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ALL, BHP, RIO, FMG, BLK, DOW, FLT, NBL,

AAP

2013-01-09

A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:

ENERGY

Oil prices ended a little lower as traders took their cue from US stock markets and investors awaited the start of the earnings season.

Natural gas prices fell again following a report showing production is at record levels and mild early winter weather.

Benchmark oil fell four cents to finish at $US93.15 a barrel in New York.

The price was close to $US94 a barrel earlier, but then followed the stock market lower.

Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, rose five cents to finish at $US111.94 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

Oil traders will be monitoring fresh information this week on US supplies of crude and refined products.

Data for the week ending January 4 is expected to show a rise of 1.5 million barrels for crude oil and an increase of 2.6 million barrels in gasoline stocks, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.

The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration releases its crude inventories report on Wednesday.

METALS

Base metals on the London Metal Exchange were mostly a touch higher at the close of open-outcry trading ahead of Chinese data due later in the week, although ranges remained narrow as investors waited on the sidelines for clear drivers.

As the market closed, the flagship of the complex copper was nearly even with the previous day, up just 0.05 per cent at $US8,075 a metric ton. Price moves were extremely subtle.

Some metals found a steady footing heading toward the close, in spite of weaker than expected German factory orders data that defied recently improved sentiment indicators.

Upward price moves were also contrary to euro weakness into the European afternoon against the US dollar, which serves to damp the comparative appeal of the dollar denominated asset class.