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Commodities : Platinum Futures Prices Rise

August 29, 1986|From Associated Press

Platinum futures prices soared past the $600-an-ounce milestone, reaching levels not seen for five years. The October delivery of platinum gained $20.40 an ounce, settling at $613.10 and extending its premium over gold to $226.80. A year and a half ago gold was a going for $60 an ounce more than platinum.

"Once again there was very solid demand from Swiss dealers," said Bill O'Neill, director of research for Elders Futures Inc. in New York.

Also, he said, there was some producer hedge buying and Impala Platinum, one of the world's largest producers, raised its prices.

Behind the continuing rally is the concern that the supply of platinum could be disrupted by turmoil in South Africa, the world's largest producer of the precious metal.

"But I think the market is getting into an overheated stage," O'Neill said. "There's the perception of possible shortages, but I don't think there are any shortages now."

One of the concerns is that South Africa might cut off the supply of platinum in retaliation against nations taking economic sanctions against it because of its apartheid policy.

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