Wednesday, April 14, 2010

SEC plans IDs for fast traders, option fee caps

(Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators proposed requiring high-frequency traders to reveal their identities and disclose their trades -- the latest attempt to get a grip on the lightening-fast trades that are shaking up equity markets.

The Securities and Exchange Commission voted unanimously on Wednesday for a plan to tag high-frequency traders with ID numbers and give the SEC access to information on their trades.

This would allow regulators to analyze the fast traders' activities and judge whether their trades skew the markets, or disadvantage retail investors, as some critics have charged.

The SEC also voted in favor of a plan to shine more light on the options market, proposing to cap fees for investors who want to access the market's best price.

Both proposals are open for a 60-day comment period. The SEC must vote again to make the rules final.

The SEC is already examining whether additional rules are needed to curb fast traders, or firms that use sophisticated algorithms to buy and sell stock in a fraction of a second. full story

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