Platinum, palladium trade higher before U.S. jobs report

Platinum, palladium trade higher before U.S. jobs report

3132428-stack-of-pure-platinum-bars-on-a-reflective-surfacePlatinum and palladium traded higher on Friday, ahead important U.S. jobs data, which will reflect the health of the economy and weigh on the Fed’s monetary stance.

American employers created 228,000 jobs last month, compared to 126,000 jobs in March, according to analysts’ median forecasts. Unemployment probably fell to 5.4 percent in April from 5.5 percent.

Any progress in the U.S. data is predicted to boost the dollar and put further pressure on precious metals that provide no interest to their holders.

As of 12:30 GMT, platinum traded at $1133.57 an ounce after registering a peak of $1137.74, while platinum traded at $784.50 an ounce after hitting a high of $787.50.

Bearish Trend

The general direction for both platinum and palladium remain bearish in the wake of lackluster demand from jewelers and automakers.

Platinum is meanwhile trading near its lowest level in nearly six years, as producers in South Africa reel from persistent weakness in global demand on the metal.

Lonmin, the third-largest platinum miner by output, said on Thursday it is looking forward to cutting 3,500 jobs from its South African workforce, as the low price of the metal shaves revenues.

Although workers strikes on South Africa’s platinum sector resumed for five months in 2014, it failed to give an uplift to prices.

The low price also failed to encourage jewelers’ buyers from the key Chinese market, amid the slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy.

Another obstacle came from the hurdles facing the usage of diesel-powered cars in Europe on air pollution concerns.

Last month, a poll by Reuters slashed their forecasts for both platinum and palladium for 2015 and 2016 on oversupply.

Platinum fell for a third straight quarter at the beginning of this year, while palladium was the worst performer, after posting its biggest monthly drop in March since September.

At the meantime, gold is trading slightly higher at $1186, while silver is hovering around $16.37.

Ahmed Mamdouh

Ahmed Mamdouh, Co-Founder and Head of English Fundamental Analysis at FXComment.com, with 7 years of experience in the financial markets. Mamdouh holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from The American University in Cairo and a Bachelor Degree in Economics from The Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University.

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