Regulators in the U.S. and Europe are seeking to crack down on oil speculators, whose secretive trades they feel could prolong the worldwide recession. The leaders of France and Britain have warned that such speculation "could undermine confidence just as we are pushing for recovery," even as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission began considering limits on the value of commodities contracts held by a single entity. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., called the CFTC proposal a "positive first step" toward reining in "oil speculators looking for a quick buck at the expense of American consumers."

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