Commodities markets summary
Market watch top headlines
A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:
Crude oil prices retreated after a US oil inventory report pointed to large increases in refined petroleum products.
Oil prices for US benchmark West Texas Intermediate settled five cents lower at $US93.10 a barrel.
In London, the Brent contract for February finished at $US111.76 a barrel, losing 18 cents from Tuesday.
The decline came after a weekly report by the US Energy Information Administration reported a surprisingly large increases in stocks of gasoline and distillate fuel, a category that includes home heating oil.
Crude futures also fell on lingering concerns over the US economy despite solid earnings from aluminum giant Alcoa, analysts said.
Global markets have shifted their attention from the US fiscal debate to corporate earnings to gauge the health of the world's biggest economy and largest oil consuming nation going into 2013.
Base metals on the London Metal Exchange closed mostly higher after bargain hunting and some positive earnings results lifted the complex from recent lows.
At the close of open-outcry trading, the flagship of the complex, LME three-month copper, was up 0.1 per cent on the day at $US8,080 a metric ton.
Better-than-expected results from the world's largest aluminum producer Alcoa, which swung to a profit in the fourth quarter, boosted European stocks and base metals early in the session.
Gold futures have eased as a closely watched indicator of market momentum suggested the metal's rebound from two-week lows would be brief.
Gold had climbed on Tuesday, snapping a four session losing streak on hopes that Chinese demand was picking up ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.
Gold's upward momentum continued in overnight trade on Wednesday, but prices failed to break decisively above the most actively traded contract's 200-day moving average near $US1,666 a troy ounce.
The average is a major marker monitored by traders who place bets based on market momentum, and gold's inability to rise above sparked selling head of the opening of New York floor trading, traders said.
Gold for February delivery, the most actively traded contract, fell $US6.70, or 0.4 per cent, to settle at $US1,655.50 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Platinum and palladium both climbed on the view that rising global automotive demand, and the potential for further mine production cutbacks, would keep the markets in a supply deficit in 2013.
Palladium for March delivery, the most actively traded contract, rose 3.1 per cent to settle at $US688.20 a troy ounce on the Nymex.
Platinum for April delivery climbed 1.1 per cent to settle at $US1,600 an ounce.