Fundamental Comment

Platinum hovers near 2-1/2 year low on trade tensions

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Platinum led losses in precious metals on Wednesday, hovering near its lowest level in 2-1/2 years, amid uneasing trade tensions between the United States and China.

The U.S.-China trade rhetoric intensified yesterday after Trump told the U.S. trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, to target an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods for 10 percent tariffs.

The White House released a new report on Tuesday stressing on China's 'economic aggression' and its impact on the global economy, shedding the light on China’s practices that "threatens the technologies and intellectual property of the United States and the world."

Chinese stocks rebounded today after hitting their lowest intraday level in two years earlier on Wednesday, as the People’s Bank of China governor Yi Gang called for confidence in his country’s “good economic fundamentals and resilient growth.” 

Meanwhile, markets are waiting for a stronger response from China to the latest threats from Trump, amidst growing concerns of experiencing a devastating trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

Platinum traded 0.31 percent lower at $862.20 an ounce, marking the lowest level since February 3, 2016.

In fact, other factors probably have contributed to the platinum’s latest plummet, including the diesel emission scandal and the depreciating South African rand, which lowers dollar-denominated costs for South African producers.

Gold resumed its plunge to $1273.40 an ounce, trading near yesterday’s six-month trough of $1270.74.

While gold should have got some haven support from the escalating trade tensions, it was suppressed by the dollar’s strength and the rebound in equities.

The dollar index climbed to a peak of $94.97 on Wednesday, trading close to its highest level in 11 months.

Investors has been dealing with the dollar as a safe haven asset, like the yen and franc, while gold failed to attract refuge seekers, who flocked to buy U.S. Treasury bonds.

Euro STOXX 600 index rebounded today, as it is currently 0.68 percent up to 385.82 after falling to a low of 380.83 the previous session, which was the lowest since April.

Later in the day, eyes will focus on speeches from ECB Draghi, BOJ Kuroda, Fed Powell and RBA Low in a panel discussion at the ECB Forum on Central Banking held in Portugal.

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