An exchange traded fund tracking platinum rose Friday in heavy trading volume following reports South African police killed 34 striking platinum miners.
South Africa’s worst labor-related violence in nearly two decades also left 78 wounded, NYTimes.com reports. President Jacob Zuma cut short his trip to neighboring Mozambique to rush to the mine, about 60 miles northwest of Johannesburg, according to the report.
“There are two things going on – the pay dispute, but also this militancy between unions,” Citigroup analyst David Wilson said in a Reuters report. “It is having an impact on sentiment towards platinum. Whether it is significantly tightening the market – at the moment, probably not. But potentially, this could have quite a long-term impact.”
ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (NYSEArca: PPLT) is on track for a weekly gain of 5% with trading volume picking up dramatically Thursday and Friday. Other exchange traded products for the precious metal include iPath Platinum ETN (NYSEArca: PGM) and E-TRACS Platinum ETN (NYSEArca: PTM).
“Although the disruption to date and probable lost output may not [yet]be sufficient to create a structural change in the market, they could generate the kind of short-covering rally seen in January and February this year, when platinum gained more than 20%,” Credit Suisse analysts said in a Barron’s report.