(Kitco News) – Palladium – described as a tight market for some time now due to robust automotive demand – topped $1,400 an ounce for the first time ever on Thursday. A desk trader in the physical market said that at one point, palladium suddenly rocketed ahead by around $80 in three hours. Another dealer said prices then eased on profit-taking, but he looks for another test of $1,400.
Spot palladium was $32.75 higher to $1,389.55 an ounce as of 11:11 a.m. EST. The metal peaked just above $1,431 overnight. This was $136 higher than the session peak in spot gold.
“Supplies [of palladium] are pretty much what they were, but demand has been avaricious over the past year,” said Bill O’Neill, one of the principals with LOGIC Advisors, in an interview with Kitco News. “As a result, we have soaring palladium prices and a premium to gold.”
TD Securities issued a research note saying palladium “is in a class of its own” right now. The sharp gains come on a day when the other precious metals – gold, silver and platinum – are all steady to modestly softer.
“The metal, which is primarily used in auto catalysts, appears to be immune from changes in risk appetite as its structural deficit continues to power a surge in pricing — despite crumbling auto sales and concerns about a global growth slowdown which have otherwise caused sharp corrections across global markets,” TDS added.
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