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US seeks stricter Dubai oil trade rule.

Byline: Washington

(Image: dme.gif )

The US regulator of futures markets said on Monday the Dubai Mercantile Exchange will have to provide more data about traders and adopt US position limits if it wants access to US customers.

The step matched one taken last month to close a so-called London loophole in which a British exchange traded West Texas Intermediate oil contracts without restraints that would apply within the United States.

Dubai trades Brent and Oman oil futures contracts and has permission from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission to offer a financially settled DME West Texas Intermediate contract. The contract could be launched within the next several months, said a New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) official in mid-June.

In a statement, the CFTC said it amended a 'no-action relief letter' to require DME to set additional conditions on US-linked contracts that are offered on DME in the future. CFTC gave DME 120 days to comply.

With the skyrocketing price crude oil, US lawmakers have called on CFTC to prevent abuses by speculators and to provide a clearer view of the role of large traders and hedge funds in the agricultural and energy futures markets. CFTC has announced a series of steps to provide more transparency.

The House Agriculture Committee, which oversees CFTC, slated three days of hearings, opening on Tuesday, to review legislation to amend the Commodity Exchange Act, the foundation of US control of the futures market. Several bills would require US exchanges to provide more data and to give CFTC more authority to combat abuses at home and abroad.

CFTC chairman Walt Lukken was scheduled to testify on Thursday before a House Appropriations subcommittee examining whether market speculation is a factor in higher energy prices.

When it acted last month to require trading limits on oil contracts at the ICE Futures Europe exchange, CFTC said it would apply the same conditions in the future for direct foreign access to U.S. customers for contracts that cash settle against those listed on any U.S. exchange.

CFTC said it required the Dubai exchange to: Adopt equivalent US position limits and accountability levels, including related hedge exemption provisions, for all DME linked contracts;

* Provide quarterly reports identifying any trader who exceeded position limits on a linked contract, whether a hedge exemption was in effect, and if there was disciplinary action;

* Publish daily trading information comparable to that published by US exchanges for all linked contracts;

* Provide a daily report on large trader positions in each linked contract for all contract months in a format that can be integrated into CFTC's market surveillance systems and its weekly Commitment of Traders report, including appropriate categorization of traders and their positions. - Reuters

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Publication:TradeArabia (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Jul 8, 2008
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