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AGK, AGO, AMC, API, BLY, CBA, LEI, LYC, OSH, TLS, TOL, WHC,

AAP

2012-11-23

A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:

ENERGY

Oil prices eased in subdued trade owing to the US Thanksgiving holiday, and after a ceasefire ended a week of cross-border violence between Israel and Palestinian militants that killed at least 160 people.

The declines were limited, however, by strong Chinese manufacturing output data and news of a surprise slump in US energy reserves, which indicated firm oil demand in the world's two biggest economies, traders said.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January slid 60 US cents to $US110.26 a barrel in London in deals late on Thursday afternoon.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for January or West Texas Intermediate (WTI), eased 29 US cents lower to stand at $US87.09 per barrel in electronic deals.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold prices have edged up as well-received Chinese manufacturing data and hopes that a bailout deal for Greece may eventually be agreed boosted stocks and lifted the euro to three-week highs versus the US dollar.

Prices held in a tight range, however, with trading activity expected to be light because of the US Thanksgiving holiday, which has closed Wall Street.

Spot gold edged up 0.09 per cent to $US1,730 an ounce at 1.55pm EST (0555 Friday AEDT), while US gold was up 0.08 per cent at $US1,729.50. Less than 30,000 lots had changed hands on COMEX, about one-fifth as much as usual.

Silver dipped 0.15 per cent to $US33.28 an ounce after earlier touching its highest level in more than a month. Silver has risen more than 20 per cent this year, leading precious metals.

Platinum edged up 0.4 per cent to $US1,579.60, while palladium was last at $US653.60, up 1.9 per cent.

BASE METALS

Base metals closed mostly higher on the London Metal Exchange (LME), propped up by encouraging economic data out of China.

At the PM kerb close, LME three-month copper was up 0.3 per cent at $US7,715 a metric ton. Aluminum was up 0.8 per cent at $US1,944.50/ton.

Base metals drew strength from HSBC's preliminary China manufacturing purchasing managers index for November, which showed the first expansion in 13 months, signaling further stabilization in China's economy.

The reading, a measure of nationwide manufacturing activity, rose to 50.4 in November compared with a final reading of 49.5 in October, HSBC Holdings PLC said.