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Bid-ask spreads in commodity futures markets

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  • Henry Bryant
  • Michael Haigh

Abstract

Issues of recent interest and controversy regarding bid-ask spreads in commodity futures markets are investigated. First, competing spread estimators are applied to open outcry transactions data and resulting estimates are compared to observed spreads. This enables market microstructure researchers, regulators, exchange officials, and traders the opportunity to evaluate the usefulness and accuracy of bid-ask estimators in markets that do not report bid and ask data, providing an idea of the 'worst-case' transaction costs that are likely to be incurred. Also compared, are spreads observed before and after trading was automated (and made anonymous) on commodity futures markets, and it is discovered that spreads have generally widened since trading was automated, and that they have an increased tendency to widen in periods of high volatility. These findings suggest that commodity futures markets have an inherently different character than financial futures markets, and therefore merit separate investigation.

Suggested Citation

  • Henry Bryant & Michael Haigh, 2004. "Bid-ask spreads in commodity futures markets," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(13), pages 923-936.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apfiec:v:14:y:2004:i:13:p:923-936
    DOI: 10.1080/0960310042000284669
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Timotheos Angelidis & Alexandros Benos, 2009. "The Components of the Bid-Ask Spread: the Case of the Athens Stock Exchange," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 15(1), pages 112-144.
    2. Mizrach, Bruce & Otsubo, Yoichi, 2014. "The market microstructure of the European climate exchange," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 107-116.
    3. Julieta Frank & Philip Garcia, 2010. "Bid-Ask Spreads, Volume, and Volatility: Evidence from Livestock Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(1), pages 209-225.
    4. Janzen, Joseph P. & Smith, Aaron D. & Carter, Colin A., 2012. "The Quality of Price Discovery and the Transition to Electronic Trade: The Case of Cotton Futures," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 125024, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Riza Emekter & Benjamas Jirasakuldech & Peter Went, 2012. "Rational speculative bubbles and commodities markets: application of duration dependence test," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(7), pages 581-596, April.
    6. Shah, Samarth & Brorsen, B. Wade & Anderson, Kim B., 2012. "Effective Bid-Ask Spreads in Futures versus Futures Options," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 37(3), December.
    7. John M. Fry & Baoying Lai, 2011. "The interdependence of Coffee spot and futures markets," Working Papers 2011.1, International Network for Economic Research - INFER.

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