Demand for safe haven assets rises, with palladium at record high

by Jonathan Adams

The coronavirus outbreak has fuelled the demand for safe haven, including precious metals

The coronavirus that has taken a toll on Apple Inc. is fuelling demand for safe haven assets including precious metals, sending palladium to a fresh record.

Stocks fell after the iPhone maker said sales would miss forecasts because of work slowdowns and lower smartphone demand as China combats the coronavirus. That sent investors to safe haven assets such as precious metals including gold and palladium.

The rally in metals gathered pace around 10 a.m. as gold advanced above US$1,600 an ounce. Over that full hour, volume for palladium was more than six times the average in the past 100 days for that time of day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Palladium delivered a 77 per cent return over the past year, the biggest among 45 raw materials on the DCI BNP Paribas Enhanced Index.

Palladium has been unbelievable — it’s like the Tesla stock of commodities, Edward Meir, an analyst at ED&F Man Capital Markets, said by phone. Prices are caught up in the rally in precious metals. Whenever these metals rally palladium tends to move as well, but by a greater magnitude.

Palladium futures for March delivery climbed 7.5 per cent to US$2,489.70 an ounce at 11:45 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after reaching US$2,498.20, the highest on records going back three decades. In the spot market, the metal reached an all-time high of US$2,589.

Gold futures rose 1.3 per cent to US$1,607.50 an ounce on the Comex in New York. The tally of outstanding contracts for the metal more than 30 times the size of palladium.

Palladium’s stellar performance has been driven by expectations that stricter Chinese environmental standards will spur higher loadings of the material in cars, draining global supply that’s already struggling to meet demand.

Production will trail consumption by 1.9 million ounces this year, wider than the 1.1 million ounce-deficit last year, Anglo American Platinum Chief Executive Officer Chris Griffith said in a presentation.

This article is for information purposes only.
Please remember that financial investments may rise or fall and past performance does not guarantee future performance in respect of income or capital growth; you may not get back the amount you invested.
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