Commodities markets summary
Market watch top headlines
A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas overnight:
World oil prices have advanced, making a positive start to 2013, as traders welcome the passing of a US deal to avoid a "fiscal cliff" of tax rises and huge spending cuts, analysts say.
Brent North Sea crude for February gained 75 cents to $US111.86 ($A108.16) a barrel in late Wednesday afternoon trade in London.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in February, jumped $US1.11 to $US92.93 per barrel.
"Crude oil prices started the year on the positive side, posting strong gains following news that the US Congress managed to finalise a deal about the US fiscal cliff, avoiding a fiscal disaster," said Sucden analyst Myrto Sokou.
"The US lawmakers approved a deal in order to prevent huge tax increases and spending cuts worth $US600 billion that could have possibly driven the US economy into a recession. The US dollar weakened and provided strong support to most commodity prices."
The struggling greenback makes US dollar-priced crude cheaper for buyers using stronger currencies. That tends to stimulate oil demand and support higher price levels.
The US Congress finally backed a deal late Tuesday to avert measures that had threatened to unleash economic calamity.
The House of Representatives passed a deal between the White House and Republicans to raise taxes on the rich and put off automatic $US109 billion budget cuts for two months, lifting the clouds of immediate crisis.
But more hard haggling is due in two months' time over further specific budget measures.
Gold and silver popped to two-week highs Wednesday, as money managers returned to the precious metals in the new year following a last-minute budget deal by U.S. lawmakers.
The most actively traded contract, for February delivery, rose $US13, or 0.8 per cent, to settle at $1,688.80 an ounce.
Silver for March delivery rose 78 cents to $US31.007.
March copper advanced 8.4 cents to $US3.7360 a pound