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.
Major mining commodity prices are inherently volatile and cyclical. High levels of investment in China have been a key driver in the strong world demand for minerals and metals over the past decade. The urbanization and industrialization of China has been an important factor behind the increase in domestic demand and high investment growth, while its export sector is also an important source of growth and plays a critical role as a catalyst. Activity in infrastructure, construction, real estate, and automobile manufacturing all contribute to the strong demand for minerals. Over the next five years, the Chinese demand is expected to remain strong, supported by investment and gradually rising consumption rates. However, in the second part of this decade economic growth in China could slow down. For Latin American countries, export receipts should remain strong over the next five years and beyond, given the continued strong demand from China.
This paper explores recent versions of older ideas for stabilizing the value of money based on an independently defined unit of account. The gold standard was such a system, but suffered from gold’s fluctuating relative value and the costly need to redeem money for gold. This paper explores monetary standards with relatively constant real values in which the supply of money is market determined by its redeemability for assets equal in value to its valuation basket (rather than for the basket itself). An SDR valuation basket with a constant real value might be widely adopted as a monetary standard.
Mr. Kenneth Rogoff, Mr. Kenneth Froot, and Mr. Michael Kim
This paper examines annual commodity price data from England and Holland over a span of seven centuries. Our data incorporates transaction prices on seven commodities: barley, butter, cheese, oats, peas, silver, and wheat, as well as pound/shilling nominal exchange rates going back, in some cases, to 1273. We find that the magnitude, volatility, and persistence of deviations from the law of one price have not declined by as much as one might expect. We find this despite lower transport costs, reduced trade protection, and fewer wars and plagues in the modern era. Our analysis is consistent with growing evidence that goods-market arbitrage remains highly imperfect, even today.