Silver prices have rocketed to their highest level in seven years this week as a falling US dollar and record low interest rates send investors rushing for other safe havens.
The metal has rallied more than 18% this week, reaching a high of $23.24 an ounce. It’s up 28% this year.
The jump is even outpacing gains in gold, which has shot past $1,800 per ounce and is now approaching an all-time high of $1,920 per ounce reached in 2011. It was last trading at $1,882.34, a 24% rise year-to-date.
The rush to buy precious metals comes as investors search for reliable stores of value due to fears about the global coronavirus recession and the strength of the recovery. A weaker dollar is also making it cheaper for foreign investors to buy gold and silver, while rock bottom interest rates make other typical safe haven investments, such as US Treasuries, look less attractive.
Silver is a key component in electric vehicles and increased demand for renewable energy solutions is likely contributing to its price rise, too. Half of all demand for silver comes from industrial buyers.
Often dubbed the poor man’s precious metal, is it now silver’s time in the limelight? The price is expected to rise more, but some analysts remain cautious.
“Picking [market] tops though in this environment, is a hazardous occupation, and only for the brave, very deep-pocketed, or foolhardy,” said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst at Oanda.
Plus, other assets like stocks tend to produce much better returns in the long run, said Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid.
Mining stocks that give exposure to silver, such as London-listed Fresnillo (FNLPF), have given investors bumper returns so far this year. Shares in the Mexican company have risen over 90% to trade at £12.32 ($15.67) a share. New York-listed Endeavor Silver, Great Panther (GPL) and Fortuna Silver Mines (FSM) have also seen big gains this year.