Commodities markets summary

A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:


Crude oil futures remained shy of the $US50 per barrel level after marking weekly gains, feeling some pressure from the stronger US dollar that made it more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Brent crude was up 44 US cents, or 0.89 per cent, at $US49.76 a barrel, after climbing above $US50 for the first time in six months last week.

US West Texas Intermediate was up 27 US cents, or 0.55 percent at $US49.60.


Gold has fallen below $US1,200 for the first time since mid-February, as comments from Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen on the likelihood of higher US interest rates sent the US dollar to two-month highs.

The Fed should increase interest rates in the coming months if the economy picks up, Yellen said on Friday, bolstering the case for a rate hike in June or July.

St Louis Fed President James Bullard on Monday said global markets appeared to be "well-prepared" for a summer rate hike.

Longer term, however, negative interest rates should boost gold, said John Ciampaglia, executive vice-president of corporate development for Sprott Inc.

"The world in general is not accustomed to this era of negative interest rates and in that environment, I think gold provides an alternative form of currency," Ciampaglia said.

Gold fell as much as one per cent to $US1,199.60 an ounce, its lowest since February 17, and was down 0.6 per cent at $US1,205.20 an ounce by 2.18 pm ET (0418 Tuesday AEST). The metal was on track for nine sessions of losses, its longest losing streak since March 2015.

US gold futures dropped 0.8 per cent to $US1,207.4.

Trade was thin with public holidays in Britain and the United States on Monday.

"Money managers are reducing their bullish bets and ... hedge funds are strongly bullish on the dollar."

Spot silver lost 1.6 per cent and touched a seven-week low of $US15.86 per ounce. Spot platinum fell to its lowest since April 8 at $US961, before slightly recovering and palladium gained 0.6 per cent at $US539.73 an ounce.


The London Metal Exchange was closed for the May Whitsunday public holiday.


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