Moore Capital fined in platinum manipulation case

Section:

Jeez, could the gold and silver markets be manipulated too?

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By Whitney McFerron
Bloomberg News
Thursday, April 29, 2010

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=atVcqHBUSuOo

CHICAGO -- Moore Capital Management LP agreed to pay $25 million to settle charges that a former portfolio manager attempted to manipulate platinum and palladium futures during a surge in prices two years ago, U.S. regulators said.

A portfolio manager, who wasn't identified, used buy orders in the closing moments of trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange to boost settlement prices from November 2007 through May 2008, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said today in an e-mailed statement. The orders "frequently accounted for a significant portion of the volume" in the two thinly traded markets, the agency said.

Platinum futures rose 39 percent from Nov. 1, 2007, to May 30, 2008, touching a record $2,308.80 an ounce on March 4, and palladium jumped 17 percent, touching a six-year high of $600 an ounce, also on March 4. Both palladium platinum are used in jewelry and pollution-control components for cars.

New York-based Moore, which manages about $15 billion, said in a separate statement that the portfolio manager left the company in the fall of 2008. None of Moore's principals nor its current management were involved in any improper trading, and none were accused of any wrongdoing, the company said.

The manager sought to influence the exchange's volume-weighted settlement price with buy orders for 20 to 100 contracts, according to the agency. A platinum contract is 50 ounces, and a palladium contract is 100 ounces.



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