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

AAP

2013-01-17

A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:

ENERGY

Global oil prices have advanced as the United States announces an unexpected drop to its crude inventories last week, indicating firmer demand by the world's biggest consumer of oil.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in February increased by 28 US cents to $US110.58 a barrel in late London deals.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for February or West Texas Intermediate (WTI), gained 83 US cents to $US94.11 a barrel.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold and platinum prices have both eased as the World Bank's weaker economic outlook and muted US inflation pushed some traders to cash out after this week's rise.

The most actively traded gold contract, for February delivery, recently on Wednesday was down $US5.90, or 0.4 per cent, at $US1,678 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Platinum for April delivery was recently down 0.8 per cent at $US1,676.70 a troy ounce.

BASE METALS

Base metals have closed mostly lower on the London Metal Exchange (LME), pressured by fresh concerns over global growth, and expected to remain relatively directionless until key economic data are released from China on Friday.

At the PM kerb close on Wednesday, LME three-month copper was 0.6 per cent lower at $US7,946/ton. Tin held up the best, ending the session 0.5 per cent higher at $US24,995/ton.

Weak Chinese direct foreign investment data combined with a cut to the World Bank's global economic growth forecasts to damp sentiment toward industrial metals Wednesday, said analysts and traders.

China attracted $US11.7 billion ($A11.12 billion) of foreign direct investment in December, down 4.5 per cent from a year earlier, the Ministry of Commerce said. For the full year, FDI fell 3.7 per cent to $US111.7 billion ($A106.19 billion), the first annual decline since 2009.

Meanwhile, the World Bank cut its forecast on global economic expansion this year to 2.4 per cent from three per cent in a report released late Tuesday.