Oil futures prices advanced sharply on news of an air attack on oil facilities in the Persian Gulf and concern that the Iran-Iraq war could widen.
Crude oil climbed nearly $1 a barrel before the gains were trimmed, while some heating oil and leaded gasoline contracts hit the 2-cent-a-gallon limit for daily trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The September delivery of leaded gasoline, for which there is no limit, settled 2.07 cents higher.
In some other markets, grain and soybeans were lower and could decline again today because of a bearish government crop report, coffee plunged sharply and livestock and meat were mostly higher.
In the Persian Gulf, Iraq staged an air attack on an Iranian oil terminal on Serri Island, which previously was believed to be out of range of Iraqi aircraft, analysts said.
The attack will put only a minimal dent in the world's abundant supply of oil, although the facility was reported severely damaged, said Richard Marose, an analyst in Chicago with Geldermann Inc.
"The long-term ramifications is the thing we're watching now," he said.