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Anti-speculation push may topple oil prices

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A debate is emerging over how curbs on energy market speculation may impact oil prices, with at least one major bank boldly expecting the new rules will trigger a 30-percent price plunge.

The outcome holds wide-ranging implications for G20 developed nations collectively spending as much as $4.8 trillion to stimulate their economies through the worst global recession in decades.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is moving to tighten regulation, working with more than a dozen overseas regulators to apply rules on exchanges where commodities trade. The CFTC is expected to impose federal position limits in oil and natural gas markets soon.

The new rules may end exemptions that allow banks, funds and retail investor groups to build large positions unchecked.

So far, the CFTC push hasn’t kept most analysts from forecasting oil prices will rise, spurred by higher fuel demand as the world’s biggest economies regain steam.


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