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ARI, OGC, AQG, RCT, SYD,

AAP

2013-01-21

A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:

ENERGY

Oil prices rose on Friday as investors banked on greater demand following encouraging economic data in China and the United States.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for February, settled at $US95.56 a barrel, up USseven cents from Thursday's close.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in March rose 79 US cents, closing at $US111.89 a barrel.

Crude oil prices were supported by positive economic news out of the world's two biggest crude oil consumers.

On the heels of Thursday's better-than-expected US data on jobless claims and housing starts, China on Friday announced that while economic growth slowed for the second straight year in 2012, output dashed 7.9 per cent higher in the fourth quarter compared with the year-ago period.

PRECIOUS METALS

Platinum and palladium fell as investors bet that talks between Anglo American Platinum and South African officials ease the risk of immediate supply cuts.

Platinum for April delivery on Friday fell 1.6 per cent to settle at $US1,674 a troy ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Palladium for March delivery fell 0.5 per cent to $US722.75 a troy ounce.

Gold eased. The most actively traded gold contract, for February delivery, fell $US3.80, or 0.2 per cent, to settle at $US1,687 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the Nymex.

Silver rose, propped up by signs of robust investment demand for the metal. Silver-backed exchange-traded funds recorded inflows of 573 metric tons in a single session this week, Barclays said, and inflows this month were already nearing the full-year 2012 gain.

Silver for March delivery rose 0.4 per cent to $US31.932 on the Comex, and gained 2.6 per cent during the week.

BASE METALS

Base metals closed mostly higher on the London Metal Exchange (LME), propped up by hopes for improved Chinese metals demand following stronger-than-expected economic data from the region.

At the PM kerb close on Friday, LME three-month copper was up 0.1 per cent at $US8,061/ton.

Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) rose 7.9 per cent on the year in the fourth quarter, beating expectations of a 7.8 per cent rise.

In the third quarter, GDP rose 7.4 per cent.

Since China is one of the world's top consumers of base metals, the data boosted investor sentiment amid hopes that better growth will energize demand for industrial metals in the country.