Gold, platinum, and silver prices have all done an about-face in the last month, just as many forecasters had given up on precious metals.
At press time, gold was trading at $1,187 an ounce, inching toward the $1,200 benchmark. While its price had approached $1,050 this summer, in the last 30 days, it has risen 6.5 percent.
Platinum—hit hard by the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal—still lags gold, as it has for the much of the year. But the white metal has also reversed course over the last month. At press time, it had crossed the $1,000 benchmark to trade at $1,004 an ounce. It spent most of the summer trading in the $900–$1,000 range, its lowest price level in nearly seven years.
In perhaps the ultimate indignity, for part of the summer the price of platinum neared the price of its traditional younger brother palladium, as the price spread between the two metals hit a 13-year low. Some even speculated platinum’s traditional dominance over palladium could end. At press time, however, the gulf had widened again, with palladium trading at $702 an ounce.
Silver has also risen to $16.17 an ounce. Its price has jumped 12.5 percent in the last 30 days.
Kieron Hodgson, commodities and mining analyst for London-based Panmure Gordon & Co., says gold’s rally has been fueled by continued geopolitical unrest and disappointing economic news from the United States, which will likely delay an expected Federal Reserve rate hike and has caused a weakness in the dollar. Supply and demand may also factor in, as India’s gold purchases tend to rise in the third quarter, and strikes may hit South African gold mines.
Those bearish on precious metals can still take heart: Even with these gains, the price of gold has still dropped 4 percent from last year; silver, 7 percent; and platinum, more than 10 percent.