Platinum advanced, ending a three-session drop, as Zimbabwe said it took land from the country’s biggest miner of the metal, fueling supply concerns. Palladium reached the highest since September 2011. Gold rose.
The southern African nation’s government has repossessed 27,948 hectares (69,061 acres) of land from Zimplats Holdings Ltd. and will offer it to new investors, Mines Minister Obert Mpofu said today. One ounce of platinum bought as many as 1.0408 ounces of gold in London today, near the 17-month high of 1.0418 reached on Feb. 7, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
“Ordinarily, the gold-platinum spread at these levels might be telling us that the economy was picking up, but most of the pickup in platinum prices reflects supply concerns in Africa, rather than increased demand,” Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “With the supply concerns, platinum is attracting a lot of interest from funds.”
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for delivery in April rose 1.2 percent to settle at $1,717.20 an ounce at 1:16 p.m. Prices have surged 18 percent since the end of June as strikes disrupted output in South Africa, the world’s top producer.
Zimbabwe has the largest known platinum and chrome reserves after South Africa.
Palladium futures for March delivery climbed 1.7 percent to $771.40 an ounce on the Nymex. Earlier, the price reached $774.90, the highest since Sept. 6, 2011. Volume was about 48 percent higher than the 100-day average for this time of day. The metal is typically found alongside platinum and both are used mostly in pollution-control devices for cars.
Gold futures for April delivery gained 50 cents to $1,649.60 an ounce on the Comex in New York, ending a three-session slide.
Prices, which are trading below the 200-day moving average, touched $1,639.50 today, the lowest since Jan. 4. The precious metal has retreated 1.6 percent this year.
Silver futures for March delivery advanced 0.4 percent to $31.019 an ounce on the Comex.