Suspected oil rogue trader costs company £6 million

An alleged rogue trader who pushed oil prices to an eight-month high is under investigation in London

LONDON - A rogue trader at the London office of PVM Oil Associates, the world's biggest broker of over-the-counter oil derivatives, is suspected of causing $10 million (£6 million) in losses.

Exchange ICE Futures Europe, where the unauthorised trades were placed, is probing the flurry of trading placed in the early hours of Tuesday morning, which pushed the price of Brent crude oil future up above $73 a barrel - the highest level for eight months. In just one hour, 10 times the usual volume of future contracts were exchanged, causing prices to leap by more than $1.50 a barrel in under half an hour at around 2am. Soon after, PVA Oil's computer systems alerted the company about unusual trading patterns. The company immediately notified the Financial Services Authority and began unwinding any unauthorised positions it found.

Robin Bieber, managing director of PVM Oil Futures, said in a statement: "As a result of a series of unauthorised trades, substantial volumes of futures contracts were held by PVM. When this was discovered, the positions were closed in an orderly fashion. PVM expects the highest standards of conduct from its people and takes contraventions of those standards extremely seriously."

The trader responsible has now been confirmed by PVM Oil as Steve Perkins, a senior, long-standing broker at the firm.

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