Safety Bets Push Silver ETFs to Three-Week High

February 10, 2014

Chicago (Feb 10)  Volatility in the equities markets has sent investors scrambling for safe-haven assets. Silver exchange traded funds are now hovering around a three-week high, as silver futures see their best rally since August.

Silver bullion-backed ETFs, iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) and ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSEArca: SIVR), experienced back-to-back gains over the past week and gained about 4.5% since the January 31 low. SLV and SIVR are both up about 3.0% year-to-date. The two ETFs have been testing their 50-day exponential moving averages but have not been able to break above the trend line.

COMEX silver futures trade around $20.04 per ounce, climbing for the sixth straight session, the longest rally since Aug. 16.

The safe-haven premium is back with growth concerns re-emerging,” Bart Melek, an analyst at TD Securities in Toronto, said in the article “Tomorrow, people will be watching Yellen’s determination to continue with tapering.”

In contrast, silver plunged 36% over 2013 as U.S. equities rallied and Fed announced tapering to its quantitative easing program.

Along with its safe haven attribute, silver, unlike gold, sees greater demand from the industrial sectors, notably in automotive industry, consumer electronics, chemicals and solar sector. [Silver ETFs Shine With Miners Taking Charge]

“Silver swings between dual roles as a useful industrial metal and safe-haven asset,” according to Morningstar analyst Alex Bryan. “Most of the time, industrial demand drives silver prices. However, during times of market dislocation, high inflation expectations, or economic uncertainty, investment demand for silver becomes the main price driver.”

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