CFTC to expand data on US energy futures starting 4 Sept

02 September 2009 19:41  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will issue an expanded set of data on trading beginning 4 September that should enhance transparency in energy and other markets, the regulators said on Wednesday.

"We will continue to update the processes by which we report data to the public and market participants, with a goal of promoting market transparency," CFTC chairman Gary Gensler said in a statement.

The announcement makes good on Gensler's promise to Congress in June to try to give investors and the public a better picture of futures trading activity.

The CFTC has been under steady political pressure to rein in market speculation, which the petrochemical and agriculture industries in particular have blamed for the spectacular price volatility seen in 2008.

The CFTC's existing weekly data publication, known as the Commitments of Traders report, divides market participants into two categories: commercial, which includes actual industry participants such as oil producers and refiners, and non-commercial, which includes financial entities such as hedge funds.

The new reports will improve upon the existing reports by breaking the data into four categories: Producer/Merchant/Processor/User; Swap Dealers; Managed Money; and Other Reportables.

The CFTC said it was also working to replicate the expanded data sets for markets in financial instruments, although the categories would likely differ from those in the futures markets for physical commodities.

The agency said it would also begin issuing on 4 September a quarterly report on index investment commodity futures markets, with a goal of eventually publishing the data on a monthly basis.

The new report would include both gross long and gross short positions.

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