– John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own –

By John Kemp

LONDON, June 25 (Reuters) – U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Gary Gensler appears to be on verge of achieving a big victory in his battle to impose stricter position limits on major energy futures contracts.

Back in January, Gensler unveiled proposals for tough new limits on futures positions in U.S. crude, natural gas, gasoline and heating oil. Unlike previous limits set by exchanges, these would be set by the Commission itself and would aggregate all positions in economically equivalent futures and options for a particular commodity.

The proposals were designed to limit exemptions for firms seeking to hedge financial rather than physical exposures and largely restrict financial and physical hedgers from also running speculative positions.

Finally, the proposals contain strict new account aggregation procedures that would cumulate positions based on a minimum 10 percent equity ownership and largely end the present safe harbour for independent account controllers.