Chart of the week: will palladium outshine gold?

The price of palladium has climbed of nearly 30% over the past six weeks and could cost more than gold for the first time in 16 years.

916_COTW

The price of palladium has had an impressive climb of nearly 30% over the past six weeks. The shiny metal "could become more valuable than gold for the first time in 16 years", says Myra P. Saefong in Barron's. Futures prices for palladium have jumped to $1,072 an ounce, while gold costs $1,188.

Palladium is used in catalytic converters in petrol-powered vehicles. Its sister metal platinum is more commonly used in catalytic converters for diesel engines. But demand for diesel cars has slipped in recent years owing to concern over pollution and the Volkswagen emissions scandal of 2015. Automotive demand for palladium, however, is expected to rise to a record high of 8.6 million ounces this year.

Viewpoint

We usually pay for what we consume. Yet this principle doesn't apply to flight tickets. If it did, they would be priced according to passengers' weight to reflect the space they take up, the burden they place on the plane, and the aviation fuel they consequently burn. It seems especially odd not to explore this idea when we pay for food, luggage and extra legroom already. These reflect various costs for the airline, but the biggest cost, transporting the human body, is not taken into account. Yet it's hardly an outlandish idea. People are already expected to take a degree of responsibility for their own body. In private health insurance those who choose to live a lifestyle that poses risks to their health pay higher premiums. And the technology is there. Software can gauge people's approximate weight based on their shoe and clothing purchases; Airbus holds a patent for a plane seat that can be adjusted for width.

Miriam Meckel, WirtschaftsWoche

Recommended

How the commodities supercycle will foment unrest around the world
Commodities

How the commodities supercycle will foment unrest around the world

Commodities, including metals, energy and agricultural goods have seen prices climb steadily. With many societies are already on edge, we could see a …
21 Jan 2021
Gold has had a tough start to 2021, but we’ve been here before
Gold

Gold has had a tough start to 2021, but we’ve been here before

Gold has had a disappointing start to the year – in an increasingly digital world, it’s the ultimate analogue asset. Nevertheless, says Dominic Frisby…
20 Jan 2021
More upside to come for the oil price
Oil

More upside to come for the oil price

The Brent crude oil price its highest level since last February this week. And there could be more gains to come.
14 Jan 2021
A simple way to profit from the next big trend change in the markets
Investment strategy

A simple way to profit from the next big trend change in the markets

Change is coming to the markets as the tech-stock bull market of the 2010s is replaced by a new cycle of rising commodity prices. John Stepek explains…
14 Jan 2021

Most Popular

Why we won’t see a house-price crash in 2021
House prices

Why we won’t see a house-price crash in 2021

Lockdown sent house prices berserk as cooped up home-workers fled for bigger properties in the country. And while they won’t rise quite as much this y…
18 Jan 2021
The FTSE 100 is set for a makeover with an influx of new tech stocks
UK stockmarkets

The FTSE 100 is set for a makeover with an influx of new tech stocks

The FTSE 100 – the dullest index in the world – is about to reinvent itself as a host of new firms list on the market. The change is long overdue, say…
24 Jan 2021
Inflation is the easiest way out of this – just don’t expect politicians to admit it
Inflation

Inflation is the easiest way out of this – just don’t expect politicians to admit it

The UK government borrowed £34.1bn in December, a record amount for that month. Britain's debt pile now amounts to 100% of GDP. How are we going to pa…
22 Jan 2021