Palladium jumps 11% as London market blocks sale from Russian refineries

(Reuters) - Palladium rose 11% on Friday on renewed supply concerns after trading in the metal from Russian refineries was suspended in London over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

FILE PHOTO: A worker checks granules of palladium, transported from Norilsk Nickel plant, for production of ingots of 99.98 percent pureness at the Krastsvetmet nonferrous metals plant in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk April 12, 2012. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

Palladium, used by automakers in catalytic converters to curb emissions, rose 7.8% to hit its highest since March 25 following the announcement by the London Platinum and Palladium Market, a trade association that accredits refineries. (Full Story)

“Around 40% of primary palladium supply stems from Russia, for the remainder of the year around 1.8 million ounces of primary production may be at risk ... the suspension could exacerbate the undersupply,” said Standard Chartered analyst Suki Cooper.

Palladium XPD= rose to $2,408.50 as of 1:54 p.m. ET (1754 GMT), en route to its first weekly gain in five. The metal surged to an all-time high of $3,440.76 on March 7 on concerns over supply from top producer Russia.

“Ultimately, the market is worried that we’re going to have an even more scarce market than before,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities.

Spot gold XAU= rose 0.5% to $1,941.94 per ounce and was up 0.9% for the week, while U.S. gold futures GCv1 rose 0.4% to $1,945.6. (Full Story)

Gold’s rise came despite solid gains in the U.S. dollar, a rival safe-haven asset. A stronger dollar generally erodes gold’s appeal for overseas buyers. USD/ US/ (Full Story)

The uncertainty over what the Federal Reserve is going to do after raising rates is driving flows into gold, said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.

Fears of a recession, growth concerns along with inflationary pressures are also causing people to hedge through gold, Moya added.

While gold is considered a refuge asset during global conflicts and rising inflation, higher U.S. interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding bullion.

Silver XAG= rose 0.9% to $24.78 per ounce, up 0.6% for the week, while platinum XPT= gained 1.4% to $975.91 but was down for a fifth consecutive week.

Reporting by Seher Dareen in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri, Shailesh Kuber and Vinay Dwivedi