M Stanley Moore, UBS fined in US

FINANCE giants Morgan Stanley and Moore Capital have been fined by the US futures regulator, after both were found guilty of foul play in the markets.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) fined Morgan Stanley $14m (£9m) for failing to report a big block oil trade and hedge fund Moore Capital $25m for attempting to manipulate palladium and platinum futures.

The two settlements come as the futures regulator begins to exert more authority over the markets. Congress is contemplating handing it increased powers over the vast over-the-counter derivatives markets.

The CFTC orders require Morgan Stanley to pay a $14m civil monetary penalty, while UBS Securities must pay a $200,000 penalty.

Separately, the CFTC settled charges with Moore Capital Management, Moore Capital Advisors and Moore Advisors for attempting to manipulate settlement prices of platinum and palladium futures contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange from November 2007 through May 2008.

The fund has been ordered to pay a $25m civil monetary penalty and has restrictions on its CFTC registration as Commodity Pool Operators and Commodity Trading Advisors for three years.

The CFTC order also requires the fund to comply with undertakings, including a two-year restriction on trading within 15 minutes of and during the closing period of the platinum and palladium futures and options markets.

The fine for Moore Capital comes at a time when the firm has openingly expressed its desire to find more long term investors.