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Oil-Trade ‘Spoofing’ Allegations Reviewed by CFTC, Chilton Says

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is reviewing complaints of bogus bids and offers in the West Texas Intermediate crude-oil market, a practice known as “spoofing,” according to Bart Chilton, a commissioner.

“I asked the staff to tell me if there’s been spoofing in the oil market over the past few days,” Chilton said today during an interview in Chicago, after receiving more than half a dozen complaints from traders.

“Spoofing,” which is illegal, involves bids or offers that are entered with the intent of canceling them before the trade is carried out. WTI, traded on CME Group Inc.’s New York Mercantile Exchange, is the world’s biggest energy-futures contract.

“Individuals, traders, they contend it is occurring,” Chilton said. “They contend they have tried to hit some prices, and they could not get them.”

Crude-oil futures for August delivery plunged 4.9 percent in the two days ended June 21, dropping to a two-week low.

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