WASHINGTON — A parade of financial executives warned regulators Thursday that restricting the volume of speculative trading in metals futures would drive business overseas. But two traders said metals futures markets can be easily disrupted by big players like banks.

With gold trading over $1,000 an ounce, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is weighing possible limits on the amount of trading in gold, silver and copper futures by market players who are solely financial investors.

At a public meeting, the CFTC commissioners heard from futures exchanges, banks, traders and industrial companies that use metals.

CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton wants caps on speculative trading in the markets for metals to prevent market manipulation. “It seems to me we have a public responsibility to protect consumers,” Chilton said.

But other commissioners voiced concerns about driving business abroad.


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