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Palladium's Record Streak Halted; Gold Down, Below $1,300

Investing.com - Palladium has had it good, but a little too good perhaps, as some investors might be looking at its cheaper sister metal platinum.

Palladium's record-making streak came to a halt on Thursday as investors took profit on a five-day run-up in the auto-catalytic metal. Analysts said palladium still appeared in good standing to make new highs, although its record premium to platinum could turn some toward the alternative.

The spot price of palladium was down $11.10, or 0.8%, at $1,318.90 per troy ounce by 1:37 PM ET (18:37 GMT). Palladium futures on New York's Comex settled up up $3.80, or 0.3%, at $1,273.20.

On Wednesday, spot palladium reached an all-time high of $1,341.40 as investors linked the precious metal used for purifying auto emissions with an announcement by China that could boost car ownership in the world's second largest economy.

Ning Jizhe, a vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, told state-owned China Central Television that spurring auto sales would be part of the efforts to expand domestic demand, and in turn boost Beijing's economy. Woeful sales in December dimmed the outlook for the auto industry.

But highs above $1,325 also place palladium at a record premium of more than $500 over the spot price of platinum, which hovers around $822. The spot price of platinum was down $4.85, or 0.6%, at $820.25 per ounce. Platinum futures on Comex settled up $8, or 1%, at $826.10.

“We cannot imagine that demand will remain unscathed for much longer," Commerzbank (DE:CBKG) said in a note on palladium. "Sooner or later, we are likely to see substitution effects in favor of platinum in the auto industry.”

Gold futures fell, remaining below the $1,300 level. even after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated on Thursday the central bank will be "patient," with rate hikes as it weighs the pace of global growth and domestic inflation. The Fed's changed stance comes after four interest rate hikes last year. Comex gold futuressettled down $4.60, or 0.4%, at $1,287.40.

In other Comex trading silver futures slid 0.6% to $15.64.

In base metals, Comex copper fell 1% to $2.63 per pound.

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