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Crude oil futures settled at a record near $60 a barrel Friday (June 24) as prices rose on speculative buying and fears of supply disruptions due to refinery glitches, according to an Associated Press report.
The market’s volatility gripped Wall Street as the Dow Jones industrial average suffered its second straight triple-digit drop.
Analysts said the bullish momentum was supported mainly by talk of several minor refinery snags in California, fueling fears of supply disruptions at the start of the high-demand summer driving season. OPEC suggestions that it was willing to hike output left markets unimpressed, they said.
After climbing as high as $60 a barrel for the second straight day, light, sweet crude for August settled at $59.84, an increase of 42 cents on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was a record close on Nymex, where oil futures have been traded since 1983.
Heating oil futures fell 2.52 cents to $1.6504 per gallon, while gasoline futures fell less than a penny to $1.6557 per gallon.
Oil prices are nearly 60% higher than a year ago, though still below the inflation-adjusted high above $90 a barrel set in 1980.
“It’s hard to find sellers in the market. … Bids are outnumbering offers,” said Ken Hasegawa, a broker at Tokyo-based Himawari CX.