We’ve already announced that auto sales are falling fast, and those sales are expected to stay low. As sales shrink, platinum and palladium join the leap to the deep end. Used in auto catalysts, both precious metals play a role in car manufacturing; in fact, the market for each derives a 60 percent slice from the auto industry. On Tuesday, platinum lost 6.5 percent to reach $982.50 per ounce, while palladium fell 7.8 percent. Tuesday marked the first time in three years that platinum fell beneath $1,000.
As the week progressed, however, platinum rose to $1,030. But limited car sales and the slowing economy make it unlikely that these levels will stay strong. The slower pace of industrial demands should keep the metals underwater, but industry in developing nations could possibly keep them from drowning.