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AAP

2013-01-08

A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:

ENERGY

Oil prices seesawed around $US93 a barrel Monday, reflecting uncertainty about US crude stockpiles after an unexpected drop last week and what the Federal Reserve might do with its bond purchase program.

Benchmark crude rose 10 cents to finish at $US93.19 a barrel in New York. Brent crude rose 9 cents to end at $111.40 per barrel in London.

The impact of last week's release of a transcript of the Federal Reserve's December meeting showing that US policymakers disagreed over how long to keep a bond-purchase program in place was still being felt on the market.

Traders inferred the Fed might shorten the program, which could send US interest rates, and therefore the US dollar, higher.

That in turn would hurt the price of oil.

Oil, which is priced in US dollars, tends to fall as the dollar strengthens and makes crude more expensive for investors holding foreign currencies.

BASE METALS

Base metals on the London Metal Exchange closed mostly lower after a lacklustrE session failed to lift most of the complex out of the bearish run suffered at the end of the previous week.

At the close of open-outcry trading, flagship base metal copper closed 0.2 per cent lower at $US8,071 a metric ton.

The red metal, alongside others, had managed to recover slightly from its intraday lows, likely on account of a stronger euro versus the dollar toward the session-end.

LME base metals are denominated in US dollars, and are thus more comparatively appealing to euro holders when Europe's common currency strengthens against the greenback.

In the immediate sessions ahead, the macro-economic data stream and headlines are likely to be relatively quiet until the latter half of the week.