Platinum soared to a record high of $1,800 an ounce for the first time Monday as investors bet that a power shortage in top producing South Africa will tighten global supply for the precious metal. Gold traded 4 percent it record from last week.
Platinum hit a high of $1,790 an ounce and was quoted at $1,790/1,800 at 2:37 p.m. EST, against $1,752/1,759 late in New York on Friday. U.S. platinum contracts scaled a fresh record high above $1,800 an ounce in after-hours trade as mining operation in top producer South Africa continued to struggle due to a power crisis.
Mine output disruptions continue to fuel the rally in platinum, Jon Nadler, senior analyst for Kitco Bullion Dealers Montreal said in a research note. With 80 percent or so of global supplies coming from the very mines affected by electricity woes, this is not a surprise.
Platinum also dragged palladium up to a six-year high as the two metals can be used for the same purposes, in jewelry manufacturing and in automobiles. Palladium rose as high as $423 and was last at $423/428 an ounce, compared to its previous finish of $410/413, closely following platinum.
South African mines produce four-fifths of the world's platinum made slow progress in bringing back production after the state power firm allowed them only limited increases to their electricity consumption.
The gold contract for April delivery at the COMEX division of the NYMEX GCJ8 settled down $4.10 at $909.40 an ounce. It peaked at $917.40 initially and had bottomed at $896.00 in early morning trade, which marked a 1-1/2 week low.
Gold futures fell on Monday as investors continued to take profits after the April contract had risen to a near record high on Friday. April gold finished sharply lower in extremely volatile trade on Friday as a dollar advanced and heavy profit taking erased the metal's initial gains following a weak U.S. jobs report.