Precious metals futures rallied Friday in active trading, gaining strength from the stock market's decline.
Platinum prices moved higher for the first time this week, supported by congressional passage of U.S. sanctions against South Africa, analysts said.
If enacted, the measure could lead South Africa--a major platinum producer--to curtail exports, said Bette Raptopoulous, an analyst with Prudential-Bache Securities in New York.
Although President Reagan likely will veto the measure, uncertainty over its future sparked platinum buying at the New York Mercantile Exchange, she said.
Platinum was $2.10 to $3.70 higher, with the September contract at $572.30 an ounce.
Gold led the rally in metals on New York's Commodity Exchange, as traders wary of the volatile stock market sought a safe haven, Raptopoulous said.
Gold settled $8.50 to $8.90 higher, with September at $416.50 an ounce; silver was 11.4 cents to 13.4 cents higher, with September at 581.3 cents an ounce.