Palladium soars to record, gold moves back up above $1,300/oz
* Palladium hits record high of $1,567.50/oz
* Gold eyes second straight weekly gain
* GRAPHIC-2019 commodities returns: http://tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl
By Arijit Bose and Karthika Suresh Namboothiri
March 15 (Reuters) - Palladium set a fresh record high on
Friday amid expectations that China's economic stimulus would
drive demand for the autocatalyst metal, while news that Russia
may ban exports of precious metal scraps compounded worries of a
Gold also rebounded, moving back above $1,300 an ounce, as
the dollar dipped on weak U.S. economic data.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Beijing was open to
additional monetary policy measures to support economic growth
Spot palladium surged to a record $1,567.5 an ounce
earlier in the session. As of 1:42 p.m. EDT (1742 GMT), the
precious metal was trading 0.3 percent higher at $1,562.39 per
"The announcement of specific stimulus measures helped
sentiment in China, which arguably is the global marginal
consumer in automobiles, helping palladium climb quietly to new
highs," said Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals
derivatives trading at BMO.
"There is (also) some concern that talk of possible scrap
metal export ban in Russia could impact already extremely
stretched palladium supplies," Wong added.
With the intention of promoting domestic refining of
materials, Russia's trade and industry ministry is considering
banning exports of precious metals scrap and tailings from the
country, the world's largest producer of palladium, local
newspaper Kommersant reported.
The price of the metal, used mainly in emissions-reducing
catalysts for vehicles, has risen almost 90 percent from a
trough in mid-August last year and is up about 24 percent so far
"Palladium is starting to reach lofty levels off of which it
could correct a bit in the short term," said David Meger,
director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.
Meanwhile, gold rebounded following the previous session's
decline, gaining 0.5 percent to $1,302.62 an ounce en route to
its second straight weekly rise.
U.S. gold futures settled 0.6 percent higher at
$1,302.90 an ounce.
Fueling gold's advance, the dollar fell against its
rivals, weighed down by weak manufacturing and factory output
data, ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting next week expected to
shed more light on the outlook for U.S. interest rates.
"For gold, whether it closes above or below $1,300 will help
determine sentiment early next week before focus moves to the
new Fed dot plot," said BMO's Wong.
Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding
non-yielding bullion and weigh on the dollar.
In other precious metals, silver gained nearly 1
percent to $15.31 per ounce, and platinum jumped 1
percent to $826.40.
In a potentially bearish development for the dollar, China's
official news agency Xinhua reported representatives from
Beijing and Washington had made some progress on trade in a call
held on Thursday.
The dollar has been preferred by investors as a safe haven
amid deteriorating trade relations between the two countries.
(Additional reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru, editing
by G Crosse)
First Published: 2019-03-15 03:49:08
Updated 2019-03-15 19:57:05
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