Commodities markets summary
Market watch top headlines
A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:
World oil prices have rallied as dealers seized on news that Israel had killed a top Hamas commander in an air strike, stoking geopolitical tensions in the crude-rich Middle East region.
Brent North Sea crude for delivery in December spiked $US1.58 to $US109.84 per barrel.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for December or West Texas Intermediate (WTI), closed 94 US cents higher at $US86.32 a barrel.
Gold futures shuffled between modest gains and losses, propped up by a rise in the euro and hopes that demand for the metal would firm.
The most-actively traded contract on Wednesday, for December delivery, was recently up $US2.40, or 0.1 per cent, at $US1,727.20 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold has spent much of the last week in largely directionless trading in a narrow range between $US1,720 an ounce and $US1,740 an ounce.
Traders have been weighing the outlook for US policy ahead of negotiations on the pending package of tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect in January.
The market also has seen less-than-expected demand from India in its five-day Diwali festival.
Most base metals on the London Metal Exchange (LME) closed slightly higher, amid muted trade in Europe as investors await fresh cues for direction.
At the close of open-outcry trading on Wednesday, most LME metals closed a touch higher, although flagship metal copper had struggled to hold on to brief gains and closed lower, falling 0.5 per cent on the day at $US7,640 a metric ton. Technical support for the metal is seen at $US7,580/ton.
Aluminum also came back under pressure after an initial surge, and closed lower.
Trading volumes remained subdued and moves lacklustre. And despite a brief rally, which analysts said was helped by stronger Chinese equities, rises failed to gain traction, with weaker-than-expected euro-zone industrial production helping to blunt a brief flutter of gains.