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February 17, 2006

Platinum up Friday, down on week

Permalink: Platinum up Friday, down on week
by Elaine Frei

Metals prices were mixed during the week, with a boost to the price of platinum coming at the end of the week with news of a possible bid for Lonmin, which has a goal of producing 1 million ounces of the precious metal this year. That bid news and announced goal sent the price of platinum up $8 to $1,013 per troy ounce on Friday. Even with that boost, however, platinum prices were down 2.1 percent over the week.

Funds leaving platinum to buy palladium took the price of the latter metal up 1.8 percent to $287 per troy ounce on the week.

Meanwhile, gold gained 0.3 percent on the week to $552.40 on the decision by Bundesbank and the German government to keep existing rules on gold sales from the banks 3,400 tonne stockpile, the world’s second largest inventory.

Silver was up during the week, as well, advancing by 0.7 percent to $9.42 per troy ounce. The gain came on continued market speculation that an exchange-traded fund might be established.

In the oil sector, political worries and concerns about small amounts of spare production capacity sent crude oil prices up on Thursday and Friday after it had reached an eight-week low of $58 per barrel on Wednesday. West Texas Intermediate gained 74 cents to $59.20 per barrel on Friday but fell 4.3 percent over the week as a whole. Meanwhile, Brent crude gained 81 cents to $59.50 per barrel at the end of the week, but was down 0.1 percent on the week. Nymex gasoline was up on the day and the week, gaining 6.2 cents to $1.4740 per gallon Friday and rising 0.8 percent over the week.



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