October 9, 2018 / 11:54 AM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 1-French regulator fines Vitol 5 mln euros for gas market manipulation

(Adds Vitol comment)

Oct 9 (Reuters) -

* French energy market regulator CRE fines Vitol 5 million euros for gas market manipulation

* CRE says fines for engaging in market manipulation on the French southern virtual gas trading point "PEG Sud" between 1 June 2013 and 31 March 2014

* It said Vitol would issue multiple sell orders, generally at the beginning of the trading day, when liquidity was low

* Vitol would then issue sell orders at gradually decreasing prices. These sell orders would then decrease after 4 a.m. during the more liquid period of the day

* Once prices had decreased, Vitol would engage in important purchases

* CRE said after having proceeded with those purchases, Vitol would cancel its sell orders to finish the day as a net buyer

* A Vitol spokeswoman said the company rejected the findings and would appeal

* "Vitol maintains that its trading strategies were appropriate to physical energy markets and in accordance with the applicable market regulations, as confirmed by expert evidence. Moreover, Vitol believes that CRE did not follow due process and, had it done so, the result would have been different," the spokeswoman said (Reporting by Bate Felix and Julia Payne; editing by Sybille de La Hamaide and Jason Neely)

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