May 4 (Reuters) - Palladium prices soared to all-time highs on Tuesday, fuelled by worries over short supplies of the auto-catalyst metal as demand gradually improves, while gold prices rose to their highest level in more than two months.
Spot palladium gained 0.4% to $2,983.83 per ounce at 10:59 a.m. EDT (1459 GMT), after jumping to a record of $3,017.18.
“There are stricter pollution controls globally that we have not seen in the past, which means vehicles that were not previously required to use auto-catalysts will now have to, and hence more demand,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities.
“We are in a situation where for the foreseeable future the market will be in physical deficit and prices will go higher,” he added.
Following years of deficit, concerns about supply shortages were exacerbated after top producer Nornickel announced disruptions at two mines due to flooding.
Spot gold, meanwhile, was 0.1% higher at $1,794.01 per ounce, having hit its highest since Feb. 25 at $1,798.65 as tumbling U.S. Treasury yields offered support.
“Gold prices are not breaking despite a stronger dollar that stemmed from investors turning cautious on stocks,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
Gold is slowly turning bullish; it just needs to break above some key technical levels before Wall Street will become believers again, he wrote in a note.
Gains in bullion were limited as the dollar index rose 0.4%, with investors weighing chances that U.S. interest rates will be forced higher by a roaring U.S. economic recovery, reducing bullion’s allure for other currency holders.
There is still a lack of conviction for ETF inflows at the moment, Commerzbank analysts said, adding if gold were to succeed in breaking above the $1,800 mark, this could result in ETF buying.
Silver was flat at $26.87, after hitting its highest since Feb. 26, while platinum rose 1.4% to $1,247.50.
Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru Editing by Marguerita Choy