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Platinum and palladium may not have the cachet of either gold or silver, but these rare metals now have their own exchange-traded funds (ETFs) listed in North America.

London-based ETF Securities Ltd. Friday launched ETFS Platinum Trust and ETFS Palladium Trust on the New York Stock Exchange Arca. Each charges a fee of 0.60 per cent.

While these two metals may conjure up images of wedding rings, they are also commodities used in sectors like the automotive industry, and can give investors exposure to the industrial cycle and overall economic recovery.

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The ETFs are backed by bullion in plate and ingot form stored in vaults in London & Switzerland by custodian, JP Morgan Chase Bank.

"Typically uncorrelated to equities, they can provide investors with an additional tool for diversification," said Fred Jheon, head of product and business development of ETF Securities U.S.-based subsidiary ETFS Marketing LLC.

Last year, ETF Securities listed ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares and ETFS Physical Silver Shares .

On the Seeking Alpha Web site, blogger Michael Pollick suggests that these two new ETFs will eventually have a major impact on supply and demand of their metals, and thus he is invested in palladium and platinum mining companies. See blog.

Canadian investors who want exposure to platinum bullion can also do so through BMG Management Group Inc.'s BMG BullionFund, a mutual fund investing equally in physical gold, silver and platinum. See fund performance.

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