Thursday 21st February 2008 9:39 p.m.
Today has been a historic high day, not in terms of controlled substances (unless you believe the GATA theory that gold is controlled ;-) ) but in terms of the price of just about everything in commodities. New all-time highs came in gold $948.59, West Texas oil $101.32 and platinum $2192 for a start. Even North Sea Brent Crude oil is shaving close to $100, hitting an all-time high yesterday at $99.22. Spot market gold is $944.60/945.40 Bid/Ask on Kitco as I write. Palladium is doing very well on the back of the rise in sister metal platinum. This other white metal, Pd, hit $525.50 today.
Palladium is quite leveraged to the power shortages in South Africa. About 70% of world platinum production is in South Africa, with around 30% of Palladium production also there (most of the rest, the vast majority in fact, is in Russia and they are not in the mood to give it away these days with Putin photographed holding bars of gold and saying Russia will increase its gold reserves - they like their precious metals to be precious over there and I think they like the idea of having a pop at the US dollar standard system, too). Palladium is interesting because it spiked to $1000+ in the 1999-2001 period with supply shortages, ironically right at the very bottom of the commodities and precious metals markets (when gold was about $260 per ounce and silver about $4) and then palladium collapsed to around $170 over the next few years. It's on its way up again, evidently, up 200% from its low. It looks like it was a steal back at $200 or so, where it spent a good couple of years.
An excellent article on today's action is on this link at Channel News Asia.