A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:
Oil prices fell in New York amid expectations of another spike in weekly crude stockpile numbers as the winter weather eases across the United States.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in April, fell $US1.09 to $US100.03 a barrel on Tuesday, its lowest level in a month.
In London, Brent North Sea crude for April added 47 US cents from Monday's close to stand at $US108.55 a barrel.
Ongoing tensions over Ukraine and the ouster of Libya's Prime Minister Ali Zeidan over a rogue oil tanker, putting into question the country's ability to keep exports going, helped Brent to gains.
Gold futures climbed for the second straight day as the standoff between Russia and Ukraine spurs demand for a haven.
Ukraine began military drills as Russian forces tightened their hold on the Crimean peninsula.
On March 17, the European Union will discuss harsher penalties, barring obvious changes in Russias actions, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Tuesday.
Gold futures for April delivery on Tuesay rose 0.4 per cent to settle at $US1,346.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York.
Copper on the London Metal Exchange(LME) closed substantially lower after a morning recovery proved short-lived and jitters about the future of demand in China resumed to push the metal to a near four-year low.
Prices fell to their lowest level since July 2010 during the session, at $US6,469.75 a metric ton, amid continued worries that a slowdown in China - the world's biggest buyer - will damp demand for the industrial metal.
Some investors worry that a string of Chinese company defaults could dent already fragile business activity. Others point to the widespread use of copper as collateral for bank loans, and say more defaults could unleash excess metal onto the market. Poor export and manufacturing data out of China have added to the pressure.
"Copper dropped below $US6,600, then $US6,500 to $US6,470 as the market hit a technical vacuum," noted analysts at broker Sucden Financial.
At the close of open-outcry trading in the London ring on Tuesday, LME three-month copper was down 2.6 per cent on the day at $US6,474.50 a metric ton.
Aluminum fell 1.4 per cent to $US1,750 a ton, while nickel rose 0.6 per cent to close at $US15,550 a ton.