Platinum and palladium prices surged Tuesday after Ukraine’s president abandoned a cease-fire with pro-Russian separatists.
Platinum for October delivery jumped $32.10, or 2.2 percent, to settle at $1,515.00 an ounce. That’s the highest price since last September, according to FactSet. Palladium for September rose $11.45, or 1.4 percent, to $854.60 an ounce.
Ukrainian troops and the separatists fought an hours-long gun battle in the largest city in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday. The fighting renewed concerns that Russia’s exports of the metal could be disrupted. The European Union has threatened to impose a third round of sanctions against Moscow unless Russia uses its influence to end the violence. Russia is the world’s largest producer of palladium and the second-largest producer of platinum.
“The other major source for the two metals is South Africa, and they just came off a strike,” said Phil Streible, senior commodity broker at RJ O’Brien & Associates in Chicago.
That five-month strike, which ended last month, pinched world supplies of the two industrial metals.
In other trading on Tuesday, gold for August delivery rose $4.60 to $1,326.60 an ounce, while silver for September rose 6 cents to $21.12 an ounce. Copper for September was unchanged at $3.20 a pound.
Wheat fell 5 cents to $5.73 a bushel. Corn fell 3 cents to $4.23 a bushel, while soybeans slipped 10 cents to $11.48 a bushel.