Goldman Sachs, BASF, HSBC Hit With Platinum and Palladium Price Fixing Lawsuit

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Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Germany’s BASF SE and two other big platinum and palladium dealers have been sued in the US in what the plaintiff’s law firm called the first nationwide class action over alleged price-fixing of the metals.

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In a complaint filed on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, units of Goldman, BASF, HSBC Holdings Plc and South Africa’s Standard Bank Group Ltd were accused of having conspired since 2007 to rig the twice-daily platinum and palladium “fixings” and the prices of futures and options based on those fixings.

The plaintiff, Modern Settings LLC, a Florida-based maker of jewelry and police badges, claimed metals purchasers lost millions of dollars.

The defendants illegally shared customer data, used that information to engage in “front-running” of expected price moves, and manufactured phantom “spoof” orders, according to the plaintiff.

After two changeless days, the price of Japanese palladium bar closed at JPY 2,972 ($25.23) per gram on Wednesday, November 26. The price of US palladium bar showed little movement yesterday at $790.00 per ounce. Chinese palladium bar held its value yesterday at CNY 174.00 ($28.36) per gram.

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At $1,222, the price of US platinum bar finished the market day up 1.7% per ounce. The price of Chinese platinum bar increased 0.4% to CNY 257.00 ($41.89) per gram. Japanese platinum bar prices saw a 0.3% decline to JPY 4,575 ($38.83) per gram.

Indian gold bullion gained 0.9% to finish at INR 27,100 ($438.16) per 10 grams. Japanese gold bullion saw its price rise 0.5% to JPY 4,538 ($38.52) per gram. US gold bullion finished the day up 0.2% to $1,201 per ounce. The price of Chinese gold bullion remained essentially flat at CNY 237.09 ($38.65) per gram.

After a 2.0% increase, Japanese silver finished the day at JPY 621.00 ($5.27) per 10 grams. Indian silver closed 1.4% lower at INR 37,536 ($606.89) per kilogram. At $16.65, the price of US silver finished the market day up 1.1% per ounce. After a couple of days of improving prices, the price of Chinese silver held steady at CNY 3,530 ($575.39).

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