Palladium is starting 2017 in a cheery mood, with the best performance among precious metals.

The metal headed for its biggest two-day gain since August 2015, rising 8.3 percent on bets demand from carmakers will grow after improving manufacturing data in the U.S. and China. General Motors Co.’s December deliveries beat forecasts while Ford Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. posted surprise gains. Gold rallied as the dollar weakened.

Palladium for immediate delivery delivery soared 21 percent last year, outpacing gains in platinum, silver and gold. The metal, used to reduce dangerous engine-exhaust gases, is the most industrial of the four and has been buoyed by demand from the world’s two largest economies.

“Demand is outstripping supply,” said Peter Thomas, a senior vice president at Zaner Group LLC in Chicago. “Recent car sales figures have been monstrous — that’s a reflection of demand. The fundamentals are driving the market.”

The metal traded at $739.08 an ounce by 1:42 p.m. in New York, up 4.3 percent, after rising 4 percent on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. Palladium futures for March delivery rose 4.1 percent to settle at $738.80 an ounce at 1:14 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Source: Bloomberg

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