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Platinum Drops From 17-Week High as European Concern Resurfaces

Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Platinum fell from the highest level in almost four months and palladium declined on renewed concern that Europe’s debt crisis may curb the global economic recovery. Gold advanced for a third day.

Platinum for immediate delivery fell as much as 0.5 percent to $1,689.25 an ounce and was at $1,694.12 by 2:39 p.m. in Singapore. The price reached $1,707.87 yesterday, the highest since Oct. 9, on expectations that demand will pick up even as supply drops on production cutbacks. Spot gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,676.32 an ounce.

Spain’s 10-year bond yields rose to a seven-week high yesterday, prompting a fall in global equity markets. Platinum production will drop 2.7 percent to 5.68 million ounces this year, the least since 2000, according to Barclays Plc, which raised its shortage estimate sixfold last month after Johannesburg-based Anglo American Platinum Ltd. said it plans to idle shafts. Demand from carmakers, the biggest consumer, will increase 0.5 percent in 2013, Barclays says.

“We haven’t heard that much about Europe lately, and there’s been a shift in focus,” said Alexandra Knight, an analyst at National Australia Bank Ltd. The problems “are re-emerging and worrying investors a little bit,” she said.

Concern about supply sent platinum prices above gold in January for the first time since April. Holdings in exchange-traded products backed by platinum climbed to a record last month. The metal has climbed 10 percent this year and palladium has gained 6.4 percent, while gold is little changed.

Palladium dropped as much as 1.5 percent to $746.75 an ounce and was at $749.75. The price reached $762.25 yesterday, the highest level since September 2011.

Gold for April delivery fell as much as 0.3 percent to $1,671.20 on the Comex and was little changed at $1,676.80. Cash bullion of 99.99 percent purity rose 0.2 percent to 337.42 yuan a gram ($1,682.82 an ounce) on the Shanghai Gold Exchange.

Silver for immediate delivery was little changed at $31.745 an ounce.

To contact the reporter for this story: Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne at psedgman2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at jpoole4@bloomberg.net

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