Quake aftermath: Gold futures rise; palladium, platinum fall

Gold futures rose for the second straight session as Japan’s strongest earthquake on record boosted demand for a haven asset, reports Bloomberg.  Palladium fell for an eighth straight session, the longest slump since July 2008.

Equities declined worldwide as officials said the death toll from the earthquake and tsunami may top 10,000. Technicians tried to contain damage from a second explosion at a nuclear plant north of Tokyo.

“Given the global political and financial uncertainty, you’re seeing investors shifting assets away from dollars and other currencies into hard assets,” said Stephen Platt, an analyst at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago. “You’re still going to see a lot of excess liquidity being pumped into these markets that will encourage a flight to metals as a safe haven.”

Palladium and platinum, used mainly in pollution-control devices in vehicles, fell on concern that industrial demand will ease as damage from the quake hinders the global economy, said Dennis Gartman, an economist and the editor of the Suffolk, Virginia-based Gartman Letter.

Companies including Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. shut some plants in Japan following the quake.

828 0