Platinum and Palladium Slump on Strike Deal

NEW YORK (AP) -

Platinum and palladium prices slumped on Thursday on news of a deal to end South Africa’s long-running mining strike.

The price of platinum for delivery in July fell $39.80, or 2.7 percent, to $1,441.30 an ounce. September palladium fell $40.75, or 4.7 percent, to $819.40.

The strike for higher wages started in January, and concern about supplies has supported the prices of both metals this year. South Africa is a major producer of platinum and palladium, which are used in the medical, electronics and auto industries.

“With the mining strike being settled, (that) takes a great deal of risk premium out of the market,” said Sterling Smith, a commodities strategist at Citigroup.

In other metals trading, gold and silver rose, but copper edged lower.

The price of gold for delivery in August rose $12.80, or 1 percent, to $1,274. Silver for July gained 36.1 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $19.53 an ounce. Copper for the same month fell 2.5 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $3.02 per pound.

In trading of agricultural products, soybeans for delivery in July fell 30 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $14.15 a bushel. Wheat for the same month dropped 4 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $5.85 a bushel. Corn for the same month rose 3 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $4.40 a bushel.