The Information Content of Commodity Futures Markets
66 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2019
Date Written: March 13, 2019
We find that commodity futures returns contain information relevant to stock market returns and macroeconomic fundamentals for a large number of countries. Commodity futures returns predict stock market returns in 65 out of 70 countries and macroeconomic fundamentals in 62 countries. This predictability is not concentrated in the energy and industrial metals sectors, as it is economically and statistically significant across all sectors. Surprisingly, we find that the role of countries' dependence on commodity trade is limited in its ability to account for this predictability. This holds true even when considering new measures that take into account indirect exposures through financial and trade linkages between countries. We find much stronger evidence of predictability being related to the ability of commodities to forecast inflation rates. Overall, our evidence is consistent with commodity markets having a truly global information discovery role in relation to financial markets and the real economy.
Keywords: commodity futures markets, time-series predictability, informativeness of prices, macroeconomic fundamentals
JEL Classification: G11, G12, G13
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