Metal prices have fallen sharply in the past year,as manufacturing industry has sunk into deep recession. Base metals have lost the most ground,falling by 60 per cent since their peak in March last year. Some precious metals have suffered too: silver and platinum prices fell by more than half from their peaks before bottoming out at the end of last year. But they have enjoyed a revival in 2009,as pessimistic investors have sought havens for their savings. The gold price has captured the headlines,flirting with the $1,000 barrier that it temporarily breached last March. But silver prices have risen twice as quickly as gold prices since the start of the year. Platinum prices have also benefited from the rush to safety.
© The Economist Newspaper Limited 2009