Goldman Sachs Fined by ICE Exchange for ‘Disorderly’ Trading

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was fined 25,000 pounds ($40,000) by the ICE Futures Europe exchange for “disorderly” oil trading, the London-based exchange said.

An ICE committee that investigated the trades “found no evidence of intentional manipulation of the market; nevertheless it considered the breach to be of a serious nature,” ICE said in a circular on its website dated June 17.

Kelly Loeffler, Atlanta-based spokeswoman for IntercontinentalExchange Inc., which owns ICE Futures Europe, said the company doesn’t comment on investigations. Joanna Carss, a London-based spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs, said she couldn’t comment on the matter immediately.

The penalty relates to “price spikes” on the April 2011 Brent-WTI crude spread that occurred on Jan. 28 from 2:26 p.m. U.K. time to 2:31 p.m., according to the circular. The moves were found to be the result of several large market orders placed in quick succession by a Goldman trader, ICE said.

The ICE committee “considered the behavior of Goldman Sachs and its client to be a clear case of disorderly trading, in that the distorting price impact of the placement of such large orders in close proximity was not considered.”

The spread between the April 2011 contracts narrowed to $7.49 a barrel on Jan. 28, having opened at $9.41 a barrel, before closingg at $7.87 a barrel, according to data from ICE. The difference between the two front-month global benchmarks was $19.20 a barrel as of 3:42 p.m. today in London.

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