Monday, August 4, 2008

Correlation Between Oil and Natural Gas

Natural gas prices collapsed yesterday, dropping approximately 40% from their peaks. An easy way to invest in this commodity is through UNG in the US and through the HNU and HND ETFs in Canada. The Horizon's ETFs work very well in terms of not losing their value over time, as per extensive studies I have done, and are shielded from the drop in the USD, while UNG has the advantage of having options (calls/puts).

The following table shows the correlation among oil (through USO), UNG, HND, and HNU.

As expected, the correlation between HND and HNU is very high, and the correlation between UNG and HNU is even higher at 0.99, in spite of HNU being a 2X ETF. Of interest is the correlation between USO and UNG, roughly 0.89 since Jan 15 2008. This information is useful if you wish to diversify or hedge your holdings. In 2008 there is too much correlation between natural gas and oil.

The following table shows the correlation each quarter this year (Q3 being very incomplete).

Q1 2008: 0.90
Q2 2008: 0.95
Q3 2008: 0.93

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