The Role of Financial Speculation in Driving the Price of Crude Oil
Over the past 10 years, financial firms have increased the size of their positions in the oil futures market. At the same time, oil prices have increased dramatically. The conjunction of these developments has led some observers to argue that financial speculation caused the run-up in oil prices. Yet several arguments cast doubt on the validity of this claim. First, although the stock of open futures contracts is many times larger than the flow of oil consumption in the United States, comparing these two statistics is misleading. Stocks are not measured with respect to a specific unit of time but flows are, so the two are not directly comparable. Second, empirical analysis shows that changes in financial firms’ positions do not predict oil-price changes, but that oil-price changes predict changes in positions. Third, the evidence indicates that financial firms’ positions did not cause the market to expect persistent price increases during 2007/08. Other explanations for the increase in oil prices include macroeconomic fundamentals, such as interest rates and increased demand from emerging Asia. Of these two explanations, the one that seems most consistent with the facts explains oil-price fluctuations in terms of large and persistent demand shocks related to growth in global real activity in the presence of supply constraints.
|Date of creation:||2011|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 234 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0G9, Canada|
Phone: 613 782-8845
Fax: 613 782-8874
Web page: http://www.bank-banque-canada.ca/
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kilian, Lutz, 2006.
"Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
5994, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Lutz Kilian, 2009. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1053-69, June.
- James L. Smith, 2009.
"World Oil: Market or Mayhem?,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 145-64, Summer.
- Kilian, Lutz & Murphy, Daniel P, 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.
- Lutz Kilian & Daniel P. Murphy, 2014. "The Role Of Inventories And Speculative Trading In The Global Market For Crude Oil," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(3), pages 454-478, 04.
- Sanders, Dwight R. & Irwin, Scott H. & Merrin, Robert P., 2008.
"The Adequacy of Speculation in Agricultural Futures Markets: Too Much of a Good Thing?,"
Marketing and Outlook Research Reports
37512, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics.
- Dwight R. Sanders & Scott H. Irwin & Robert P. Merrin, 2010. "The Adequacy of Speculation in Agricultural Futures Markets: Too Much of a Good Thing?," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 32(1), pages 77-94.
- Sanders, Dwight R. & Irwin, Scott H. & Merrin, Robert P., 2008. "The Adequacy of Speculation in Agricultural Futures Markets:Too Much of a Good Thing?," 2008 Conference, April 21-22, 2008, St. Louis, Missouri 37615, NCCC-134 Conference on Applied Commodity Price Analysis, Forecasting, and Market Risk Management.
- Anzuini, Alessio & Lombardi, Marco J. & Pagano, Patrizio, 2010.
"The impact of monetary policy shocks on commodity prices,"
Working Paper Series
1232, European Central Bank.
- A. Anzuini & M. J. Lombardi & P. Pagano, 2013. "The Impact of Monetary Policy Shocks on Commodity Prices," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 9(3), pages 125-150, September.
- Alessio Anzuini & Marco J. Lombardi & Patrizio Pagano, 2012. "The impact of monetary policy shocks on commodity prices," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 851, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
- Lutz Kilian & Bruce Hicks, 2013.
"Did Unexpectedly Strong Economic Growth Cause the Oil Price Shock of 2003–2008?,"
Journal of Forecasting,
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(5), pages 385-394, 08.
- 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.
- C. Baumeister & G. Peersman & -, 2010. "Sources of the Volatility Puzzle in the Crude Oil Market," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 10/634, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
- Fung, William & Hsieh, David A., 2000. "Measuring the market impact of hedge funds," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 1-36, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bca:bocadp:11-6. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.