Platinum may hit $2,000/oz in 6 months-JM

[] — Rising investment may take platinum to $2,000 an ounce in the next six months, its highest since mid-2008, Johnson Matthey said in an annual report, even though a recovery in industrial demand is set to be slow.

The same factor, coupled with a recovery in automotive and industrial demand, could drive palladium to levels not seen since 2001, it added.

Burgeoning investment in the metals helped both to rise in price last year despite the platinum market swinging into a surplus of 285,000 ounces from a deficit of 220,000 ounces in 2008, and palladium widening its surplus to 760,000 ounces.

This year JM expects the platinum market to return closer to balance as demand from the automotive and other industries picks up. However, this is not expected to be dramatic.