Industrial metals up on successful GM IPO, report


Palladium and other industrial metals surged Thursday after General Motors had a successful post-bankruptcy IPO and a report showed a pickup in manufacturing in the Philadelphia region. Commodities prices also benefited as Ireland moved closer to resolving its debt problems, removing a major uncertainty for financial markets. The dollar weakened as a result, which helped push commodities higher as well. Lind-Waldock senior market strategist Frank Cholly Sr. said companies that use commodities in their businesses saw a recent decline in prices as an opportunity to buy what they needed at a lower price. In economic news, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said its manufacturing index jumped to 22.5 in November from 1.0 last month. It was the highest reading this year. Firms included in the survey saw more robust manufacturing activity this month. They also were optimistic about growth in the next six months. The region covers Pennsylvania, part of New Jersey and Delaware. The other upbeat news for industrial metals came as GM’s stock began trading, which signaled a new era for the automobile manufacturer that had collapsed into bankruptcy and required a government bailout. Palladium and platinum, which are both key materials for catalytic converters, settled higher. Palladium for December delivery gained US$40.65, or 6.2 percent, to US$695.50 an ounce. January platinum added US$23 to US$1,663.90 an ounce. March copper added 10.45 cents to settle at US$3.8385 a pound. In other metals for December delivery, gold rose US$16.10 to settle at US$1,353.0 an ounce and silver added US$1.323 to US$26.834 an ounce. In agricultural commodities, March wheat gained 13 cents, or 1.9 percent, to settle at US$6.8450 a bushel. March corn added 16.5 cents, or 3.1 percent, to US$5.5575 a bushel and January soybeans rose 37 cents, or 3.1 percent, to US$12.42 a bushel. March sugar shot 6.3 percent higher, settling up 1.68 cents to 28.15 cents a pound.