Energy futures turned sharply higher in record trading volume Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gasoline and heating oil advanced the 2 cents-a-gallon limit for daily trading before losing some of the gains but still closing strong. Crude oil was more than $1 a barrel higher for the nearby contract.
The market apparently responded to remarks reported Monday by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, indicating he wants an earnest attempt to reach production controls during a meeting this month of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
OPEC has been trying for months to reach agreement on production limits among its 13 member countries that might push world oil prices higher. "But Saudi production is 6 million barrels a day, and actions speak louder than words," said Nauman Barakat, an analyst in New York with Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. "But this may be their way to force an agreement--by increasing production and driving prices lower."
The exchange estimated energy-related trading volume at 59,361 contracts, surpassing the previous record of 54,551 on May 19.