May 30, 2008 / 10:54 AM / 12 years ago

UK watchdog confirms to work with US on oil probe

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s financial regulator confirmed on Friday it will cooperate with a U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission probe into potential oil market abuses under existing information sharing agreements.

“The Financial Services Authority regularly shares information with the CFTC under the terms of a 2006 memorandum of understanding to assist in the detection of potential abuse or manipulative trading practices that involve trading in related contracts on U.S. and UK derivatives exchanges,” the watchdog said in a statement.

The CFTC revealed on Thursday it has been investigating the crude oil market for several months and has an agreement with the FSA to share more information on energy contracts.

“The FSA is committed to working closely with the CFTC and other international regulatory bodies to address and mitigate emerging risks on an ongoing basis.”

The IntercontinentalExchange, which is regulated by the FSA and where U.S. crude oil as well as Brent and gas oil futures contracts are traded, has also agreed to share more information with the CFTC.

U.S. politicians have urged the CFTC to step up monitoring of the oil futures market, where speculators have been blamed for helping to push prices to a record of more than $135 a barrel last week.

The CFTC regulates the New York Mercantile Exchange, the world’s biggest oil futures market.

Reporting by Jane Merriman; editing by James Jukwey

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