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Traders’ motivation and hedging pressure in commodity futures markets
Research in International Business and Finance  (IF4.091),  Pub Date : 2021-09-04, DOI: 10.1016/j.ribaf.2021.101529
David Bosch, K. Smimou

This study seeks to explain the major drivers of trading activity in commodity futures markets and gage the effect of trading activity on commodity prices. Rather than concentrating on a specific commodity subgroup or a particular type of commodity traders, we provide an extensive overview of the behavior across all market participants and their influence on commodity prices by using a broad set of commodity futures contracts. Although commodity futures returns show co-movement with financial fundamentals (U.S. dollar index, equity, and bond markets), based on the Disaggregated Commitment of Traders Report (DCOT), this relationship cannot be attributed to trading activity. Pricing in commodity markets can be predominantly attributed to hedgers and influential speculators (money managers), whereas small speculators (nonreportable traders) are crucial to some soft commodity futures similar to dealers in metals commodity futures. Furthermore, we find limited cases where inventory changes exert a sizable influence on position changes of DCOT traders.