Although gold and silver attract most of the headlines, investors can also choose from among exchange traded funds tracking other precious metals, including platinum.

Platinum can perform differently from gold because it is also an industrial metal used for catalytic converters and automobiles, as well as in jewelry and other luxury items. This opens up its ability to prosper once consumers begin to spend again. [Precious Metal Basket ETF]

Up until the market meltdown in 2008, platinum had grown fourfold from 2001 to 2008. After Lehman Brothers collapsed, the metal fell 65% in less than the months. [What Gold, Platinum ETFs are Saying About the Economy]

Now, a Standard Bank report shows that traders are increasing their short positions on platinum, reports Stuart on Ag Metal Miner.

ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (NYSEArca: PPLT) is an ETF that holds the physical metal. Other exchange traded products include E-TRACS UBS Bloomberg Long Platinum ETN (NYSEArca: PTM) and iPath Dow Jones AIG Platinum TR Sub-Index ETN (NYSEArca: PGM). [Platinum, Palladium ETFs Move Higher]

The funds have recovered somewhat after a steep drop in September.

“Underlying demand for the PGMs [platinum group of metals]remains relatively healthy, while concerns over supply have been sidelined,” Barclays Capital analyst Suki Cooper said in a Dow Jones Newswires report Wednesday.

“More than 30% of platinum demand is driven by its autocatalyst applications. The auto sector destocking and industry projections predict increased automotive production going forward, which could place upward pressure on platinum prices,” notes Morningstar analyst Abraham Bailin. “While most investors regard platinum as a precious metal, its industrial applications lay it victim to economic trends. A double-dip global economic recession could place severe downward pressure on platinum prices.”

ETFS Physical Platinum Shares

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.

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