Palladium dominates precious metals markets

Palladium dominated the precious metals markets in Europe on Friday as it stormed ahead to set new record highs, leaving gold and other metals in the shade, Reuters reported.

Traders said with the exception of the platinum group metals (PGMs) the complex was still quiet due to the Asian holidays.

Palladium surged to set a fresh high in the morning fix, set at $1,094 an ounce as market players remained anxious about the reliability of Russian supplies despite recent deliveries to Japan, traders said.

But later in the session it fell back to fix at $1,090 in the afternoon.

‘Until Russian shipments arrive at regular intervals, the higher prices look set to stay for the time being,’ one analyst told Reuters.

While the latest metal arrival had been expected under long-term contracts agreed between export agency Almaz and its Japanese customers, traders said there was no concrete news of whether future deliveries would be prompt.

At the European close spot metal was at $1,090/$1,130, up from the New York close of $1,050/$1,090.

Platinum posted gains on the back of palladium’s rise to fix at $616.00 an ounce in the morning and $615.00 in the afternoon. Spot was last indicated unchanged at $614.00/$620.00.

Gold and silver took a back seat, contrasting with the PGMs as they both remained flat and uninspired.

The combination of the Asian holidays and a comparative tight U.S. dollar/euro range meant there was little immediate incentive for gold.

Initial support was pegged at $262, while stiff resistance was seen at $268.00. Spot bullion was last at $263.50/$264.10 from $264.70/$265.20.

New York futures traders registered concern over the earthquake that hit India’s bullion center Ahmedabad, where much of the world’s gold demand originates.

But any slippage in gold was mostly checked by good buying.

Silver prices were seen with limited upside potential, given tough resistance stretching up to $5.00, but finished the week on a positive tone.

Spot was last unchanged from New York’s close at $4.79/$4.81.