Oil finished the trading week over $112 a barrel and the Obama administration will examine the role of traders and speculators in oil markets and their contribution to high fuel prices, Bloomberg reported.
Crude futures closed at $112.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Thursday, 50 cents less than two weeks ago, and the two prices were the highest since September 2008. The Nymex is closed in observance of Good Friday.
The U.S. Justice Department is “putting together a team whose job it is to root out any cases of fraud or manipulation in the oil markets that might affect gas prices, and that includes the role of traders and speculators,” President Barack Obama said Thursday in Reno, Nevada.
American Trucking Associations and others have cited concerns about speculators boosting the price of oil, which has soared in the past two months.
The group, which includes representatives of federal agencies and state attorneys general, will check for fraud, collusion or misrepresentation at the retail and wholesale level, the Justice Department said in a statement.