Commodities markets summary
Market watch top headlines
A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:
Oil prices tumbled as European Union leaders (EU) held a two-day summit on the eurozone sovereign debt crisis that few in the markets expect will deliver significant measures to contain it.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for August, on Thursday dived $US2.52 from Wednesday, closing at $US77.69 a barrel.
In London trade, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in August dropped $US2.14 to $US91.36 a barrel.
Matt Smith at Summit Energy said the New York market was dragged down by scepticism that the EU summit would produce solutions to the debt crisis.
A gloomy global-growth outlook and the view that policy makers in the US and Europe aren't likely to implement new crisis-fighting steps soon has battered prices of precious metals, sending platinum and palladium to 2012 lows and silver to a 19-month nadir.
The most actively traded gold contract, for August delivery, fell $US28, or 1.8 per cent, to settle at $US1,550.40 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest ending price in four weeks.
Silver exceeded gold's losses on Thursday.
The July-delivery contract slumped 2.6 per cent to settle at $US26.247 an ounce. That is the lowest ending price since November 2010.
Platinum and palladium, both used chiefly by the auto industry to reduce emissions, settled at their lowest prices since late December.
Platinum for July delivery fell 1.7 per cent to $1,386.40 a troy ounce. Palladium for September delivery swooned 2.7 per cent to $563.90 an ounce.
Base metals closed mixed on the London Metal Exchange (LME) as investors cast a cautious eye toward the euro zone as a two-day European Union (EU) summit convened in Brussels.
At the PM kerb close on Thursday, LME three-month copper was 0.3 per cent lower at $US7,380 a metric ton.
The main focus of metal markets on Thursday was the EU summit. European leaders are due to discuss steps towards a cross-border banking union and closer fiscal integration, as well as the possibility of a debt redemption fund.
Zinc performed the best of the base metals, closing 2.1 per cent higher at $US1,793/ton. At its intraday peak at $US1,800/ton, the galvanizing metal was up 2.5 per cent on the day.