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A Fear Index to Predict Oil Futures Returns

  • Julien Chevallier

    (Université Paris 8 (LED))

  • Benoît Sévi

    (Aix-Marseille Université (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS)

This paper evaluates the predictability of WTI light sweet crude oil futures by using the variance risk premium, i.e. the difference between model-free measures of implied and realized volatilities. Additional regressors known for their ability to explain crude oil futures prices are also considered, capturing macroeconomic, financial and oil-specific influences. The results indicate that the explanatory power of the (negative) variance risk premium on oil excess returns is particularly strong (up to 25% for the adjusted Rsquared across our regressions). It complements other financial (e.g. default spread) and oil-specific (e.g. US oil stocks) factors highlighted in previous literature.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2013.62.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2013.62
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