Commodities markets summary
Market watch top headlines
A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:
Global oil prices traded mixed on Wednesday, as some dealers cashed in recent gains, on the eve of the weekly snapshot of crude inventories in top global crude consumer the United States.
Brent North Sea crude for delivery in March added 26 cents to $US112.68 ($A107.20) a barrel in London late afternoon deals.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for March, retreated 27 cents to $96.41 per barrel.
Platinum futures have breached the $US1,700 mark for the third time in eight days, as supply fears continue to reverberate through the market.
The world's largest platinum producer, Anglo American Platinum Ltd, on January 15 said it would shut some of its production to reduce costs. This will remove about 400,000 troy ounces, or about eight per cent of global supply, from the platinum market.
The announcement came as South Africa's platinum industry continues to recover from last year's widespread labour disputes, a number of which turned violent and deadly.
Platinum for April delivery was recently up $US1.20, or 0.1 per cent, at $US1,699.70 a troy ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract touched a high of $US1,704.60 earlier.
Platinum's gains have put it in close competition with gold prices, with the white metal outpacing the yellow by $US7.80 in recent trade.
Gold for February delivery was recently trading down $US1.30, or 0.1 per cent, at $US1,691.90 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Base metals closed mixed on the London Metal Exchange (LME) after some gains made earlier in the week lost steam, as doubts about the outlook for industrial-metal demand persisted despite improved optimism.
At the close of open-outcry trading on Wednesday, flagship LME three-month copper was 0.4 per cent lower than the previous day's settlement at $US8,103 a metric ton.
Analysts at Standard Bank said volumes on the exchange remained fairly disappointing, with the market seemingly struggling to get going this side of the upcoming New Year holiday in China, the world's largest consumer of industrial metals.
One of the main investor focuses remains the ongoing deficit negotiations in the US after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat, Nevada) said the Senate would vote on legislation that would suspend the debt ceiling for three months and require the upper chamber to pass a budget by mid-April.