Commodities markets summary
Market watch top headlines
A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:
Global oil prices fell as a raft of downbeat company news and economic data sparked fresh concern about the strength of future energy demand, adding to fears over the US debt ceiling, dealers say.
In late afternoon London deals, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in February declined $1.53 to $US110.35 a barrel.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for February or West Texas Intermediate (WTI), closed 86 US cents lower at $93.28 per barrel.
Platinum prices surged, rising above gold for the first time since March on planned supply cuts from the largest producer of the precious metal.
Anglo American Platinum Ltd said it would suspend production at several mines in South Africa in a bid to return to profit amid rapidly rising costs, cutting its production outlook by about 15 per cent.
In response, employees at Anglo American Platinum, majority owned by Anglo American PLC, threatened to shut down all of the company's mines if plans to lay off 14,000 workers as part of the restructuring go ahead.
The most actively traded platinum contract, for April delivery, recently traded up $US39.70, or 2.4 per cent, at $US1,697.90 a troy ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures earlier rose as high as $US1,706.80, a three-month high.
Gold for February delivery recently traded up $US10.40, or 0.6 per cent, at $US1,679.80 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the Nymex.
Base metals closed mixed on the London Metal Exchange (LME), struggling for traction in either direction as investors avoided taking bold bets ahead of much-awaited Chinese growth data later in the week.
At the PM kerb close on Tuesday, LME three-month copper was down 0.1 per cent at $US7,993 a metric ton. Tin was 0.5 per cent higher at $US24,880/ton.
The main focus for base metal markets this week is the release of Chinese fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data on Friday, said traders.
China's GDP likely rose 7.8 per cent from a year earlier in the fourth quarter, up from 7.4 per cent growth in the third quarter, according to the median forecast in a Dow Jones Newswires poll of 17 economists.
That would be the first increase in year-on-year growth since the fourth quarter of 2010, confirming that growth in the world's second-largest economy, and biggest metals consumer, is rebounding after a prolonged slowdown.