Tuesday, November 8, 2011

IMF - The Effects of Economic News on Commodity Prices: Is Gold Just Another Commodity?

The Effects of Economic News on Commodity Prices: Is Gold Just Another Commodity?
Shaun K. Roache and Marco Rossi
July 2009

"The paper uses an event study methodology to investigate which and how macroeconomic announcements affect commodity prices. Results show that gold is unique among commodities, with prices reacting to specific scheduled announcements in the United States and the Euro area (such as indicators of activity or interest rate decisions) in a manner consistent with gold’s traditional role as a safe-haven and store of value. Other commodity prices, where such news is significant, exhibit pro-cyclical sensitivities and these have risen somewhat as commodities have become increasingly financialized. These results are important for those trading in the commodity markets on a frequent basis and long-term market participants that take their decisions based on information on price fundamentals, which are reflected in the release of macroeconomic announcements..."


"...Our results suggest that commodities are not just financial assets and gold is not just another commodity. Some commodity prices are influenced by the surprise element in macroeconomic news, with evidence of a pro-cyclical bias, particularly when we control for the effect of the U.S. dollar. Commodities tend to be less sensitive than financial assets—for example, crude oil, the most actively traded commodity futures contract, shows no significant responsiveness to almost all announcements. However, as commodity markets have become financialized in recent years, so their sensitivity appears to have risen somewhat to both macroeconomic news and surprise interest rate changes. The gold price is sensitive to a number of scheduled U.S. and Euro area macroeconomic announcements—including retail sales, non-farm payrolls, and inflation. Gold’s high sensitivity to real interest rates and its unique role as a safe-haven and store of value typically leads to a counter-cyclical reaction to surprise news, in contrast to their commodities. It also shows a particularly high sensitivity to negative surprises that might lead financial investors to become more risk averse..."


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