The Wall Street Journal reported this week that platinum and palladium prices reached ten month and two week highs respectively this week as the U.S. posted higher than expected automobile sales and news of a possible new mining strike in South Africa following the end of the long running strike by the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union. According to the Journal, although platinum miners are not involved in this new strike, the disruption is still affecting investor sentiment.

Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist with Archer Financial Services in Chicago, told the Journal:

That’s really adding to the supply fears right now.

As quoted in the publication:

An unexpected increase in U.S. car sales also bolstered investor interest in platinum and palladium. Both metals are widely used in car-exhaust filters, where they help to break down pollutants like carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide. This application accounts for 38% of platinum demand and 68% of palladium demand according to Johnson Matthey, one of the world’s largest auto catalyst makers.

Click here to read the full Wall Street Journal Article.