Commodities markets summary

AAP

A summary of trading in key commodities markets overseas:

ENERGY

Crude oil prices are lower, moving within sight of an 11-year low, as the market worries that prices had more room to fall.

Trading volumes are expected be subdued through the week, which is likely to exacerbate volatility.

"Most market participants have already closed their books and

small...(trades) can move markets quite a lot," Rabobank fixed income analyst, Bas van Geffen, said.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in February, was down $US1.29 at $US36.81 per barrel.

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold prices are lower in line with a retreat in oil prices, giving up some of last week's gains, but moves were limited.

Gold rose nearly one per cent during Christmas week, but remains on track to fall for a sixth successive quarter, its longest run of quarterly losses since the mid-1970s. It is down nearly 10 per cent this year.

Spot gold was down 0.85 per cent at $US1,066.35 an ounce , while US gold futures for February delivery settled down $US7.60 an ounce, or 0.7 per cent, at $US1,068.30.

"It's the time of year when investors are looking at losses in their portfolios to offset capital gains," said Dan Heckman, national investment consultant for US Bank Wealth Management in Kansas City.

"Technically and fundamentally, gold's in a bad spot here and we don't really see relief until we get somewhere into 2016. We're seeing a lot of money being pulled out of commodity ETFs and there's no buying interest."

Prices hit their lowest since early 2010 this month in anticipation of the first US interest rate rise in nearly a decade.