The violations occurred from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, the CFTC said today in an e-mailed statement. Merrill’s net short positions of 5,502 contracts on Jan. 31 and 6,059 on Feb. 1 surpassed the 5,000-contract limit for all months, the CFTC said. A net short position in March 2011 futures was 227 above the 3,500-contract maximum for any single month.
Cotton futures on ICE Futures U.S. in New York rose 4.3 percent during the four-day period.
“We’re pleased to resolve this matter,” said Bill Halldin, a spokesman for Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America Corp. (BAC), which purchased Merrill Lynch & Co. in 2009. “This was unintentional, and to prevent a recurrence in the future we have strengthened our position-limit monitoring system,” Halldin said in a telephone interview.