June 29, 2018 / 7:34 PM / 3 months ago

Gold, platinum headed for weakest qtr since year-end 2016

    By Renita D. Young
    NEW YORK June 29 (Reuters) - Spot gold and platinum prices
headed for their weakest quarter since year-end 2016 as
investors seeking safe havens turned to U.S. Treasuries instead
of bullion and demand for metals used in automobiles fell. 
    Industrial demand for silver has kept prices from plunging
to the degree of its counterparts, analysts said on Friday
    * Spot gold prices were set to end the quarter down 5.4
percent, while spot platinum prices declined more than 8.1
percent during the quarter. Silver was set to close the second
quarter down 1.6 percent.
    * Gold is traditionally seen as a safe store of value during
times of geopolitical uncertainty. But recent global trade war
jitters have investors purchasing higher-yielding U.S.
Treasuries and the dollar as safe haven investments instead of
bullion, traders said.
    * Expectation of two additional U.S. interest rate increases
continue to weigh on all precious metals. 
    * The first half of 2018 should be the weakest for the U.S.
auto industry since 2014. Tariffs could hit sales growth, which
could pressure the two autocatalyst metals, platinum and
palladium.              
    * Spot silver prices have not dropped as dramatically
because of industrial demand. "As long as the economy stays
healthy there will be a strong industrial demand for silver,"
said Jonathan Sosnay, managing director of SchiffGold in New
York

 (Editing by Richard Chang and Steve Orlofsky)
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