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EU to Push Commodity Derivatives Rules

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The European Union is pushing for position limits on commodity derivatives and for restrictions on high-frequency trading, according to published media reports.

The regulations are included in proposals from the EU's executive arm, the European Commission, that are expected to be released later this week, the reports said.

The proposals include limits on the number of commodity derivative contracts market members can enter into, Bloomberg News reported late Friday, citing copies of the proposals the news service said it had obtained.

Critics have contended that speculation in commodity derivatives has driven up the prices of basic commodities such as food in a way that doesn't reflect real world supply and demand.

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The European Commission also wants to require firms that engage in high-frequency trading better manage their risk, according to Bloomberg, which added that the regulations would also ban these firms from certain practices.

U.S. regulators have cited high-frequency trading for contributing to the "flash crash" of May 2010 in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 600 points within minutes, briefly putting it down about 1000 points on the day.

The European Commission also wants to tighten other regulations, including applying the same trade transparency requirements to off-exchange brokers that already apply to large exchanges, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing a draft document.

The proposals also include canceling transparency exemptions for derivative and bond trading, the Journal added.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.

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