Investors Continue to Pour Money into Silver ETFs
New York (May 16) Despite the dip in silver bullion prices, exchange traded funds that track silver prices continued to attract investment interest, revealing investors’ faith in the precious metal.
Since the February 24 high, the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) has declined 12.4%. Nevertheless, SLV has attracted $116.1 million in inflows since the high, according to ETF.com data.
Year-to-date, SLV has attracted $243.9 million in assets as the ETF eked out a 0.2% return.
“Silver seems to have retained a lot more loyalty than the other precious metals,” Andrew Leyland, an analyst at GFMS, said in a Financial Times article.
In contrast, gold prices have strengthened this year, but investors seem to skeptical about the recovery. The SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) has increased 7.5% year-to-date, but the fund has experienced $596.6 million in outflows so far this year.
COMEX silver futures currently sit around $19.3 per ounce. Leyland pointed to the $20 mark as an “important psychological level” for silver, with bargain hunters picking up the precious metal as prices dipped below the level.
After a steep sell-off last year, silver prices are strengthening on greater global demand for jewellery and silverware fabrication, which both increased more than 10%, notably in Asia. Additionally, India demand for silver rose due to the government’s restrictions on gold imports.
Investment demand for silver coins and medals also rose by over a third, with silver bar purchases doubling to a record 3,956 tons.
However, on the supply side, mine production steadily increased for the 11th successive year. Although, the higher supply was slightly offset by a 24% fall in the flow of scrap silver, which typically makes up a quarter of market supply. [Time is Right for Bearish Silver ETF]
Looking ahead, Leyland warns that a strengthening U.S. economy will pull investors away from precious metals as more people turn to riskier investments. [Buoyant U.S. Data Could Hamper Gold ETFs]
“With a stronger US dollar and improved economic outlook we see sentiment towards precious metals worsening,” Leyland added. “Our base case is to see more investor interest leaving the sector.”