Platinum has climbed to the highest point in almost four months on Monday amid worries about continued supply shortfalls after the top producer of the metal said it swung to a loss last year.

The most actively traded platinum contract, for April delivery, recently traded up $US11.30, or 0.7 per cent, at $US1,699 a troy ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures rose as high as $1,709 an ounce, the highest intraday price since October 9.

Anglo American Platinum Ltd, the largest producer of the metal, on Monday said it swung to a loss in 2012 after strikes limited production. The company also struggled with weak demand from major consumers and rising costs.

"2012 was a challenging year for Anglo American Platinum and the platinum industry as a whole," chief executive Chris Griffith said in a statement.

The company, majority owned by Anglo American PLC, last month said it would curtail annual production equal to about seven per cent of global output in an effort to return to profitability.

"We think the South African supply pipeline will remain rather unreliable over the course of the year," Edward Meir, an analyst with INTL FCStone, said in a note. Global supply should fall short of demand this year, Meir said.

Gold for April delivery fell $US4.90, or 0.3 per cent, to $US1,665.70 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the Nymex.

Signs of accelerating global economic growth have pressured gold prices in recent weeks. Gains in stocks and other risky assets can limit demand for the precious metal as a safe haven.

Additionally, some investors have bet that an improving US economy would lead the Federal Reserve to cut short its stimulus. Programs like the Fed's current bond-buying effort tend to stoke worries about inflation down the line and increase demand for gold as a hedge against rising prices.

 

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