Commodities markets summary
Market watch top headlines
A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:
An early spike in the price of oil was short lived, as optimism about a strong manufacturing report from China gave way to worries here at home.
An index measuring manufacturing in China showed expansion in November for the first time in 13 months, and drove benchmark crude past $US90 for the first time since October 22.
A better Chinese economy suggests that energy consumption is likely to grow, pushing oil prices higher.
But in the US, manufacturing shrank in November to its weakest level since July 2009.
Benchmark oil crossed the $US90 level in the morning but fell back after the US report came out.
Oil closed up 18 cents at $US89.09.
Brent crude, which is used to price international varieties of oil, fell 31 cents to $US110.92 on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.
The price of copper is surging on the latest sign that China's manufacturing industry is getting healthier, even as the US sector slows down.
Copper for March delivery rose 0.85 cents to finish at $US3.6585 per ounce, its highest price since October 18.
Two reports conclude China's manufacturing industry expanded in November from October.
New orders rose and export orders increased.
China is a huge importer of commodities so investors are hoping demand will strengthen for raw materials such as industrial metals and oil.
The China data is overshadowing a report that US manufacturing declined in November to its weakest level since July 2009.
In other trading, prices are higher for gold, platinum and palladium.