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AAP

2012-11-27

A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:

ENERGY

Oil prices slid but losses were capped as markets awaited the outcome of a eurozone finance ministers' meeting, which is aimed at unlocking the next slice of bailout cash to debt-plagued Greece.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in January dropped 72 cents to $US110.66 a barrel in late Monday afternoon deals.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for January or West Texas Intermediate (WTI), shed 71 cents to $US87.57 per barrel.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold settled virtually unchanged, tracking the muted moves in currency markets as investors digested Friday's rally.

The most actively traded gold contract, for December delivery, fell $US1.80, or 0.1 per cent, to settle at $US1,749.60 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gold had climbed to a one-month high on Friday, supported in thin holiday trading in the US by a weaker US dollar. Some investors bought the euro on the view that prospects were upbeat for a resolution at Monday's European talks.

BASE METALS

Base metals on the London Metal Exchange (LME) closed little changed from earlier prices with zinc the only metal to rise considerably as investors waited for fresh news from a meeting of eurozone finance meetings on Greece.

At the close of open-outcry trading on Monday, LME three-month copper was flat on Friday's settlement at $US7,780 a metric ton.

Despite a strong close on Friday, the week began mostly jerky with some metals gaining while others fell and moves muffled in general.

Zinc was the only metal to move more than one per cent, closing 1.1 per cent higher on Friday's settlement at $US1,982/ton, rallying toward the $US2,000/ton level. Outperforming the rest of the base metal complex, zinc traded at its highest since October 11.