Crude oil pricing : the role of speculation in the futures market
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This paper is intended to better understand the effects of speculation on crude oil prices. While speculation has many benefits such as increasing market liquidity and bearing market risks that other wish to offset, speculation can also create unwanted market volatility and economic bubbles. During the past decade, crude oil prices have been extremely volatile causing increased controversy between investors and regulators regarding the role that oil speculation has played in the price of crude oil. This report examines the relationship between crude oil spot and futures prices to determine the role arbitragers, speculators, and hedgers have had in crude oil pricing.