Hedge funds increased bets on rising crude prices to a record as fighting in Iraq threatened to disrupt supply from OPEC’s second-biggest member. Speculators raised their net-long position in benchmark West Texas Intermediate by 4.3 percent in the week ended June 17, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Futures reached a nine-month high on June 13 after fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, seized the northern city of Mosul and advanced toward Baghdad . While production remains unaffected in the south, home to about three-quarters of Iraq’s output, companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and BP Plc (BP/) began evacuating employees. “The betting is that there’s a greater chance that the price will go up further,” Michael Lynch , the president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts , said by phone on June 20. “The fighting is almost certainly […]