For Release:June 14, 1996


The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued the following statement today concerning the ongoing activity in the copper market:

Since last year, the CFTC has been conducting heightened surveillance of the copper markets in response to market volatility. For more than seven months, the CFTC has been engaged in an investigation of a number of issues relating to the copper market and Sumitomo's trading activity.

In conducting this investigation, the CFTC has received extensive cooperation and assistance from the Securities and Investments Board (SIB), the Securities and Futures Authority (SFA), and the London Metal Exchange (LME) in the United Kingdom.

In the course of this undertaking, the CFTC has had extensive contact with the Sumitomo Corporation and, as a result, was informed yesterday, June 13, 1996, of the Sumitomo Corporation's discovery of significant unreported losses in its Non-Ferrous Metals Division. At the CFTC's request, Sumitomo specifically reassured the agency that it will stand fully behind its financial obligations.

CFTC Acting Chairman John E. Tull noted the steps being taken by Sumitomo in this regard and welcomed the assurances given by Sumitomo. Chairman Tull stated, "the CFTC has been in close contact with all U.S. exchanges, particularly the New York Mercantile exchange, all domestic financial regulators, and our international counterparts since yesterday. We continue to monitor the situation closely."

# # # # # #