Tokyo: Platinum futures in Tokyo fell and were headed for their worst month in seven years on fresh signs that the plunging US auto sales will sap demand for the metal’s use in emissions control systems.
The metal fell for a fourth time in five days as widening losses on credit investments in the US and record oil prices have slowed economic growth and helped cut auto sales to a 15-year low.
Platinum for immediate delivery last week dropped to $1,712.50 (Rs72,781) an ounce (28.35g), a five-month low.
Traders expect figures on the US car sales due this Friday to show declining demand, Kazuhiko Saito, a commodity strategist at Interes Capital Management, said in Tokyo by phone.
“Platinum may drop below $1,700 an ounce” after the release, he said.
Platinum for June delivery dropped 26 yen (Rs10.14), or 0.4%, to close at 6,005 yen a g ($1,735 an ounce) on the Tokyo Commodity Exchange. Prices have fallen 13% this month, headed for the biggest monthly decline since July 2001.
Metal for immediate delivery fell $10 to $1,765 an ounce at 6.09pm Tokyo time, 0.6% lower than Monday in New York.
Toyota Motor Corp., vying with General Motors Corp. to be the world’s largest carmaker, on Monday lowered its sales and production forecast for this year as record US petrol prices erode sales of trucks and sport utility vehicles.
Banks and brokerages worldwide have had write-downs and credit losses worth about $468.4 billion since April 2007 as the surging US mortgage defaults triggered a collapse in the value of bonds related to their value.
US sales of new vehicles may fall to 14.2 million this year, the lowest since 1993, J.D. Power and Associates said on 23 July.
The deteriorating US economy, soaring fuel prices and the ongoing credit crisis meanthe industry won’t reach the 14.95 million mark projected four months ago, the Westlake Village, California-based market research firm said.