A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:
Oil prices climbed despite largely disappointing US data in the world's biggest economy.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for June delivery, on Thursday closed at $US95.16 a barrel, up 92 US cents from Wednesday.
The European benchmark, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in June, edged up 12 US cents to $US103.80 a barrel in its final day of trade in London.
US weekly claims for unemployment insurance benefits jumped and housing starts plunged in April, but a spike in building permits led analysts to view the decline in starts as a temporary bump in the housing market recovery.
Gold futures fell for a sixth consecutive session as an industry report and disclosure of scaled-back bets by some hedge funds pointed to investors' waning interest in the precious metal.
The most actively traded contract, for June delivery, fell $US9.30 ($A9.43), or 0.7 per cent, to settle at $US1,386.90 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement price since April 17.
Gold's retreat has erased almost all of the rebound that followed the record-setting selloff in mid-April. A drop below $US1,360.60 an ounce at the close would put gold at its lowest level since February 2011.
The amount of gold held by exchange-traded funds backed by physical gold fell this week to the lowest level since July 2011.
Copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) closed higher, leading the way for other metals as the US dollar, which had been strong and weighing the appeal of US dollar-denominated base metals, stumbled.
At the close of open-outcry trading on Thursday, metals had risen and LME three-month copper had climbed 1.1 per cent higher on the previous day's settlement to trade at $US7,279 a metric ton.
The red metal had fallen to a two-week low over recent sessions as a stronger US dollar dented the relative appeal of the greenback-denominated LME metals to buyers holding other currencies.
But the US dollar slipped against other major currencies on Thursday after a weak reading on the US labour market, and LME copper was quick to take support from the currency move.
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