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Do volume and open interest explain volatility? An inquiry into the Indian commodity markets

Published in Emerald
2014
Volume: 6
   
Issue: 3
Pages: 226 - 243
Abstract

Purpose The purpose of the paper is to study the explainability of expected and unexpected trade volume and open interest as information flow, and the asymmetric effects of unexpected shocks to the information flow on volatility in Indian commodity markets. Design/methodology/approach After having dissected into expected and unexpected components, the effects of trade volume and open interest on volatility are tested. A new interaction term is also added to measure asymmetry. Four commodities, namely, cumin, soy oil and pepper in food commodity category and guar seed in non-food commodity category are selected for the present study. These four commodities are selected based on their economic and trading importance, i.e. weight in the index and trading volume (liquidity). Findings It is mostly found that unexpected volatility is positively related to the volatility, and the effect of the unexpected component is more than the expected component of the trading volume. The expected open interest is negatively related to volatility while the unexpected open interest is found to be positively related in all the commodities. The effects of unexpected component are higher than the expected open interest. The effects of positive unexpected shocks to the trade volume are more than those of negative unexpected shocks. The evidence of asymmetry in unexpected shocks to open interest is inconclusive. However, the inclusion of volume of trade and open interest could not vanish away the volatility. This indicates that the trading volume and open interest are not the variable with mixed distribution. Thus, it contrasts the assumption of mixed distribution hypothesis, and they do not proxy the flow of information. Practical implications It is the unexpected information flow that matters more than the expected one. Positive unexpected shocks to trade volume are more influential than the negative shocks. However, trade volume and open interest are not good proxy of information flow in the Indian commodity markets. This study would definitely broaden the horizon of managers and policymakers to understand the volatility better. Originality/value The paper is unique in terms of understanding the effect of expected and unexpected trade volume and open interest and the asymmetric effects of unexpected shocks to volume and open interest in the Indian commodity markets.

About the journal
JournalJournal of Financial Economic Policy
PublisherEmerald
ISSN1757-6385
Open AccessNo