Selective Hedging, Information Asymmetry, and Futures Prices
Evidence from hedging practices suggests that firms will hedge only if they expect that unfavorable events will arise. In markets with a significant degree of information asymmetry in which hedgers are oligopolists with superior knowledge concerning supply and demand, such as oil and gas futures, we contend that these companies will selectively hedge price movements, causing sharp price adjustments upon resolution of information asymmetry. Using aggregate analysts' surprise as a proxy for the degree of information asymmetry, we show that positive aggregate surprises lead to a price decline for futures, which indicates that these firms unload their futures when the outlook is favorable.
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