Financial Regulatory Forum

CFTC position limit plan will be published on Tuesday

WASHINGTON, Jan 25 (Reuters) – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s proposal to impose position limits on four energy futures and options contracts will published in the Federal Register on Tuesday and be open for public comment for 90 days.

The proposal, which would limit the number of contracts speculative investors could control at any one time, applies to crude oil, gasoline, heating oil and natural gas futures and options traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange and the IntercontinentalExchange.

The CFTC will review the comment letters and may modify the proposal before it votes on whether to adopt any final regulations.

The 114-page document that will be published in the Federal Register includes the statements from the CFTC’s chairman and four other commissioners on the proposal.

(Reporting by Tom Doggett; Editing by John Picinich) ((tom.doggett@thomsonreuters.com; + 1 202 898-8320; Reuters Messaging: tom.doggett.reuters.com@reuters.net))

FACTBOX-Profiles of CFTC commissioners on position limits

WASHINGTON, Jan 19 (Reuters) – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission last week released its long-awaited proposal to curb speculation in energy futures markets, but several of its top officials expressed reservations that could make it

harder for the regulatory agency to finalize its plan.

The measure is the first major regulatory reform for the top U.S. futures market regulator, led by Chairman Gary Gensler.

Gensler, a Democrat, is one of five CFTC commissioners appointed by the president.The commissioners have released the plan for public comment, but must vote again for the proposal to become final.

U.S. regulator CFTC proposes enforcing limits on energy trades

By Ayesha Rascoe and Tom Doggett

WASHINGTON, Jan 14 (Reuters) – The top U.S. futures market regulator on Thursday moved to limit the role of big traders in once high-flying energy markets, unveiling proposals to put a hard cap on the size of positions that dealers can hold but offering a limited exemption for big financial hedgers.

The long-awaited proposals, part of the Obama

administration’s push to overhaul financial markets, will apply to the four most-traded energy contracts on the two major exchanges, the New York Mercantile Exchange and the IntercontinentalExchange.

But it remains to be seen if the limits — which the Commodity Futures Trading Commision said would affect only the 10 biggest position holders if implemented today — are sufficient to satisfy lawmakers who have clamored for regulatory action since oil prices surged to a record $147 in 2008.

PREVIEW-U.S. cotton trade frets over volatile trading

By Rene Pastor

NEW ORLEANS, Jan 4 (Reuters) – The U.S. cotton industry remains worried about volatile trading in the futures market and is hopeful that demand is gradually recovering from the world’s worst economic downturn in 70 years, a senior official said Monday.

Mark Lange, president of the National Cotton Council, an industry group, said that a top concern of the trade in 2010 would be “continuing concerns about market volatility and confidence in the futures market.”

He spoke with Reuters at the start of the Council’s annual Beltwide Cotton Conference which runs Monday through Thursday in New Orleans.

CFTC misses deadline on position limits decision

WASHINGTON, Dec 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. futures market regulator on Monday missed a self-imposed end-of-fall deadline to decide whether to issue a proposal to limit the number of contracts investors can hold in “physical” commodities, such as crude oil.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in July it was considering a clampdown on excessive speculation in energy and commodity trading by restricting holdings of big players, part of a broader move by the Obama administration to stabilize the financial markets.

CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler routinely has said the agency would make an announcement on the matter by the end of autumn, which occurred shortly after noon EST on Monday.

EXCLUSIVE-High-frequency firms organizing lobby group

By Jonathan Spicer

NEW YORK, Dec 21 (Reuters) – About 25 high-frequency trading firms have discussed forming a lobbying group within the Futures Industry Association as they move to deal with growing scrutiny in Washington, the association told Reuters.

The firms have held a series of meetings in Chicago over the last two months, spurred by the prospect of a new transaction tax, commodity market position limits, and the possibility of a crackdown on high-frequency trading, the FIA said.

The group has a draft mission statement but no name, it said. It is unclear how many proprietary firms will ultimately join the group, which is expected to be formalized in January, according to the association.

EXCLUSIVE-U.S. regulator sees December plan on position limits

By Christopher Doering
WASHINGTON, Nov 10 (Reuters) – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is moving toward issuing a proposal in early December to rein in excessive speculation in energy markets by setting hard limits on positions investor entities can hold in a contract.

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CFTC’s Gensler wants U.S. swaps bills to have more clearing, exchange requirements

By Jonathan Spicer
CHICAGO, Oct 21 (Reuters) – The U.S. commodities regulator’s chief said he would work with lawmakers to toughen new derivatives rules recently approved by two congressional groups, signaling he wants more products run through exchanges and clearinghouses, and few companies exempted from clearing.
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Divide grows on setting U.S. energy position limits

Traders work in the Crude & Natural Gas Options pit at the New York Mercantile Exchange June 10, 2009.   REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton By Christopher Doering
WASHINGTON, Sept 16 (Reuters) – The top U.S. futures regulator and two main commodity exchanges were conflicted on Wednesday over who should set tougher position limits if the the Commodity Futures Trading Commission proceeds to take action to curb market manipulation.

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INTERVIEW – CME proposes energy position limits

Craig Donohue, the chief executive of CME Group, speaks during The Globalization of Capitol Markets: The Rise of New Financial Centers panel at the 2008 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California April 28, 2008. REUTERS/Phil McCarten (UNITED STATES) NEW YORK, Sept 16 (Reuters) – CME Group, the giant Chicago-based operator of derivatives exchanges, would impose new position limits on NYMEX energy contracts in response to a push by U.S. regulators for renewed scrutiny in energy trading, CEO Craig Donohue said in an interview Wednesday.
CME would apply the limits, laid out in a CME White Paper released Wednesday, as long as regulators agree to enforce limits in venues where commodities are traded around the world, and extend them to include over-the-counter commodities swap contracts as well, Donohue said.

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