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An analysis of investor behaviour and information flows surrounding the negative WTI oil price futures event

Shaen Corbet, Hou, Yang (Greg), Yang Hu and Les Oxley

Energy Economics, 2021, vol. 104, issue C

Abstract: Intertwined with the persisting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world economy, the price of WTI crude oil futures became negative on April 20, 2020. This anomalous incident has drawn much attention within the literature. This paper attempts to investigate the origins and specific impacts of the negative pricing event on the price discovery of WTI futures by employing a bivariate VECM-DCC-GARCH-SNP model, incorporating Legendre polynomials, where the dynamics of major information share measures at high-frequency time intervals are uncovered. Time-varying patterns of information share are identified across the period surrounding negative WTI prices. In particular, price discovery effects steadily abate after a sharp shock during the eight weeks before the negative pricing event. Peak price discovery differentials then re-occur within the negative-pricing event, before once again abating. Such results verify CFTC concerns surrounding the peculiarity of WTI futures trading conditions, that is, the conditions for the negative pricing event were well-established in the weeks before April 2020. Our results shed light on stylised evidence relating to the information efficiency of the international crude oil market more generally.

Keywords: Information flows; Price discovery; Oil; Crises; Negative prices; Volatility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G10 G13 G14 G15 Q40 Q43 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2021.105589

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