ETF Securities has launched two exchange-traded funds that are the first to be physically backed by platinum and palladium. The company already offers ETFs backed by gold and silver.

The ETFS Platinum Trust and the ETFS Palladium Trust funds are both backed by platinum- and palladium-allocated bullion in plate and ingot form stored in secure vaults in London and Switzerland by custodian JPMorgan Chase.

Head of ETFS Marketing Fred Jheon said, “We are pleased to start 2010 with the anticipated launch of PPLT and PALL in the wake of the successful and increasing global demand for precious metals through commodity ETFs, which have seen strong growth over the past six years. It clearly establishes ETF Securities as the provider of the most complete physical metal offering.”

Each share of the two funds represents one-tenth of an ounce of the underlying metal. Besides jewelry, platinum, whose futures are currently trading at $1,589.50 an ounce, is used in one of every five consumer products, including electrical equipment, thermometers, dental and medical equipment and catalytic converters in cars.

Palladium futures are currently trading at $434.10 an ounce. The metal is used in the auto, electronics, dental and chemical industries.