Silver Climbs 3% in the first trading day of the new year

London (Jan 3)  Although all precious metal prices rose, Silver was the big gainer, with spot prices climbing back above the $20 per ounce level in an advance that pushed the iShares Silver Trust up by almost 3%. Platinum and palladium also posted gains of about 2%.

Commentators didn't seem to take much confidence from today's gains, though. The U.S. Mint reported big gains in demand for bullion coins in 2013, with gold coin sales volumes rising 24%, to 1.096 million ounces, while silver-coin sales picked up 26%, to 42.675 million ounces. Yet, some analysts pointed to the fact that two key commodities indexes raised their allocations to gold and silver this year, forcing index-tracking investors to follow suit, and therefore contributing to today's gains. Still, longer-term investors appear to believe that the Fed's withdrawal from quantitative easing will hurt stocks, driving safe-haven-seeking investors back into precious metals.