Regulators: Tough to Measure Oil Speculation

WASHINGTON (AP) - A government report has found the effect of investor speculation on oil prices is too tough to measure.

The much-anticipated study from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission says it can't accurately measure the influence because the available data doesn't differentiate between speculative and legitimate trading activities. Federal regulators are now recommending better classification of trading activities.

Critics have blamed record oil prices on speculators. Earlier this week, a private consultants' report claimed that speculation by large investors was a primary reason that oil prices jumped.

But the government study suggests that speculation may not have had such a dramatic impact.

Oil prices jumped 46 percent from $96 a barrel to $140 a barrel during the first six months of this year.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)