The last decades have witnessed a number of changes in commodities futures markets. The oil market has kept growing, becoming the world’s biggest commodity market and turning from a primarily physical product activity into a sophisticated financial market. The increasing presence of hedgers, as well as speculators, has led to allegations that speculators drive crude oil prices, and that they have been responsible for the increase in crude oil price from 2004 onwards. It is therefore extremely important to understand the behaviour of financial trading in the oil market, in order to address relevant issues, such as: is it meaningful to define and measure speculation? Is speculation correlated to oil futures price dynamics and volatility? Which fundamental factors can help explain oil price dynamics?

The FEEM workshop on “Financial Speculation in the Oil Market and the Determinants of the Oil Price” gathers together leading scholars in the field of energy economics and top professionals from international financial and energy institutions to discuss:

  • The definition and role of speculation in the oil derivatives market over the last two decades.
  • The relationship between financial trading activity and futures price volatility in the oil market; the relationship between volume/open interest and different definitions of volatility; the long-run causes of volatility of the oil price; the impact of speculation on spot and futures oil prices, and on oil price volatility.
  • The determinants of the oil price; the transmission mechanism through which structural shocks affect the oil price; the effects of oil price shocks on the global economy; the effects of speculative shocks on the oil price;
  • The role of financial institutions in limiting excessive speculation

The meeting will be attended by a selected audience from the Italian and international economic, financial, academic and political community. If you would like to attend, given the limited availability of seats, we kindly ask you to contact the events office at or +39 02.520.36933/36990.