U.S. swaps watchdog seeks more comment on proposal to curb speculators

WASHINGTON Thu May 22, 2014 7:44pm EDT

WASHINGTON May 22 (Reuters) - The U.S. derivatives watchdog asked on Thursday for more industry comments on a proposed rule to curb speculators in commodity futures markets.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission acting Chairman Mark Wetjen said reopening the comment period was designed to ensure the proposed changes did not block access to markets for those who use them to hedge prices rather than for speculation.

The proposed rule for position limits, a curb on the percentage of the market any trader can hold, was one of the most controversial reforms that emerged from the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act to overhaul financial markets.

A judge knocked down an earlier version of the rule in 2012 after Wall Street firms challenged it in court, fearing they would incur high administrative costs.

The new proposal, unveiled last November, drew over 100 comment letters by market participants, including one from a powerful industry body whose members include oil major BP Plc , commodity power houses Cargill Inc and Bunge Ltd, and the world's largest futures exchange, the CME Group Inc.

The futures and swaps regulator said it would discuss some of the issues at stake in a roundtable on June 19, and that parties had until July 3 to send in new comments on the proposal.

(Reporting by Douwe Miedema; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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