PRECIOUS-Economic recovery bets push platinum to over six-year peak

PUBLISHED: Mon, 15 Feb 2021 03:49:10 GMT

* Platinum remains vulnerable to South African supplies – dealer * Benchmark U.S. yields rose to highest since March on Friday * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: (Adds comments, details, updates prices) By Sumita Layek Feb 15 (Reuters) – Platinum prices extended a rally on Monday to scale their highest in more than six years on firmer investor expectations that an economic recovery would boost demand for the auto-catalyst metal and lead to a supply shortfall. Platinum , used by the auto industry to filter emissions from engine exhausts, rose to its highest since January 2015 at $1,283.75 an ounce. The metal was up 2.2% at $1,279.64 by 0320 GMT. “The economic recovery play, including a recovery in Chinese jewellery demand in 2021, with concerns that South Africa supplies will remain vulnerable to the COVID-19,” is driving prices, said Nicholas Frappell, global general manager at ABC Bullion. “Further price targets on the upside extend to $1,330 and $1,577.” Platinum may see a third consecutive annual deficit in 2021, according to specialist materials firm Johnson Matthey. Prices are also receiving a boost on a push for greener policies by U.S. President Joe Biden and global tightening auto emission rules, analysts said. Operational issues in Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) , one of the world’s largest platinum producers, that led to supply deficit last year also remain a concern. Spot gold edged up 0.1% to $1,824.52 per ounce as the U.S. dollar eased against rivals. U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,823.80. “The safe-haven status of gold is not holding as much shine as it once did, while we’ve a lot of optimism around economic growth,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets. Bond markets are indicating that the central bank’s accommodative stance will diminish this year, and that is negative for gold, McCarthy said. Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields rose to their highest levels since March on Friday, while inflation expectations rose to a six-year high. Higher inflation boosts gold but also lifts yields, which in turn, increases the opportunity cost of holding bullion. Silver gained 0.8% to $27.55 and palladium was unchanged at $2,388.14. (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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