December 21st, 2009
11:31 AM GMT
You have to admit gold has kind of stolen the show in the metals sector this year. The traditional safe haven investment raced to settle at a record price of $1,218.30 an ounce in early December. Now prices have fallen off somewhat since then, but the gold bulls and the gold bears are still arguing it out over when we might see $1500.
In all this gold rush though, you may have overlooked the significant gains in other metals. Here are a few to watch in 2010.
Platinum: Platinum prices have made solid gains this year, but some analysts say the precious metal could have more room to grow. Used both for jewelry and industrial purposes, constrained supply is an issue.
Copper: Prices for this industrial metal more than doubled in 2009 after a difficult 2008. Copper watchers expect demand for the metal will continue rising as global economies pick up in 2010. Copper is a key component for building projects, autos and electrical wiring, so it is an essential resource for quickly growing countries like China.
Steel: More, more and more seems to be China's attitude towards steel at the moment. Still the outlook for this essential building material is far from certain. Fitch Ratings predicts in a recent report that demand will recover at a "modest pace" over the 12-18 months, but says high stocks and excess capacity should limit price increases. Morgan Stanley believes such overproduction should recede though and higher prices are on the horizon, driven by rising raw materials costs and China's booming property sector.
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