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Platinum shares hit multi-year lows

Spot prices are approaching the $1,000 level that will push most of the struggling industry into the red.

Platinum shares hit multi-year and even decades lows on Wednesday as the metal’s spot price pursued a relentless decline to new six-year lows, approaching the $1,000 level that will push most of the struggling industry into the red.

Lonmin shares tumbled to their lowest since 1983 in morning trade in London, while its Johannesburg shares sank to their lowest since 1999.

Shares in the world’s top producer, Anglo American Platinum, sank over 2 percent to 248.80 rand, the lowest in a decade.

World no. 2 producer Impala Platinum also stumbled 2 percent to near 12-year troughs.

Platinum prices hit their lowest in nearly 6-1/2 years on Wednesday at $1,005.75 an ounce, after sliding 2.4 percent in the previous session.

At mid morning in European trading hours, the metal was down 1.8 percent at $1,017.24 an ounce.

A move below $1,000 would mean two-thirds of the industry, which is still recovering from an often violent five-month strike last year, is loss-making, analysts say.

Platinum has been hit by a combination of technical factors, weakness in gold and the broader commodities complex, recent strength in the dollar, and perceptions that supply of the white metal used for emissions-capping auto-catalysts is ample.

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