Saturday, June 25, 2011

CFTC Eyes Trades Ahead of IEA News
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is reviewing suspicious trading in oil futures that preceded Thursday's news that countries around the world were releasing stockpiles of crude oil, according to a published media report.

The report, posted on The Wall Street Journal's Web site Saturday, cited one person familiar with the CFTC's actions.

Oil prices fell in the hours before the International Energy Agency announced that 60 million barrels of crude would be released from strategic stockpiles.

This indicates that some traders could have learned of the decision ahead of time, the report said, citing the source. It could also be that someone leaked the IEA's decision. The agency must coordinate with its 28 member nations before making major decisions, meaning many people may have been privy to the information before it was announced, the report noted.

The CFTC declined to comment, and the IEA couldn't be reached for comment, the report said.

Using leaked data to trade isn't illegal in commodity markets, the report noted.

Tracking down who may have profited from having advance information could be difficult, as the CFTC would have to consult with foreign regulators on any traders located outside the U.S., the report said.

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