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Gold prices prices hovered above a four-month low on Friday and were on track for their biggest weekly fall since May after progress on US tax reform fuelled optimism about the US economy and boosted the dollar.
Oil prices have climbed more than 1 per cent on Thursday due to a threatened strike in Nigeria and as traders cover shorts after sharp losses the previous day brought on by an unexpectedly large rise in US stocks of refined fuels.
US crude has tumbled nearly three per cent on Wednesday, its biggest daily decline in more than two months, after a sharp rise in US inventories of refined fuel suggested demand may be flagging, while US crude production hit another weekly record.
Australia have grabbed a 2-0 lead in the Ashes with a 120-run win at Adelaide Oval, where Josh Hazlewood effectively snuffed out England's hopes of victory during his opening spell on day five of the pink-ball Test.
BHP Billiton expects to lower costs in its Australian mining operations by a further 10 per cent, and has forecast the division will deliver $US1.6 billion ($A2.2 billion) in productivity gains over the next two years.