South Africa Wants Local Industry to Make Up for Falling Platinum Prices

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An industry minister in South Africa says the nation needs to make its own platinum refining industries to combat global commodity prices and while construction employment was up in August in the US, it also showed weakness in nearly half the country’s metro areas.

A South African Platinum Production Industry

South Africa’s platinum sector needs to develop local industries such as jewelry production to counter falling global prices which steepened after Volkswagen admitted rigging diesel emissions tests, the country’s industry and trade minister said on Monday. Platinum posted its biggest weekly drop since July last week.

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“If we are going to smelter platinum and nothing much else, we are going to be at the mercy of global markets, we are going to be hanging around, waiting for some recovery in the price,” Trade and Industry minister Rob Davies told Reuters.

“I don’t know directly what impact the VW issue will have, we will have to wait and see where that goes,” Davies said.

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Platinum fell below $900 an ounce for the first time since January 2009 on the Volkswagen news.

Construction Employment Falls in Almost Half of US Metro Areas

Construction employment increased in 163 of 358 metro areas in August compared with the year-ago levels, but it fell in 153, according to an Associated General Contractors of America report. Florida’s metro areas saw an increase of 7%, while two Texas metro areas saw steep declines.

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