The Federal Reserve launched an investigation on Wednesday into one of the central bank's worst security lapses in years but said it believed that the early release of minutes of a market-sensitive policy meeting had been "entirely accidental."
"At this time we do not know whether there was any trading related to inadvertent early distribution of the minutes," a Fed spokesman said. "We will be working with market regulators, the SEC and CFTC, to ensure they have the information they need to evaluate the incident."
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The Securities and Exchange Commission declined to comment and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission was not immediately available to respond to a request for information.
The Fed on Wednesday released the minutes of its March 19-20 Federal Open Market Committee meeting several hours ahead of schedule, after discovering early on Wednesday morning that more than 100 people - primarily congressional staffers and employees of trade associations - had received them on Tuesday afternoon.
These people would normally have received the minutes after their scheduled released time of 2 p.m. on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Alister Bull; Additional reporting by Sarah Lynch and Emily Stephenson; Editing by Tim Ahmann)