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Index Investment and Financialization of Commodities

  • Ke Tang
  • Wei Xiong

This paper finds that, concurrent with the rapid growing index investment in commodities markets since early 2000s, futures prices of different commodities in the US became increasingly correlated with each other and this trend was significantly more pronounced for commodities in the two popular GSCI and DJ-UBS commodity indices. This finding reflects a financialization process of commodities markets and helps explain the synchronized price boom and bust of a broad set of seemingly unrelated commodities in the US in 2006-2008. In contrast, such commodity price comovements were absent in China, which refutes growing commodity demands from emerging economies as the driver.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16385.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as “Index Investment and Financialization of Commodities” (with Ke Tang) Financial Analysts Journal , 2012, Vol. 68, 54-74.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16385
Note: AP ME
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  1. de Roon, F.A. & Nijman, T.E. & Veld, C.H., 2000. "Hedging pressure effects in futures markets," Other publications TiSEM 3dfe2c9f-3194-4751-9b34-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  2. 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.
  3. Silvennoinen, Annastiina & Thorp, Susan, 2013. "Financialization, crisis and commodity correlation dynamics," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 42-65.
  4. Gary Gorton & K. Geert Rouwenhorst, 2004. "Facts and Fantasies about Commodity Futures," NBER Working Papers 10595, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bessembinder, Hendrik, 1992. "Systematic Risk, Hedging Pressure, and Risk Premiums in Futures Markets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(4), pages 637-67.
  6. 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.
  7. Gary Gorton & Fumio Hayashi & K. Rouwenhorst, 2007. "The Fundamentals of Commodity Futures Returns," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2605, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Oct 2008.
  8. Erkko Etula, 2009. "Broker-dealer risk appetite and commodity returns," Staff Reports 406, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  9. Michael J. Roberts & Wolfram Schlenker, 2010. "Identifying Supply and Demand Elasticities of Agricultural Commodities: Implications for the US Ethanol Mandate," NBER Working Papers 15921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bekaert, Geert & Harvey, Campbell R., 1997. "Emerging equity market volatility," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 29-77, January.
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