A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:
Brent oil prices have slumped following news of weaker German industrial output, while New York crude futures held steady.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in January, fell 31 US cents to $97.34 a barrel.
Brent North Sea crude for January, the European benchmark, had slid $US2.24 to stand at $109.37 a barrel at 0715 AEDT.
The German economic engine, one of the key drivers of recovery in the 17-country eurozone, appears to be stalling, with industrial output declining and exports nearly grinding to a halt, data showed on Monday.
Gold futures rose as a weaker US dollar propped up interest from foreign buyers and as investors look ahead to next week's Federal Reserve meeting.
The most actively traded contract, for February delivery, on Monday rose $US5.20, or 0.4 per cent, to settle at $US1,234.20 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The US dollar, which fell against a basket of international currencies, gave gold futures a boost. The ICE Dollar index was recently at 80.145, down from 80.329 earlier.
When the US dollar weakens, dollar-denominated gold futures become cheaper for investors who use other currencies, luring foreign buyers to the market.
Gold prices also drew strength from a mix of monetary-policy comments by Federal Reserve officials, as some investors wagered a shift in policy was less imminent than previously thought.
Copper futures settled higher on the London Metal Exchange (LME), propped up by signs of strengthening demand for the metal in China.
At the PM kerb close on Monday, LME three-month copper was trading at $US7,130 a metric ton, up 0.1 per cent on the day. Aluminium was up 0.8 per cent at $US1,792 a metric ton.
Chinese trade data over the weekend showed copper imports to the country rose to 435,600 metric tons in November, up seven per cent from the previous month and 19 per cent higher than a year earlier. China also posted its biggest trade surplus in almost five years last month, suggesting good demand for the products it manufactures.
Nickel fared particularly well Monday, rising 1.6 per cent to $US13,980 a ton in intraday trade - its highest price in almost a month. At the PM kerb close, nickel was up 1.4 per cent at $US13,950 a ton.