Platinum prices have ticked up from a seven-year low in January. But the outlook is inauspicious, says Alexandra Wexler in Barron’s.
A slowdown in Europe may temper demand for cars with diesel engines, in which platinum is used for catalytic converters. The market is set to be in deficit this year, but above-ground stocks look ample.
High prices in recent years have encouraged recycling of the metal, which has added to supplies and helped make up for production declines in South Africa, the biggest producer. No wonder the latest rally has faded.
“When Gordon Brown took bank supervision away from the Bank of England and sent it to the Financial Services Authority, it looked at the time more like punishment than policy. So it proved. Stanislas Yassukovich, a giant in the eurobond market who helped lay the foundation for London’s financial supremacy, relates in his memoir… how he was interviewed by a pimply youth from the FSA. Did he understand what his dealers were doing? As a tease, Stanislas replied: ‘Actually, I find the cricket scores easier to understand.’ The youth merely ticked the box and moved on to the next question. No wonder the FSA went sleepwalking into the banking crisis.”
Neil Collins, Financial Times