Some analysts also believed that palladium could continue to shine as tightening market conditions will continue through 2018. Traders have increased positioning in future market as automobile sales hit record highs, especially with rising automobile sales in China.
Along with its safe-haven link in the precious metals space, palladium is also more sensitive to economic cycles and enjoys heavy industrial demand, notably out of the automobile industry where the precious metal is used as an autocatalyst to remove harmful emission particles. China and the U.S., the world’s two largest automobile markets, use palladium in the production of catalytic converters.
Many still believe South Africa’s economy has its work cut out for it as the government tackles high unemployment and high debt. Credit agency Fitch recently downgraded South Africa to just one notch above speculative-grade status and stated that the dismissal of Nene had “raised more negative than positive questions.”
South Africa is Africa’s second-largest economy behind Nigeria.
“Slow economic growth and political infighting are key factors rating companies have highlighted as risks to their assessments. Gordhan has had to balance efforts to boost the economy against the need to contain rising debt to fund the budget of Africa’s most-industrialized economy,” according to Bloomberg.