Platinum Falls a 2nd Day as Talks Resume to End Strike

Platinum fell for a second day in New York as talks resumed to end a strike in South Africa, the world’s largest producer of the metal. Gold rebounded.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union will meet for negotiations today, Jeff Mphahlele, AMCU’s general secretary, said in a phone interview. South African President Jacob Zuma has dispatched Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant to facilitate talks.

“Platinum sold off as South African unions and management began mediation in their dispute,” Matthew Turner, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd. in London, said in a report today.

Platinum for delivery in April slid 0.2 percent to $1,425.30 an ounce by 7:39 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange after dropping 2.4 percent on Jan. 24. Gold fell 0.1 percent to $1,263.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York.

Gold shipments to China from Hong Kong rose to a record in 2013 as bullion’s slump attracted buyers in the world’s second-largest economy. Purchases that climbed 51 percent in December before the Lunar New Year holiday starting Jan. 31 took net imports for the year to 1,108.8 metric tons, almost double the total in 2012, according to calculations by Bloomberg News based on data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department.

The Federal Reserve’s next policy meeting takes place Jan. 28-29. Fed officials decided in December to cut reduce U.S. economic stimulus after the economy improved, helping to snap gold’s 12-year bull run. The Fed will cut bond-buying by $10 billion at each meeting to end the program this year, according to economists in a Bloomberg survey.

Gold for immediate delivery fell 0.5 percent to $1,263.80 an ounce in London after rising as high as $1,279.61, the highest level since Nov. 18.

“With the possibility of further tapering on the agenda, I suspect the market will be loathe to try too much on the upside,” David Govett, the head of precious metals at Marex Spectron Group in London, wrote today in a report.

Silver for delivery in March gained 0.4 percent to $19.85 an ounce in New York, rebounding from the biggest weekly drop since the period to Dec. 6. Palladium for the same delivery month slid 0.3 percent to $732.95 an ounce.

(Corrects change in China’s imports in fifth paragraph.)
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