Silver futures extend post-Bernanke losses to hit 1-week low

LONDON (July 18) Silver futures extended losses from the previous session on Thursday to hit a one-week low, as some investors were disappointed with comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, silver futures for September delivery traded at USD19.30 a troy ounce during European morning trade, down 0.6% on the day.

Comex silver prices fell by as much as 1% earlier in the session to hit a daily low of USD19.22 a troy ounce, the weakest level since July 10.

Silver prices were likely to find support at USD18.98 a troy ounce, the low from July 10 and resistance at USD20.13, the previous session’s high.

In day one of his semi-annual testimony before the Financial Services Committee in Congress on Wednesday, Bernanke said the central bank expects to start tapering bond purchases by the end of the year, but added that there was no “preset course.”

Bernanke said the bank’s bond purchase program could be tapered at a faster pace, slower pace or even temporarily increased depending on economic and financial developments.

The Fed Chairman said the economic recovery was continuing at a moderate pace but reiterated that monetary policy will remain accommodative for the foreseeable future.

Bernanke will testify before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

The U.S. was to release the weekly government report on initial jobless claims and data on the Philly Fed manufacturing index later in the trading day.

Any improvement in U.S. economic activity could scale back expectations for further easing, boosting the dollar and weighing on silver.

Silver prices are on track to post a loss of almost 35% on the year, amid speculation the Fed will start to unwind its bond purchasing program in the coming months.

Moves in the silver price this year have largely tracked shifting expectations as to whether the U.S. central bank would end its bond-buying program sooner-than-expected.

Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for August delivery dipped 0.1% to trade at USD1,276.05 a troy ounce, while copper for September delivery shed 0.1% to trade at USD3.124 a pound.