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India concerned about oil price volatility: Mukherjee

United States America,Business/Economy, Sun, 22 Apr 2012 IANS

Washington, April 22 (IANS) India is concerned about the volatility in the prices of oil, gas and other commodities as they were not aligned to economic fundamentals, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Sunday.


"As a major commodity importer, India is very concerned about the increase and the volatility of commodity prices, especially oil, in recent times that seem to be not aligned with underlying economic fundamentals," he said at a meeting of the Group of 20 (G20) finance ministers and central bank governors here.


"These distortions are, inter alia, adding to inflationary pressures in a number of developing countries, including India," he said.


Mukherjee said the reasons for the volatility in commodity markets were unclear as trends showed that the prices were not linked to economic fundamentals.


"Despite several studies, including one done by the G20, it is still not very clear as to what is driving this heightened volatility, which seems to be a mix of financialisation of commodity markets, monetary policy actions, political uncertainties, and demand-supply imbalances," he said.


Prices of oil, gas and other commodities have remained high despite a global economic slowdown. This is contrary to the 2008 global financial crisis that also led to a crash in the commodity prices.


Mukherjee emphasised on the need to bring transparency to the commodity market.


"Improving information and transparency in commodity markets, including futures and over-the-counter markets, will help alleviate the problem," he said.


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