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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

UK Brown: Will Act On Any Evidence Of Oil Mkt Manipulation

2008.06.25 13:10:33 *UK Brown: Will Act On Any Evidence Of Oil Mkt Manipulation

2008.06.25 13:11:18 *UK Brown: FSA Looking At Any Evidence Of Oil Mkt Manipulation

2008.06.25 13:18:10 *UK Brown:3-Yr Public Sector Pay Deals A Barrier Vs Inflation

LONDON (Dow Jones)--The U.K. government will act if there's any evidence of manipulation in the oil markets and the Financial Services Authority is examining whether that has taken place, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Wednesday.

"The Financial Services Authority is looking at any evidence of market manipulation. The Treasury is looking at what financial" manipulation "may have taken place in the market place. If there is any evidence of this we will act," Brown told lawmakers.

However, Brown said soaring energy prices were being driven higher because "demand for oil in the world exceeds the supply of oil and it will exceed the supply of oil for years to come."

Brown's comments came in response to a question about the U.S. Congress' examination of what role speculation was playing in driving up energy prices.

A panel of experts Monday told U.S. lawmakers oil prices could fall to half their current levels if regulators took measures like forcing investors in energy futures to put up much more margin on their trades or prevented certain investors from engaging in futures markets.

Asked about strike threats from local government workers, Brown said three-year pay deals for the public sector were "a unique barrier against inflation."

He said the modest wage rises would provide a "signal to the rest of the public sector and the private" that limited pay rises were needed to curtail the impact of price pressures.

-By Laurence Norman, Dow Jones Newswires; 44-207-842-9270; laurence.norman@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 25, 2008 07:44 ET (11:44 GMT)

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