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ALZ, SGP, JBH, NCM, WDC,

AAP

2012-11-26

A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:

ENERGY

Oil prices closed higher on Friday as investors grew more optimistic about an improvement in Europe's economic situation and took advantage of a weaker dollar.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for January delivery, added 90 cents from Wednesday to close at $88.28 a barrel.

In London trade, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January firmed 83 cents, settling at $111.38 a barrel.

Volumes remained thin in the New York market, which was closed on Thursday in observance of the Thanksgiving Day holiday and had a one-hour shorter session on Friday.

The dollar's fall against the euro helped to support all dollar-priced commodities, including crude oil.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures settled higher, as investor appetite for the metal was bolstered by a stronger euro and signs of progress in the Greek debt talks.

The most actively traded contract, for December delivery, on Friday rose $US23.20, or 1.3 per cent, to settle at $US1,751.40 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Negotiations between Greece and its international lenders are due to resume on Monday.

Euro-zone finance ministers and officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are focused on putting Greece back on the path to sustainable debt levels.

Gold futures rallied alongside the euro, which touched a three-week high on hopes of a resolution to Greece's long-running debt drama. The common European currency was recently up 0.7 per cent at $US1.2974.

BASE METALS

Base metals closed higher on the London Metal Exchange (LME), gaining ground in holiday-thinned trade on the back of optimism regarding Greece's next aid payment.

At the PM kerb close on Friday, LME three-month copper was up 0.8 per cent at $US7,777 a metric ton.

Zinc gained the most, up 1.9 per cent at $US1,961/ton.

Many traders stayed away from their desks for an extra day to celebrate the US Thanksgiving holiday.

Investors shrugged off the collapse of the European Union's (EU) budget talks in Brussels on Friday amid more encouraging signals regarding Greece's bailout, which boosted the euro versus the dollar, said analysts.