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SINGAPORE: Platinum prices extended a rally in Asian trade on Monday to scale their highest in more than six years on firmer investor expectations that an economic recovery would boost demand for the auto-catalyst metal and lead to a supply shortfall.

Platinum, used by the auto industry to filter emissions from engine exhausts, rose to its highest since January 2015 at $1,285.17 an ounce. It was up 1.9% at $1,276.44 by 0746 GMT.

“The economic recovery play, including a recovery in Chinese jewellery demand in 2021, with concerns that South Africa supplies will remain vulnerable to the COVID-19,” is driving prices, said Nicholas Frappell, global general manager at ABC Bullion.

“Further price targets on the upside extend to $1,330 and 1,577.”

Platinum may see a third consecutive annual deficit in 2021, according to specialist materials firm Johnson Matthey.

Analysts said US President Joe Biden’s push for greener policies as well as a global tightening of auto emission rules were also boosting prices.

Operational issues in Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), one of the world’s largest platinum producers, that contributed to a supply deficit last year also remained a concern.

Spot gold eased 0.4% to $1,816.50 per ounce as US Treasury yields jumped to a near 11-month peak on Friday. US gold futures slipped 0.4% to $1,816.60.

“The safe-haven status of gold is not holding as much shine as it once did, while we’ve a lot of optimism around economic growth,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.

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