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Effects of Speculation and Interest Rates in a "Carry Trade" Model of Commodity Prices

  • Jeffrey A. Frankel

The paper presents and estimates a model of the prices of oil and other storable commodities, a model that can be characterized as reflecting the carry trade. It focuses on speculative factors, here defined as the trade-off between interest rates on the one hand and market participants' expectations of future price changes on the other hand. It goes beyond past research by bringing to bear new data sources: survey data to measure expectations of future changes in commodity prices and options data to measure perceptions of risk. Some evidence is found of a negative effect of interest rates on the demand for inventories and thereby on commodity prices and positive effects of expected future price gains on inventory demand and thereby on today's commodity prices.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19463.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Publication status: published as Frankel, Jeffrey A., 2014. "Effects of speculation and interest rates in a “carry trade” model of commodity prices," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 88-112.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19463
Note: ITI IFM
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  1. Deaton, Angus & Laroque, Guy, 1996. "Competitive Storage and Commodity Price Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 896-923, October.
  2. Frankel, Jeffrey & Rose, Andrew K., 2010. "Determinants of Agricultural and Mineral Commodity Prices," Working Paper Series rwp10-038, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Ye, Michael & Zyren, John & Shore, Joanne, 2005. "A monthly crude oil spot price forecasting model using relative inventories," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 491-501.
  4. Robert B. Barsky & Lutz Kilian, 2004. "Oil and the Macroeconomy Since the 1970s," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(4), pages 115-134, Fall.
  5. Antonio Merino & Alvaro Ortiz, 2005. "Explaining the so-called "price premium" in oil markets," OPEC Energy Review, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, vol. 29(2), pages 133-152, 06.
  6. Baumeister, Christiane & Kilian, Lutz, 2012. "What Central Bankers Need to Know about Forecasting Oil Prices," CEPR Discussion Papers 9118, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Baumeister, Christiane & Kilian, Lutz, 2011. "Real-Time Forecasts of the Real Price of Oil," CEPR Discussion Papers 8414, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Robert B. Barsky & Lutz Kilian, 2001. "Do We Really Know that Oil Caused the Great Stagflation? A Monetary Alternative," NBER Working Papers 8389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1976. "Expectations and Exchange Rate Dynamics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1161-76, December.
  10. Hamilton, James D. & Wu, Jing Cynthia, 2014. "Risk premia in crude oil futures prices," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 9-37.
  11. Frankel, Jeffrey A & Hardouvelis, Gikas A, 1985. "Commodity Prices, Money Surprises and Fed Credibility," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 17(4), pages 425-38, November.
  12. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 2008. "The Effect of Monetary Policy on Real Commodity Prices," NBER Chapters, in: Asset Prices and Monetary Policy, pages 291-333 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Gary B. Gorton & Fumio Hayashi & K. Geert Rouwenhorst, 2013. "The Fundamentals of Commodity Futures Returns," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 17(1), pages 35-105.
  14. Balabanoff, Stefan, 1995. "Oil futures prices and stock management A cointegration analysis," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 205-210, July.
  15. Bopp, Anthony E. & Lady, George M., 1991. "A comparison of petroleum futures versus spot prices as predictors of prices in the future," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 274-282, October.
  16. Alquist, Ron & Kilian, Lutz & Vigfusson, Robert J., 2011. "Forecasting the Price of Oil," CEPR Discussion Papers 8388, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Breeden, Douglas T, 1980. " Consumption Risk in Futures Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 35(2), pages 503-20, May.
  18. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1987. "Commodity Futures Prices: Some Evidence on Forecast Power, Premiums,and the Theory of Storage," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 60(1), pages 55-73, January.
  19. Ye, Michael & Zyren, John & Shore, Joanne, 2006. "Forecasting short-run crude oil price using high- and low-inventory variables," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 2736-2743, November.
  20. repec:taf:jnlbes:v:30:y:2012:i:2:p:326-336 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. 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.
  22. Menzie D. Chinn & Michael LeBlanc & Olivier Coibion, 2005. "The Predictive Content of Energy Futures: An Update on Petroleum, Natural Gas, Heating Oil and Gasoline," NBER Working Papers 11033, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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