Crude oil futures prices zoomed to record levels yesterday amid reports that the Soviet Union was cutting back deliveries to the West and on continued concern over the situation in the Middle East.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, a barrel of oil for delivery in October ended the day up $1.87 at $33.63 a barrel, breaching the Merc's record $32.35 trading price of Aug. 2, 1983.
But stock prices, which recently have sunk with every increase in oil prices, shrugged off yesterday's news. The Dow Jones industrials finished the day up 3 points in light trading.
Mary Haskins of PaineWebber Inc. in New York said she had been told by one oil trading company that its supply of crude to be delivered through the Soviet's Ural pipeline had been cut. Her colleague Michael McDermott said his industry sources were reporting that some big oil companies were out buying North Sea crude to make up for the loss of Soviet oil.
There was no Soviet confirmation of delivery problems to Western Europe.
Contracts for unleaded gasoline for October delivery ended the day up 1.31 cents at 91.67 cents a gallon, while home heating oil was up 2.52 cents to 85.31 cents a gallon.