ICE to up transparency with weekly COT Brent data

By Selina Williams

LONDON (MarketWatch) — Intercontinental Exchange Inc. ICE +1.53% said Monday it will publish weekly Commitment of Traders reports for its global benchmark ICE Brent crude and ICE gasoil futures contracts, as part of efforts to increase market transparency.

ICE Futures Europe said it was publishing the weekly reports as part of plans to develop “comprehensive reporting across regulatory jurisdictions.” The U.S.’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission already publishes a weekly COT report on the ICE WTI crude futures contract.

ICE’s first report for Brent and gasoil was issued Monday; subsequent reports will be published weekly at 1100 GMT.

“ICE Futures Europe is contributing to the transparency of global listed commodity markets,” ICE Futures Europe President David Peniket. “These reports are a constructive contribution in this respect, and an important step in the development of a global standard…that builds on the existing reporting foundations.”

The move comes after French President Nicholas Sarkozy last week called for increased transparency in physical commodities markets and for tighter regulation of commodity derivatives, describing rising oil and food prices as the main threat to global growth.

Debate over the role of speculators in financial markets has grown since 2008, when prices for many commodities surged to record highs.

In recent months Brent, already the benchmark for more than half the world’s crude oil, has consolidated its position as the more closely-watched global marker. Logistical problems at WTI’s landlocked delivery point in Cushing, Okla. have depressed the price of the U.S. crude causing it to decouple from the international market.

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