Platinum's lesser-known cousin keeps going from strength to strength. Palladium, once considered an unattractive by-product of platinum mining until the rise of catalytic converters in the 1970s, is hitting new records. Spot metal peaked at an all-time high of $1,344.41 an ounce on Wednesday. In the past month, it's been more costly than gold, which hasn't happened since 2002. You might think this will spark an immediate reversal and slump, as is often the case with commodity prices. That may not happen, though, because prices aren't high enough to prompt a supply surge. Palladium and platinum are part of an intertwined group of metals that occur in only Southern Africa, Siberia and, in smaller amounts, the US and Canada. These platinum group metals crop up in the same deposits, so it's next to impossible to produce platinum without getting some palladium, and vice versa. That's important, because the diesel scandals engulfing the global car industry in recent years are reducing ind...

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