Commodities markets summary

A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:


World oil prices have drifted lower in muted trading conditions amid the Thanksgiving Day holiday in top consumer United States.

At around 0500 Friday AEDT, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in January was down 53 US cents at $US42.51 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for January delivery was down 71 US cents at $45.46 at 0530 Friday AEDT.

Despite the slender losses, WTI prices held close to $43 after US commercial crude supplies rose at a slower pace, while jitters lingered over the shooting down by Turkey of a Russian warplane.

"Oil prices are trading largely unchanged at just shy of $46 per barrel (Brent) and just under $43 per barrel (WTI)," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

"As such, they are defending for the most part the gains they have accrued since Turkey shot down the Russian fighter jet on Tuesday."

Prices rose after Turkey downed a Russian warplane on the Syrian border on Tuesday because of fears that any escalation of the conflict would affect crude supplies.

Russia on Wednesday accused Turkey of a "planned provocation" and a rescued pilot of the targeted jet said that no warning had been given.

"There are still tensions going on and they are giving a bullish push to prices," said Daniel Ang, an investment analyst with Phillip Futures in Singapore.

"Tensions are still playing a part in the whole oil landscape."


US markets were closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving public holiday.


Copper prices have bounced to their highest level in nearly two weeks as the US dollar's uptrend faltered and funds started to reverse some of their bets on lower prices.

"We think the Fed rate rise is priced in, the dollar is flattening. There is also some optimism relating to the potential for Chinese infrastructure projects in the new year," John Meyer, mining analyst at SP Angel, said.

China is the world's largest consumer of industrial metals. Economic and slowing demand growth in the country is another reason for weakness in the base metals complex.

Much of the short-covering was by US-based funds, which are squaring positions due to the end of their financial year at the end of November.

"Funds have been covering short positions ahead of US Thanksgiving, we'll see more of this in the run-up to Christmas," Meyer said.

Three-month zinc was up 1.6 per cent at $US1,604 a tonne, below an earlier two-week high at $US1,639.

Nickel gained 3.1 per cent to $US9,190. Earlier in the session it rose to $US9,330, its highest since November 17.

Aluminium was up 2.8 per cent at $US1,501, tin gained one per cent to $US14,900 and lead rose 1.6 per cent to $US1,641 a tonne.

Market Data

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