Platinum nears 25-year high

The price of platinum surged in Europe on Tuesday and was seen hitting a 25-1/2-year high as speculators continued to buy the metal, Reuters reports.

By 6:28 a.m. (EDT), spot platinum was quoted at $941/944 a troy ounce, just below the April 2004 peak of $942 in London, Reuters reports. Platinum closed at $933/936 in New York on Monday.

Some traders reportedly said a break of $942 would create conditions to test the next big level of $1,000.

Gold was unchanged and stayed near Monday’s near 18-year high of $478.50 a troy ounce. It was traded at $474.90/475.40, from $474.80/475.50 last quoted in New York, Reuters reports.

Traders reportedly said gold was expected to extend gains in the coming days as inflation worries and seasonal consumer demand were seen driving funds to continue buying.

The net speculative long position in COMEX gold jumped to a record level of 171,498 contracts as of Oct. 4, versus 166,100 lots a week earlier, according to Commitments of Traders data issued on Friday by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The dollar was broadly firmer ahead of the Federal Reserve’s minutes on Tuesday, hitting a 10-week high versus sterling and pressing against last week’s 16-month highs against the yen, Reuters reports.

A strong dollar generally makes dollar-priced gold expensive for holders of other currencies and lowers demand.

In other precious metals, spot silver was at $7.76/7.79 versus $7.78/7.81 last quoted in New York, Reuters reports. On Monday, it rose to $7.83, the highest since December 2004.

Palladium traded at $206/209 against $202/207 an ounce in New York, Reuters reports.