Fear of Hazards in Commodity Futures Markets
62 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2019 Last revised: 24 Aug 2020
Date Written: June 28, 2019
We examine the commodity futures pricing role of active attention to weather, disease, geopolitical or economic threats or “hazard fear” as proxied by the volume of internet searches by 149 query terms. A long-short portfolio strategy that sorts the cross-section of commodity futures contracts according to a hazard fear signal captures a significant premium. This commodity hazard fear premium reflects compensation for extant fundamental, tail, volatility and liquidity risks factors, but it is not subsumed by them. Exposure to hazard-fear is strongly priced in the cross-section of commodity portfolios. The hazard fear premium exacerbates during periods of adverse sentiment or pessimism in financial markets.
Keywords: Commodity futures; Fear; Attention; Hazards; Internet searches; Sentiment; Long-short portfolios
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