Commodities markets summary
Market watch top headlines
A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:
Crude oil prices have tanked as investors weighed a worrying increase in US stockpiles and disappointment that the Federal Reserve did not announce a big, new economic stimulus.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July, on Wednesday tumbled $US2.23 to close at $US81.80 a barrel.
In London trade, Brent North Sea crude for August settled at $US92.38, down $US3.07 from Tuesday's closing level.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday wrapped up a two-day policy meeting announcing it would extend its bond-swap program aimed at tamping down longer-term interest rates.
The program, known as Operation Twist, was due to expire at the end of June. It was extended until the end of the year.
Silver futures have bounced back into positive territory while gold pared earlier losses as investors continued to sift through the Federal Reserve's policy statement.
Silver for July delivery, the most active contract, settled up 2.1 US cents, or 0.1 per cent, at $US28.389 a troy ounce in after-market trading on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold for August delivery, the most active contract, settled down $US7.40, or 0.5 per cent, at $US1,615.80 a troy ounce.
In short: August delivery gold closed at $US1,615.80, down $7US.40; July delivery silver closed at $US28.389, up 2.1 US cents; July platinum finished at $US1,466.80, down $US13.70; September palladium ended at $US619.50, down $US9.90.
Base metals closed mostly lower on the London Metal Exchange (LME), losing ground late in the session as hopes faded for further stimulus ahead of the Federal Reserve's rate-setting announcement.
At the PM kerb close on Wednesday, LME three-month copper was 0.8 per cent lower at $US7,545 a metric ton.
The Federal Open Market Committee statement -cheduled for 1630 GMT (0230 Thursday AEST) after the LME close - was the main focus of markets one Wednesday.