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Citigroup paying $525,000 to settle CFTC charges

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Citigroup Inc. will pay $525,000 to settle federal civil charges that it violated caps on the volume of speculative trades in wheat futures.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission says Citigroup exceeded the limits several times in December 2009 on the Chicago Board of Trade. Citigroup also agreed in the settlement announced Friday to refrain from future violations of federal laws.

Wheat futures contracts are used by farmers, grain processors and commercial bakery companies to lock in prices and hedge against price swings. Futures also are used by financial investors to bet on prices. Critics say that speculation can magnify price swings and artificially push up commodity prices.

Citigroup said in a statement it was pleased to resolve the matter.