Palladium extends record run, gold dips on strong U.S. data

04/23/2021 | 01:07pm

(Reuters) - Palladium extended its blistering rally to an all-time high within striking distance of $3,000 on Friday on supply concerns and bets for improving demand, while gold pulled back on strong U.S. economic data.

Palladium hit a record high of $2,925.14 per ounce, and was poised for a second straight weekly gain. It was up 0.6% at $2,852.41 per ounce by 12:54 p.m. EDT (1654 GMT).

Many analysts expect a further run towards $3,000 as automakers ramp up purchases of the metal, worsening a supply shortage.

"We're expected to outstrip supply for multiple years out," said Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures in Chicago.

"There's a big push for environmental reform, countries are all in, companies are pushing for more green energy and lowering emissions, and an effective way to do it is by retooling catalytic converters and relying on more electric vehicles. So that's a lot of palladium, platinum, and copper demand right there."

Platinum was 2.1% higher at $1,228.60 per ounce and headed for its best week in six.

Spot gold, meanwhile, fell 0.4% to $1,777.36 per ounce, giving up initials gains that were driven by a weaker dollar and subdued U.S. yields. U.S. gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,777.8 per ounce.

Data showed U.S. factory activity powered ahead in early April, giving a lift to Wall Street, while a rebound in new home sales exceeded expectations in March.

Although prices were lower on Friday, underlying factors such as safe-haven inflows due to the pandemic, the likelihood of rising inflation, lower interest rates for longer and supportive technicals make the case for holding gold, said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Global Investors.

Silver fell 0.6% to $26.02 per ounce.

(Reporting by Arpan Varghese and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

By Arpan Varghese

© Reuters 2021
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