A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:
Oil rallied to the highest level so far this year, propelled by the weak US dollar, upbeat jobless claims data and strong heating fuel demand in the United States.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in March on Thursday jumped as high as $US98.83 per barrel. It later settled at $US97.84, up 46 cents from Wednesday.
Brent North Sea crude for March was 95 US cents higher at $107.20 a barrel at 0748 AEDT.
The oil market extended gains after US data showed weekly new claims for unemployment insurance fell to 331,000 from 351,000 the previous week.
Crude futures also won solid support on stronger demand for heating fuel in the United States as the country grappled with severe winter, dealers said.
Gold futures eked out a slight gain with some traders reluctant to place large bets on the precious metal ahead of a closely watched reading on US employment.
Gold for April delivery, the most actively traded contract on Thursday, rose 30 US cents to settle at $US1,257.20 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brokers said trading was muted on Thursday as cautious investors stuck to the sidelines ahead of Friday's monthly report on nonfarm payrolls. Trading volume was 48 per cent lower than the average of the prior 50 days, according to preliminary Comex data.
Labour-market data has been a focus for gold traders in the last few years.
Base metals on the London Metal Exchange (LME) have closed substantially higher, taking the lead from improved equity markets and some upbeat US economic data.
At the close of open-outcry trading in the London ring on Thursday, LME three-month copper was 1.3 per cent higher on the previous day's settlement price at $US7,129 a metric ton.
Aluminium closed up 0.7 per cent at $US1,713 a ton.
US data on Thursday showed the number of people who applied to receive unemployment benefits in the last week of January fell by 20,000, reversing the increase from the week before and signalling that the US labour market continues to gradually improve.
Initial jobless claims fell to a seasonally-adjusted 331,000 in the seven-days ended February 1 from a revised 351,000 in the previous week, the Labor Department said.