Silver is hitting its sweet spot.
While viewed as a haven from market turmoil -- just like pricier sister gold -- silver also has wide industrial uses in products like solar panels and electronics. That means the metal’s drawing both investors worried about rising virus cases and those focused on rosier indicators, from optimism over China’s recovery and promising vaccine news, to the landmark stimulus package clinched by Europe’s leaders.
Spot silver powered through $20 an ounce Tuesday and is trading near a four-year high. The cheaper metal has outpaced gold’s own gains this month, and holdings in silver-backed exchange-traded funds have increased for 12 straight weeks to a record.
“Silver is now leading the charge,” said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at AxiCorp Ltd. The metal is following the same trajectory as during the global financial crisis, he said. Back then, prices dropped during the worst of the crisis before rallying to fresh records near $50 by 2011.
Spot silver jumped as much as 3.3% on Tuesday to $20.5609 an ounce, the highest since August 2016, extending this year’s gains to 15%. Futures in New York, which breached the $20 level on Monday, rose as high as $20.945 an ounce. Other precious metals also advanced as the dollar weakened, with spot gold adding 0.5% to $1,827.20 an ounce, the highest since September 2011.
Even after recent gains, there’s a long list of banks and traders predicting silver will keep rising as investors continue to pile in. Citigroup Inc. said in a report this week that it sees prices rising to $25 in the next six to 12 months, with the potential for $30 based on the bank’s bull case.
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