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Oil Futures Jolted at Close

October 17, 1986|From Associated Press

The energy futures market was jolted into a wild close Thursday with the announcement that OPEC ministers had reached agreement on underlying principles for developing production quotas for the member nations.

How important the progress is remains to be seen, but the news from the Geneva meeting had an explosive effect at the New York Mercantile Exchange, analysts said.

While prices closed lower, they moved up sharply from the lows of the day then trailed off again in the final minutes.

Trading of oil futures had fallen into a dull holding pattern until about 40 minutes before the close, when word came that there was an agreement on which elements--such as populations, oil reserves, pumping capacity--were to be included in the formula for determining each nation's production quota.

OPEC President Rilwanu Lukman was quoted as saying the cartel agreed to the elements what would be in the quota formula and that 12 of OPEC's 13 members have agreed to what weight each of the elements should be given in calculating production figures.

However, some analysts were skeptical about the importance of this agreement.

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