Platinum and palladium catch the kings of the precious metals castle – by Eddie Van Der Walt (Business Day/Bloomberg – July 28, 2016)

LONDON — A surprise rally in gold and silver caught the eyes of investors in the first half of the year. Now, platinum and palladium are shining brighter. Platinum’s spot price is up 12% in July, putting prices on track for the best month since 2012. Palladium is even better, jumping 17%, the most since 2008. By comparison, gold added less than 2% in July as it lost momentum after gains in the first half.

The two lesser-known precious metals, used in devices that control toxic car emissions, are benefiting from better car sales in China, concern over labour in SA and loose monetary policy from central banks around the world.

“Platinum and sometimes palladium occasionally get dragged along by gold, but here we’re also seeing internal market dynamics playing in their favour,” Citigroup analyst David Wilson said.

Analysts have speculated that stricter legislation on vehicle pollution in China will raise demand in the long term. On the supply side, South African miners are in wage talks with unions. In the past, industrial action has curbed output.

Platinum rose 0.9% to $1,146.40/oz by 11.59am in London, touching the highest in more than a year. It now leads gold for the year with a 29% gain compared with bullion’s 26%.

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