Palladium firms near all-time peak on Ukraine, gold above $2,000/oz

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FILE PHOTO: Ingots of 99.98% and 99.97% pure palladium are seen at the Krastsvetmet non-ferrous metals plant in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk

By Bharat Gautam

– Palladium attempted to consolidate off an all-time peak in volatile trading on Tuesday as the Russia-Ukraine crisis fuelled worries of a supply squeeze of the metal, while safe-haven gold also powered past the key $2,000 level.

Spot palladium was last up 1.4% at $3,037.76 per ounce at 1033 GMT. It swung between gains of 7.5% and about 3.4% loss in choppy price action, having surged to a record high of $3,440.76 on Monday.

Platinum rose 1.3% to $1,138.01.

Financial restrictions on Russia – the biggest producer of the auto-catalyst metal – for its invasion of Ukraine are expected to disrupt shipments and worsen a supply shortage.

“Palladium input cost to producing a car is relatively small,” and in the event of shortages, car manufacturers would be willing to pay almost any price for the metal and keep up production, said Saxo bank analyst Ole Hansen.

Spot gold gained 0.4% to $2,006.40 per ounce, after climbing to $2,020.80, its highest since August 2020, earlier in the day.

Gold continues to be a low volatility safe haven, Hansen said. “We are going to face a period of extremely high inflation where central banks will be struggling to put up a defence because of other constraints. And that will continue to attract investors into the gold market.”

Analysts have said gold, traditionally considered a safe store of value during such global crises, could make another run toward an all-time high of $2,072.50 hit on Aug. 7, 2020 if the situation worsens, amid existing worries of soaring inflation as oil price continues to surge. [O/R]

U.S. gold futures rose 0.7% to $2,008.90. Spot silver advanced 1.7% to $26.09.

Gold is the ultimate antidote to stagflation – economic recession with high inflation – which is increasingly plausible if things keep escalating, ActivTrades senior analyst Ricardo Evangelista said.

(Reporting by Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)