Platinum futures scaled a record high above $1,819 an ounce early Wednesday on continued concerns over supplies from top producer South Africa after the country started experiencing power cuts which have hindered mining operations. Gold also rose on investor demand.
Spot platinum rose as high as $1,819 and was quoted at $1,810/1,815 an ounce, against $1,770/1,775 late in New York on Tuesday.
The active platinum contract for April delivery settled up $33.50 or 1.9 percent at $1,819.00 an ounce, after rising to a record peak of $1,822.60.
South Africa's government appealed to mining companies to aid the shortages by cutting power consumption on Tuesday to ease a power crisis. Eskom, the national power company, is failing to generate enough energy to meet economic growth, affecting mining company output.
Other precious metals also advanced, with gold rising more than 2 percent to trade above $900 an ounce and silver slowly moved towards recent 27-year highs.
Gold was bounced up the $900 an ounce mark after recent drops attracted physical buyers and bargain hunters, analysts said.
Spot gold rose as high as $907.20 an ounce and closed at $909.10 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange
The COMEX April gold contract finished up $14.70 or 1.7 percent at $905.00 an ounce. Bullion rose to a record high of $936.50 on Feb.1.
Gold may rally should the European Central Bank keep interest rates unchanged at its meeting tomorrow. The ECB raised rates 0.5 percentage point last year to 4 percent while the Fed lowered rates 1.25 percentage point. The euro has gained 0.3 percent against the dollar this year.
The dollar was little changed against a basket of six major currencies after rallying 1 percent yesterday. Interest-rate futures show a 70 percent chance Fed policy makers will cut borrowing costs 0.5 percentage point to 2.5 percent by March 18, compared with a 40 percent chance a week ago.
Also on the Nymex, silver futures for March delivery rose 20.5 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $16.55 an ounce. The metal has climbed 11 percent this year.