CFTC Targets Rapid Trades

BOCA RATON, Fla.—A top U.S. regulator said his agency plans to widen day-to-day monitoring of the commodities and futures markets, targeting the high-speed tradingfirms that are a growing force.

Instead of just policing completed futures trades, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will seek to watch the fleeting buy and sell orders that increasingly influence the market, CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler said in an interview.

The move follows a Securities and Exchange Commission plan to sharpen oversight of stock trades following the 2010 “flash crash.” Regulators are seeking to catch up with high-frequency trading firms that are responsible for roughly half of orders, the vast majority of which are never executed. The SEC is probing the close relationship between high-speed firms and the computerized exchanges they do business with.

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