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WASHINGTON - Federal regulators are six months into a wide-ranging investigation of U.S. oil markets, with a focus on possible price manipulation.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission says it started the probe in December and is taking the unusual step of publicizing it "because of today's unprecedented market conditions."
Crude prices have risen more than 42 percent since early December, when they hovered below $90 a barrel. Gasoline prices are nearing a national average of $4 a gallon, up from about $3.20 a year ago.
The agency said details of the investigation remain confidential.