification
In recent times, the prices of internationally traded metals have reached record highs and there is considerable uncertainty regarding their future. This phenomenon is partially driven by strong demand from a small number of emerging economies, such as China and India. This paper uses a long time-series (1900-2007) on 21 metals prices to investigate their properties, and presents unique features of their volatility, including a decomposition into within- and between-group components. If most volatility is commodity-specific rather than "global", then metals-exporting dependent economies can smooth income via diversification.
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