(Adds more detail)
LONDON, Sept 19 A U.S. bill to curb speculation
in the oil markets could be too restrictive and reduce
liquidity, a spokeswoman for the IntercontinentalExchange
(ICE.N) said on Friday.
"We think that the house bill goes too far in terms of
restricting trading activity, reducing liquidity and weakening
price discovery," spokeswoman Sarah Stashak said.
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill
aimed at preventing excessive speculation in oil, which included
measures that would affect exchanges outside the United States.
The ICE Futures Exchange, owned by the
InterncontinentalExchange, is regulated by Britain's Financial
U.S. politicians have launched a whole raft of bills aimed
at reining in speculation in the oil markets. Many of them blame
speculators for driving oil to record peaks this year of nearly
$150 a barrel.
However, a report from the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading
Commission in July found that rising oil prices were largely due
to fundamental supply and demand factors.
The U.S. House bill would require foreign derivatives
exchanges to adopt reporting standards and position limits
similar to those already in the United States.
These requirements include providing information on traders'
positions in the market -- so-called commitments of traders.
"The additional requirements placed on foreign (exchanges)
are redundant and unnecessary," spokeswoman Stashak said. "ICE
has already signalled its intent to comply with U.S.-style
futures regulations for its WTI (U.S. crude oil) contract."
The U.S. futures market regulator earlier this year extended
its reporting rules to the ICE's U.S. crude oil contract.
The ICE is ready to begin implementing these requirements in
October, Stashak said.
The U.S. House bill would only apply to the ICE's U.S. crude
oil contract and would not affect the ICE's Brent crude oil,
gasoil, European emissions, British natural gas and power
contracts, she said.
(Reporting by Jane Merriman; editing by Karen Foster)