South Africa’s Platinum Strike Continues, Talks Collapse; Japanese Palladium Bar Up

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South Africa’s platinum strike seems to be far from over as “wage talks between the world’s top platinum producers and South Africa’s Association of Mineworkers and Construction workers Union (AMCU) collapsed on Wednesday, dashing hopes for an early end to a crippling six-week strike,” reports Reuters.

“The stoppage – in a sector still raw from a series of violent strikes in 2012 – has hit over 40 percent of global production of the precious metal used for emissions-capping catalytic converters in automobiles.”

“It also dealt a fresh blow to investor confidence in Africa’s biggest economy.”

“The spot platinum price spiked to six-month highs over $1,480 an ounce after the three producers, Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin, said government-mediated talks had broken down.”

“Lonmin, the smallest and most vulnerable of the trio, said it would now miss its platinum sales target this financial year of 750,000 ounces. Its share price fell over 7 percent.”

In metal price news for precious metals…

Strengthening prices ended a two-day flat streak as the price of Japanese palladium bar moved up by 3.7 percent on Wednesday. US palladium bar finished the day up 1.6 percent. Chinese palladium bar saw its price rise 1.2 percent.

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The price of US platinum bar increased 1.5 percent. Japanese platinum bar saw its price rise 1.5 percent. Chinese platinum bar prices rose 0.3 percent.

Following a couple days of improvement, the price of Chinese gold bullion weakened by 1.2 percent. Following two days of rising prices, the price of Indian gold bullion dropped 1.0 percent. Japanese gold bullion finished the day up 0.2 percent. The price of US gold bullion finished the market day up 0.2 percent per ounce.

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The price of Indian silver fell 1.3 percent. The price of Chinese silver declined 0.9 percent, after two days of improvement. After a 0.4 percent increase, US silver finished the day. Japanese silver fell 0.4 percent on Wednesday.