Commodities markets summary

A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:


Oil prices have done an about turn and fallen from an upward trend earlier in the overnight session.

West Texas Intermediate crude was down $US1.60, or 3.21 per cent, to $US48.28 at 0740 Friday WEST.

Brent crude settled at $US49.68 a barrel, down US93 cents, after earlier jumping more than four per cent, thanks to a larger-than-expected drawdown in US crude inventories.


Gold has steadied as the other markets showed signs of stabilizing, but it remains on track for its biggest monthly rise since February in the wake of Britain's vote to quit the European Union.

Shares, bonds and currencies plunged last Friday after the British referendum sent investors scurrying for the perceived safety of gold, which leapt to its highest in nearly two years at $US1,358.20 an ounce.

But the immediate market flurry over the vote settled on Thursday, with world stock markets rising for a third day and bond yields hovering around record lows.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney said the central bank would probably need to pump more stimulus into Britain's economy over the summer.

Spot gold was up 0.2 per cent at $US1,320.90 an ounce at 3.31 pm EDT (0531 Friday AEST), while US gold futures for August delivery settled down 0.5 per cent at $US1,320.60.

"For the market, there's more to digest and that means you're not really seeing more long accumulation or capitulation," said Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist for US Bank Wealth Management in Seattle.

"We're all waiting for political news out of the UK" Profit taking and a lack of physical demand is keeping gold hemmed in, said Afshin Nabavi, head of trading at MKS.

Silver was 2.7 per cent higher at $US18.76 an ounce; platinum rose 2.3 per cent to $US1,025.60 an ounce; and palladium gained 1.7 per cent to $US595.47.


Zinc prices are at their highest level in nearly a year as expectations of tight markets and potential shortages fuels buying, but an inventory overhang means metal is readily available for consumers.

London Metal Exchange benchmark zinc ended up 0.7 per cent at $US2,104.5 a tonne. Prices earlier touched $US2,116 a tonne, its highest since July 15.

"Supply is tightening and demand, though not spectacular, seems to be chugging along nicely. But prices do look a little overcooked," said Graham Deller, head of zinc research at consultancy CRU.

"Stocks are plentiful. I don't think any consumer wanting extra tonnage will have any trouble."

Total world stocks of zinc at the end of April stood at about 1.5 million tonnes, according to the International Lead and Zinc Study Group. Analysts estimate global zinc demand this year at around 14 million tonnes.

Elsewhere, three-month copper closed up 0.1 per cent at $US4,845 a tonne, aluminium gained 0.8 per cent to $US1,649 a tonne, lead rose one per cent to $US1,787, and nickel closed a touch firmer at $US9,445 from $US9,440 but tin lost 0.3 per cent to $US17,050.


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