Panel calls for metal trade probe

The government should probe whether metals markets with high levels of speculation and volatility are an acceptable way to bring strategic commodities to end users, a parliamentary committee advised yesterday. The science and technology committee has expressed concerns over reports of hedge funds buying up significant quantities of metals, which may exacerbate price and supply volatility for some metals that are “strategically important” for the economy. Metals that have a vital role in the British economy, according to the committee, include rare earth, gold, nickel and platinum.