The broad Commodities complex closed out Y 2011 in mixed, but strength among precious metals helped give the CRB Index a 0.3% gainer on the session.

That added marginally to the CRB's December gain, which totaled 2.4%, but did little to cut its annual loss, which amounted to 8.3%. Last year the CRB scored a 17% gainer.

Among the more closely tracked commodities, Crude Oil prices slipped 0.8% to settle pit trade at 98.83 bbl. Futures prices pushed more than 8% higher this year, building on the 15% gain that they achieved in Y 2010.

Nat Gas prices closed pit trade at 3.08 per MMBtu, or flat for the session, but 30% below where prices started the year. That comes on top of the near 21% drop that they suffered last year.

Precious metals: Gold and Silver both rose 1.8% to settle pit trade at 1567.80 and 27.86 oz, respectively.

Gold prices rose 10% this year, and Silver prices fell 10% on the year. Last year, Gold futures prices gained almost 30%, and Silver prices rose 84%.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr. writes and publishes The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a weekly, highly-regarded financial market letter, read by opinion makers, business leaders and organizations around the world.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr has studied the global financial and stock markets since 1984, following a successful business career that included investment banking, and market and business analysis. He is a specialist in equities/commodities, and an accomplished chart reader who advises technicians with regard to Major Indices Resistance/Support Levels.