A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:
US oil prices have rallied further, boosted by an unexpectedly sharp drop in US crude stockpiles which signalled strong demand in the world's top consuming nation, analysts said.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in January, hit $US97.72 -- the highest point since late October. It later closed at $US97.38, up 18 US cents from Wednesday.
Brent North Sea crude for January meanwhile was down 78 US cents at $111.10 at 0726 AEDT.
The WTI contract had jumped on Wednesday after the US government's Department of Energy (DoE) said American oil inventories tumbled 5.6 million barrels to 385.8 million barrels in the week ending November 29.
Gold prices fell after upbeat US economic data supported investor expectations for a reduction in Federal Reserve stimulus.
The most actively traded contract, for February delivery, on Thursday fell $US15.30, or 1.2 per cent, to settle at $US1,231.90 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Many market watchers expect the improving labour market, in particular, to tilt Fed policymakers in favour of a reduction in stimulus sooner rather than later.
The US Labor Department early Thursday reported that 298,000 people applied for new unemployment benefits last week, below the 320,000 forecast by economists and the third consecutive week of declining claims. A separate report showed US economic growth was stronger than previously estimated during the third quarter of the year.
Metals closed mixed on the London Metals Exchange (LME) as profit-taking and jitters regarding the future of economic stimulus in the US weighs prices down.
Aluminum and copper both closed lower, while other metals continued to bounce from recent lows, resisting these pressures.
But, at the close of open-outcry trading in the London ring, copper and aluminum had both succumbed to the effects of investors selling to lock in a profit after the metals shot higher Wednesday.
LME three-month fell 0.4 per cent on the day to $US7,068 a ton while aluminum closed 0.8 per cent lower at $US1,758 a metric ton.
Almost all the other metals closed higher, with tin, the most thinly-traded metal, lifting 1.1 per cent to $US22,950 a ton. But lead closed flat at $2,084 a ton.