Oil Prices Fall as Regulators Boost Surveillance

Crude oil prices are down from their record highs. Oil is now trading under $130 a barrel; it was more than $135 a barrel last week. The drop is partly a result of the rising value of the U.S. dollar, and partly a reaction to an announcement that regulators plan to step up surveillance of energy markets.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

NPR's business news starts with oil prices taking a breather.

Crude oil prices fell sharply to about $125 a barrel. It's partly a reaction to a rise in the U.S. dollar. The two markets tend to go in opposite directions as a falling dollar spurs investment into safer commodities, like oil. But according to another report, oil traders may also have driven down prices after financial regulators announced stepped up surveillance of energy markets. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission yesterday reacted to record high oil prices saying it's taking the measures to make sure oil futures markets are, quote, "free from manipulation and fraud."

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