Platinum and palladium jumped by more than 4 percent on Tuesday as investors scrambled for position as the new year got under way and gold steadied after posting its biggest quarterly loss in more than three years.

The themes of late 2016 appeared to be persisting in the wider markets, with equities bouncing while the dollar posted its biggest rise in three weeks.      

Spot platinum was up 4.6 percent at $940.80 by 1500 GMT, while sister metal palladium rose 4.7 percent to $710.30.    

“The repositioning in the futures market in the dying weeks of last year saw in platinum a rebuilding in the gross short position, and at the same time long positioning remaining fairly steady,” said Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler. “Right now I think this is some short-covering driving prices higher.    

“It’s the start of the year, and there are some funds rebalancing their portfolios. There might be some niche funds that are interested in these metals, so that is part of the mix as well.”    

Palladium was the best-performing precious metal last year, with the price rising 20 percent for its biggest annual gain in six years. Platinum lagged gains in the wider complex, however, ending 2016 only 1 percent higher.

Source: Reuters UK

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