Platinum Posts Longest Rally Since June Amid Supply Concerns

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Platinum futures capped the longest rally in almost a year on signs that declining stockpiles will exacerbate a tightening supply outlook. Gold climbed to a three-month high.

The World Platinum Investment Council forecasts that a measure of inventories will drop to the lowest in at least 10 years, a report on Monday showed. Global production will trail use this year as demand climbs from the auto industry and jewelry makers, the group said. The metal goes into pollution-control devices for cars.

Investors are snapping up platinum amid signs that global economic growth will be strong enough to boost consumption. Assets in exchange-traded funds are heading for a third monthly gain, the longest streak since July. Speculation that the Federal Reserve will wait longer before raising interest rates is also boosting demand for precious metals as hedges against inflation.

“While supplies have always been a cause of concern, the growth story should push platinum prices higher,” Miguel Perez-Santalla, a sales and marketing manager at Heraeus Metals New York LLC, said in a telephone interview. “Also, precious metals are getting a bid because interest rate hike expectations are now being pushed to next year.”

Platinum futures for July delivery advanced 0.8 percent to settle at $1,178.50 an ounce at 1:11 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices gained for a fifth straight session in the longest rally since June 10.

Europe Growth

Euro-area growth quickened in the first quarter, with stronger-than-predicted performances in France and Italy, data showed last week. The region accounts for about 25 percent of global platinum demand.

Also on the Nymex, palladium futures for June delivery fell 0.2 percent to $793 an ounce.

On the Comex in New York, gold futures for June delivery advanced 0.2 percent to $1,227.60 an ounce, after touching $1,232, the highest since Feb. 17.

Silver futures for July delivery gained 1 percent to $17.732 an ounce. Earlier, the metal touched $17.775, the highest since Jan. 29.

Fed Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans repeated his call to hold interest rates near zero until early 2016 at a speech in Stockholm on Monday. Record-low rates increase bullion’s appeal because the metal doesn’t pay interest, unlike competing assets such as new bonds.

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