Palladium hits 11-month highs, gold off 6-week peak

LONDON - Palladium rose to its highest in nearly 11 months on Wednesday, boosted by technical and speculative buying, but traders said market fundamentals might cap gains.

By (Reuters)

Published: Wed 11 Apr 2007, 6:38 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 9:06 PM

Other precious metals also advanced from the close in New York, with platinum matching Tuesday’s five-month peak and gold and silver trading near their six-week highs.

“In general, the metals are in an uptrend at the moment and so is palladium. It’s technical because it is just in the middle of a trading range. It’s easier for palladium to have more gains than other metals,” Wolfgang Wrzesniok-Rossbach, head of marketing and sales at Germany’s Heraeus, said.

“There is a perception that palladium is undervalued compared to the other metals. There is a willingness in the investment community to still buy palladium and this is simply a reflection of it. Fundamentally, it is probably not justified.”

Palladium XPD touched $362 an ounce, its highest since May 19, and was at $361/366 by 0959 GMT, against $356/361 in the US market late on Tuesday.

Traders said market fundamentals were not very positive and a sharp rise in palladium prices was unlikely, but the market might remain choppy as trading volumes were relatively small.

According to precious metals refiner Johnson Matthey, palladium demand fell nearly six percent to 6.85 million ounces in 2006, while supply rose by 0.8 percent to 8.48 million ounces, leaving a market surplus of 1.63 million ounces.

Palladium demand for jewellery tumbled 20 percent in 2006 mainly because of a sharp drop in consumption in China, but autocatalyst demand rose seven percent during the year.

Analysts said the market was likely to be in surplus this year also because of large stocks in Russia, the world’s top producer, and falling jewellery demand.

In other precious metals, platinum XPT climbed to $1,262/1,265 an ounce, against $1,258/1,263 in New York.

Silver XAG was at $13.94/13.97 an ounce after jumping on Tuesday to $14.00, its highest since early March. It was quoted at $13.90/13.93 in the US market.

Spot gold XAU rose to $679.30 and was last quoted at $678.70/679.70 an ounce, against $677.20/677.70 late in New York, near a peak of $681.30 hit earlier on Tuesday.

“In light of the strong seasonal demand, pressure from oil and geopolitical concerns, gold prices could rise still further over the next month or two,” said John Meyer, analyst at Numis Securities.

Traders said the market would scour minutes from the Federal Reserve’s March monetary meeting due later in the day for clues on the course of US monetary policy. The comments might influence the dollar and gold.

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