x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Platinum and palladium on upward trajectories

What's Up: Platinum rallied to the highest price in almost four months, while palladium rose to the costliest price since September 2011.

Platinum rallied to the highest price in almost four months as Anglo American Platinum cut its output target amid signs of an improving global economy. Palladium rose to the costliest price since September 2011.

Platinum for immediate delivery increased as much as 1.4 per cent to US$1,707.87 an ounce, the most expensive since October 9.

Palladium rose as much as 0.8 per cent to $762.25 an ounce, while gold was little changed at $1,666.65 an ounce. Anglo American Platinum said it plans to cut output to between 2.1 million and 2.3 million ounces a year as it announced a loss for last year because of declining sales and rising operating costs.

China's services industries grew at the fastest pace since August, according to the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing. Platinum, used in autocatalysts, has surged 11 per cent this year as exchange-traded products backed by the metal climbed to a record, versus gold's 0.2 per cent decline.

"Platinum prices have been supported by the expectation that supply is going to be tight as output declines," said Chae Un Soo, a trader at Seoul-based Korea Exchange Bank Futures. "Increased liquidity in the financial market is helping boost platinum prices along with other commodities."

Commodities as tracked by the Standard & Poor's GSCI Index gained for an eighth week last week, the best run since 1996 on speculation that global growth is picking up. Base metals rallied in London yesterday together with grains in Chicago.

Platinum and related metals may have so-called price spikes this year and next on growing demand and a lack of investment in mines, JPMorgan Chase said on Thursday.

Anglo American Platinum put plans on hold to cut as many as 14,000 jobs in South Africa following government criticism.

* Bloomberg News