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AAP

2013-01-23

A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:

ENERGY

Oil prices rebounded, as a weaker US dollar boosted demand and in the wake of upbeat German economic data.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in March on Tuesday gained 25 US cents to $US111.96 a barrel in late London deals.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for February, won 46 US cents to $US96.02 a barrel.

A ZEW economic institute survey showed that German investor sentiment had soared to 31.5 points in January from 6.9 points in December - the highest level since May 2010, when Greece had to be bailed out and the sovereign debt crisis began to unfold.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures inched toward $US1,700 after Japan's decision to target a two per cent inflation rate sent some investors in search of an inflation safeguard.

But the gains were tempered by concerns that India's raising of its gold import tax to six per cent would temper demand.

The most actively traded gold contract, for February delivery, on Tuesday rose $US6.20, or 0.4 per cent, to settle at $US1,693.20 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

BASE METALS

Base metals closed mostly higher on the London Metal Exchange (LME), after the majority of the group received an early boost from a Japanese stimulus announcement and positive German economic data.

At the close of open-outcry trading, LME three-month copper was 1.0 per cent higher on the previous day's settlement at $US8,133 a metric ton. Tin closed substantially lower on the day, down 1.6 per cent at $US24,605/ton.

Most other metals received a boost early in the session after the Bank of Japan doubled its inflation target to two per cent, and launched an open-ended easing program, pledging to continue buying financial assets for as long as it deems necessary.

The central bank, however, put back open-ended asset purchases until the start of next year. It said it will then buy Y13 trillion ($A138.31 billion) in assets a month.