IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Macro factors in oil futures returns

  • Le Pen, Yannick
  • Sévi, Benoît

We investigate the macro factors that can explain the monthly oil futures return for the NYMEX WTI futures contract for the time period 1993:11 to 2010:03. We build a new database of 187 real and nominal macroeconomic variables from developed and emerging countries and resort to the large factor approximate model to extract 9 factors from this dataset. We then regress crude oil return on several combinations of these factors. Our best model explains around 38% of the variability of oil futures return. More interestingly, the factor which has the largest influence on crude oil price is related to real variables from emerging countries. This result confirms the latest finding in the literature that the recent evolution in oil price is attributable to change in supply and demand conditions and not to the large increase in trading activity from speculators.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/11663.

in new window

Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in International Economics, 2011, Vol. 126-127. pp. 13-38.Length: 25 pages
Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/11663
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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.:

as in new window
  1. Yu-Chin Chen & Kenneth Rogoff & Barbara Rossi, 2008. "Can Exchange Rates Forecast Commodity Prices?," NBER Working Papers 13901, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Knetsch, Thomas A., 2006. "Forecasting the price of crude oil via convenience yield predictions," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2006,12, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  3. Ben Bernanke & Jean Boivin & Piotr S. Eliasz, 2005. "Measuring the Effects of Monetary Policy: A Factor-augmented Vector Autoregressive (FAVAR) Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 387-422, January.
  4. Forni M. & Hallin M., 2003. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: One-Sided Estimation and Forecasting," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 143, Society for Computational Economics.
  5. Reinhart, Carmen & Borensztein, Eduardo, 1994. "The determinants of commodity prices," MPRA Paper 13870, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Alquist, Ron & Kilian, Lutz, 2007. "What Do We Learn from the Price of Crude Oil Futures?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6548, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Faria, João Ricardo & Mollick, André Varella & Albuquerque, Pedro H. & León-Ledesma, Miguel A., 2009. "The effect of oil price on China's exports," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 793-805, December.
  8. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2006. "Confidence Intervals for Diffusion Index Forecasts and Inference for Factor-Augmented Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 1133-1150, 07.
  9. Bai, Jushan & Ng, Serena, 2008. "Large Dimensional Factor Analysis," Foundations and Trends(R) in Econometrics, now publishers, vol. 3(2), pages 89-163, June.
  10. Bekaert, Geert & Hodrick, Robert J, 1992. " Characterizing Predictable Components in Excess Returns on Equity and Foreign Exchange Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 467-509, June.
  11. Viral V. Acharya & Lars A. Lochstoer & Tarun Ramadorai, 2011. "Limits to Arbitrage and Hedging: Evidence from Commodity Markets," NBER Working Papers 16875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Zagaglia, Paolo, 2010. "Macroeconomic factors and oil futures prices: A data-rich model," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 409-417, March.
  13. François Lescaroux & Valérie Mignon, 2008. "On the Influence of Oil Prices on Economic Activity and Other Macroeconomic and Financial Variables," Working Papers 2008-05, CEPII research center.
  14. Eduardo Borensztein & Damiano Sandri & Olivier Jeanne, 2009. "Macro-Hedging for Commodity Exporters," IMF Working Papers 09/229, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Lutz Kilian & Clara Vega, 2011. "Do Energy Prices Respond to U.S. Macroeconomic News? A Test of the Hypothesis of Predetermined Energy Prices," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 660-671, May.
  16. Boivin, Jean & Ng, Serena, 2006. "Are more data always better for factor analysis?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 169-194, May.
  17. repec:idb:brikps:72498 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Sydney Ludvigson & Serena Ng, 2006. "The Empirical Risk-Return Relation: a factor analysis approach," 2006 Meeting Papers 236, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  19. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1504, Econometric Society.
  20. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 2002. "Macroeconomic Forecasting Using Diffusion Indexes," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(2), pages 147-62, April.
  21. Jean Boivin & Serena Ng, 2005. "Understanding and Comparing Factor-Based Forecasts," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(3), December.
  22. Giovanni Caggiano & George Kapetanios & Vincent Labhard, 2011. "Are more data always better for factor analysis? Results for the euro area, the six largest euro area countries and the UK," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(8), pages 736-752, December.
  23. Pindyck, Robert S & Rotemberg, Julio J, 1993. "The Comovement of Stock Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(4), pages 1073-1104, November.
  24. Jushan Bai, 2003. "Inferential Theory for Factor Models of Large Dimensions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 135-171, January.
  25. Stock J.H. & Watson M.W., 2002. "Forecasting Using Principal Components From a Large Number of Predictors," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 1167-1179, December.
  26. Gilbert, Christopher L, 1989. "The Impact of Exchange Rates and Developing Country Debt on Commodity Prices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 773-84, September.
  27. Ke Tang & Wei Xiong, 2010. "Index Investment and Financialization of Commodities," NBER Working Papers 16385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Kaufmann, Robert K., 2011. "The role of market fundamentals and speculation in recent price changes for crude oil," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 105-115, January.
  29. Nikolay Gospodinov & Serena Ng, 2013. "Commodity Prices, Convenience Yields, and Inflation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 206-219, March.
  30. Stephen P. A. Brown & Mine K. Yucel, 2008. "What Drives Natural Gas Prices?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 45-60.
  31. Kapetanios, George, 2010. "A Testing Procedure for Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models With Large Datasets," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(3), pages 397-409.
  32. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 2006. "Forecasting with Many Predictors," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
  33. Wheatley, Simon M., 1989. "A critique of latent variable tests of asset pricing models," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 325-338, August.
  34. Brown, Stephen P. A. & Yucel, Mine K., 2002. "Energy prices and aggregate economic activity: an interpretative survey," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 193-208.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/11663. 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: (Alexandre Faure)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.