Pricing of Non-ferrous Metals Futures on the London Metal Exchange
The London Metal Exchange (LME) is the most important centre for spot and futures trading in the main industrially-used non-ferrous metals. In this paper, data on 3-month futures contracts for aluminium, aluminium alloy, copper, lead, nickel, tin and zinc are analysed. The risk premium hypothesis and the cost-of-carry model are the standard theoretical models for pricing futures contracts, but these two models have rarely been estimated within a unified framework for metals futures. Single equation versions of the risk premium hypothesis and the cost-of-carry model are nested within a more general model. If the spot price, futures price, interest rate and stock level variables contain stochastic trends, long run versions of the general model can be estimated within a cointegration framework. Various long run pricing models are estimated using daily LME price data for the period 1 February 1986 to 30 September 1998. Likelihood ratio tests are used to test restrictions on the general model to examine the validity of alternative nested specifications.
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