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Hedge funds pile into bullish bets on U.S. crude by most on record

(Adds details, more milestones) By Devika Krishna Kumar NEW YORK, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Hedge funds and other speculators raised their bullish bets on U.S. crude oil in the past week by the most on record fueled by speculation that Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will agree next month to a production freeze deal with non-OPEC members.

Money managers, including hedge funds, raised their net long U.S. crude futures and options positions in the week to Aug. 23 for the third consecutive week to the highest since early June, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed on Friday.

The speculator group raised its...