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Short-term predictability of crude oil markets: A detrended fluctuation analysis approach

Jose Alvarez-Ramirez, Jesus Alvarez and Eduardo Rodriguez

Energy Economics, 2008, vol. 30, issue 5, 2645-2656

Abstract: This paper analyzes the auto-correlations of international crude oil prices on the basis of the estimation of the Hurst exponent dynamics for returns over the period from 1987 to 2007. In doing so, a model-free statistical approach--detrended fluctuation analysis--that reduces the effects of non-stationary market trends and focuses on the intrinsic auto-correlation structure of market fluctuations over different time horizons, is used. Tests for time variations of the Hurst exponent indicate that over long horizons the crude oil market is consistent with the efficient market hypothesis. However, meaningful auto-correlations cannot be excluded for time horizons smaller than one month where the Hurst exponent manifests cyclic, non-periodic dynamics. This means that the market exhibits a time-varying short-term inefficient behavior that becomes efficient in the long term. The proposed methodology and its findings are put in perspective with previous studies and results.

Date: 2008
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