Bulletin – March Quarter 2012 Commodity Market Financialisation: A Closer Look at the Evidence Abstract

There is some debate about whether financial investors have caused excessive increases in the level and volatility of commodity prices. These investors are viewed by some as being less concerned with fundamentals than traditional market participants and hence impeding the price discovery process – that is, they are destabilising speculators or ‘noise traders’. This article discusses the relationship between the futures markets for commodities (where financial investors are most active), and the spot markets. It then argues that the evidence does not support the hypothesis that financialisation has been the main driver of commodity price developments in the 2000s.

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