* Spot gold to gain more to $1,274-technicals
* Coming Up: U.S. Weekly mortgage market index; 1100 GMT
(Recasts, adds comments from ANZ)
By Lewa Pardomuan
SINGAPORE, June 11 Palladium held near its
highest level in more than three years in a volatile session on
Wednesday, underpinned by physical demand for the precious
metal, as well as a five-month strike in South Africa.
Palladium often tracks sister metal platinum, which
has risen nearly 8 percent this year on supply concerns after
the strike over wages took out 40 percent of global platinum
output and hit South Africa's economy.
Palladium slipped to $848.10 an ounce before bouncing
to $852.00 by 0652 GMT, unchanged from the previous session, and
not far from a 3-1/2-year high of $854 hit on Tuesday. South
Africa is the world's second-biggest producer of the malleable
metal which has gained more than 19 percent this year.
"Palladium demand from industrial customers is not bad
despite the high price level. People are buying palladium and we
are seeing purchases from the auto, dental and chemical
sectors," said a physical dealer in Tokyo, who also trades in
gold and platinum.
"But demand for platinum for investment and the industrial
sector is not good at all."
Palladium and platinum are both used in making jewellery and
With net long positions in the palladium market at
historical highs, a steep pullback is expected in the coming
weeks as profits are taken above $860 an ounce, according to
South Africa's Impala Platinum, the world's No.2
producer of the precious metal, said it had nothing more to
offer to resolve a five-month strike over pay that has cut
output and slowed the economy.
The strike has cost Implats and other producers Anglo
American Platinum (Amplats) and Lonmin
collectively about $2 billion in lost revenue.
Gold, which has been overshadowed by palladium and
recent rallies in equities, added $1.01 to $1,261.50 an ounce,
off a four-month low of $1,240.61 hit last week.
"Around these levels, we can say demand seems to be slowing
down a little bit. On the investment side, I don't think people
are aggressive," said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong
Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.
"Sentiment is slightly bearish. We've got to see whether the
downside at $1,200 is a good point to buy. On the upside, $1,275
to $1,280 is not easy to break through," Leung said.
The euro came under mounting pressure on Wednesday as the
European Central Bank's liquidity package encouraged flows out
of the zone, while Asian shares consolidated near recent highs
following a flat finish on Wall Street.
U.S. COMEX gold futures for August delivery was at
$1,261.50 an ounce, up $1.40.
Russian gold output rose by 29.7 percent in the first four
months of 2014 compared with the same period in 2013 due to
producers fighting lower prices with higher volumes, an industry
lobby said on Tuesday.
Precious metals prices 0652 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume
Spot Gold 1261.50 1.01 +0.08 4.69
Spot Silver 19.21 0.09 +0.47 -1.03
Spot Platinum 1470.90 -2.50 -0.17 7.56
Spot Palladium 852.00 0.00 +0.00 19.50
COMEX GOLD AUG4 1261.50 1.40 +0.11 4.97 9726
COMEX SILVER JUL4 19.23 0.06 +0.00 -0.72 3056
(Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Anupama Dwivedi)