The US Is Checking A Possible Leak Of Data On The OPEC+ Talks
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FSA) have launched investigations into suspicious oil futures transactions. The CFTC believes that traders could get information about the OPEC+ deal ahead of time, Bloomberg reports, citing its sources.
The Agency's sources said on condition of anonymity that the FBI and the US State Department had joined the US investigation. One of the sources said that suspicious transactions in futures contracts are also being investigated by the British Financial Conduct Authority (FSA). The CFTC and FSA did not comment on the information.
The CFTC, according to Bloomberg, intends to find out whether oil traders could earn millions of dollars by obtaining insider information. As such, the Agency's interlocutors called the draft strategy for interaction with OPEC+members prepared by Russia. One of the interlocutors said that the traders who made bets using non-public data are still unknown and they are not officials from Russia, but people possibly connected with the Kremlin. According to another source, the CFTC initiated an audit of the exchange operations of the CME Group, which includes the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Chamber of Commerce, and the New York Mercantile exchange (the main platform for trading WTI oil futures).
On Monday, April 20, the quotes of North American WTI oil fell to negative values. The collapse of WTI pulled other types of oil – Brent and Urals. Oil has been cheaper since the beginning of the year due to falling demand as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The drop has intensified since the beginning of March the OPEC participants of the transaction+ failed to agree on its renewal. At the end of March, Brent crude fell to $22 per barrel, although at the beginning of the year it cost about $ 66. on April 12, the oil-producing countries agreed to reduce production by 9.7 million barrels per day in May-June 2020. In anticipation of this deal, oil rose to $33 per barrel but soon fell again.