Fed money printing drives platinum to record high, gold hits 27-year peak

LONDON, Oct 11, 2007 (AFP) – The price of platinum forged a record high on Thursday as the white metal was hit by tight global supplies, while gold soared to the best level since 1980 on the back of the weak US dollar, analysts said.

Platinum surged as high as 1,408.50 dollars an ounce on the London Platinum and Palladium Market.

That beat its previous all-time high point of 1,402.50 dollars hit in November 2006.
Platinum is used by the jewellery industry and in the manufacture of catalytic exhaust units for vehicles.

Gold prices leapt on Thursday as high as 752.04 dollars per ounce on the London Bullion Market.

Platinum, already beset with tight supplies, took another hit from fresh concerns in South Africa.

“The rise in (platinum) prices has been supported by concerns over supply following news of electrical power shortages in South Africa — the world’s largest producer of platinum,” said Barclays Capital analysts.

“The power supply to smelters owned by Anglo Platinum was disrupted and reignited fears that the power situation could worsen over the next few years.”

Gold, meanwhile, tends to rise in value when the US unit weakens because it makes commodities that are priced in dollars cheaper for