Commodities markets summary
Market watch top headlines
A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:
Oil prices have rallied as hopes grew of a US deal to avert a "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts in the United States - the world's biggest consumer of crude - analysts said.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in January, climbed 79 cents to $US87.99 ($A83.77) a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for February jumped $1.16 to $108.80 a barrel in late London deals.
Gold prices sunk to their lowest level in three months as pessimism over the US fiscal-cliff negotiations pushed prices below a key technical level, triggering a wave of selling.
Initially trading near unchanged, gold prices retrenched after House Speaker John Boehner said he was working on a back-up plan should US budget deficit talks with President Barack Obama fall through.
The most actively traded gold futures contract, for February delivery, settled down $US27.50, or 1.6 per cent at $US1,670.70 a troy ounce, the lowest settlement since August 30.
Gold prices continued to make losses in electronic trading, after the Comex floor closed for the day, with the February contract touching a low of $US1,662.00 a troy ounce.
March delivery silver closed at $31.669, down 61.1 cents; January platinum finished at $1,593.70, down $14.80; and March palladium ended at $690.95, down $7.35.
Base metals have closed mixed on the London Metal Exchange (LME), propped up to a certain extent by hopes for a US fiscal cliff resolution, but struggling to make much headway in quiet, end-of-year trade.
At the PM kerb close on Tuesday, LME three-month nickel was leading the complex, up 1.1 per cent at $US17,795 a metric ton. However, flagship copper was weaker, down 0.5 per cent at $US8,024/ton.
Markets took some comfort Tuesday from signs that US policy makers may be coming closer to a resolution on the fiscal cliff, which is a series of tax increases and spending cuts slated to start from January 1.