August 28, 2008 / 5:38 AM / 11 years ago

CFTC inspector starts probe into oil report: paper

(Reuters) - The Inspector General for the U.S. commodity-futures regulator has officially begun an investigation into an inter-agency report on commodity markets, the Wall Street Journal said citing a person close to the matter.

Earlier in the month four U.S. senators had sent a letter to Inspector General Roy Lavik questioning the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s role in an inter-agency task force interim report that said “supply and demand factors” were responsible for the surge in fuel prices.

The interim task-force report, which came out just days ahead of a Senate vote on the bill, said skyrocketing energy prices were the result of supply-and-demand fundamentals and not speculation.

The senators, including senior members of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, allege that the CFTC knowingly included “seriously flawed” data and the timing was “suspicious.”

The Inspector General was taking the issue “very seriously” and was conducting interviews in a number of CFTC offices, the paper said citing a person close to the matter.

No one at CFTC was immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bangalore; Editing by Greg Mahlich

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