European inflation hastened to 2.4 percent last month, an unexpected pace believed by economists. Prices for crude oil futures touched their two-month high and Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak left open negotiations with leaders of a week-old opposition movement that could spell the end of his three decades in power.
A report by analyst Tom Pawlicki of MF Global Holdings cited "bullish issues such as the lack of a cohesive government in Egypt and likely forthcoming inflation signaled by higher oil prices", which might benefit precious metals.
Shortly after 7 a.m. in Chicago, platinum futures for March delivery were down 0.5 percent to $1,797.50 per troy ounce. Before 8 a.m. in Chicago, March-delivery palladium futures were up 0.95 percent to $820.05 per troy ounce.