Silver price begins to catch up with gold

After climbing 36% in the last month alone, the silver price has hit a seven-year high.

If gold is the “money of kings” then silver is “that of gentlemen”, says Ned Naylor-Leyland of Jupiter Asset Management. The two precious metals are “siblings”. 

While the gold rally has grabbed the headlines, silver has gained 36% in the last month alone. It reached $24 an ounce this week and was close to £19/oz in sterling terms, a seven-year high. The pace of recent gains has been frenetic, with silver jumping by 15% last week. 

The rally has been driven by similar forces to those pushing gold higher: falling real yields and a growing desire for a safe haven. Yet the recent price action is a reminder that silver is a much more volatile commodity than gold. Silver tends to follow gold, but at a “lag”, says a recent Goldman Sachs note quoted by Krystal Chia and Ranjeetha Pakiam on Bloomberg. Typically, a gold rally gets underway first, then gold bulls, looking for a way to diversify their bets, turn to silver. The metal has been trading at “close to a record discount” to the yellow metal this year but is now stepping “out of gold’s shadow”. The gold/silver ratio certainly suggests further upside, says Naylor-Leyland. In 2011, when silver hit a record $49.50, you needed 32 ounces of silver to buy one ounce of gold, yet that ratio has expanded to approximately 80. 

In addition to being a precious metal, silver is also used in industry, including fast-growing areas such as solar panels, 5G networks and 3D-printing. Around half of silver demand stems from industry. Supply constraints are proving another tailwind, says Clara Ferreira Marques on Bloomberg. Latin America is the world’s biggest silver miner, but virus-linked closures in Peru and Mexico should see production fall by 7% this year according to figures from The Silver Institute. There is “room for silver to keep shining”.

Recommended

Britain’s ten most-hated shares – w/e 20 May
Stocks and shares

Britain’s ten most-hated shares – w/e 20 May

Rupert Hargreaves looks at Britain's ten-most hated shares, and what short-sellers are looking right now.
23 May 2022
Britain's most-bought shares w/e 20 May
Stocks and shares

Britain's most-bought shares w/e 20 May

A look at Britain's most-bought shares in the week ending 13 May, providing an insight into how investors are thinking and where opportunities may lie…
23 May 2022
Director dealings w/e 20 May: what company insiders are buying and selling
Stocks and shares

Director dealings w/e 20 May: what company insiders are buying and selling

Directors’ share dealings can often give investors an insight into the sentiment of company insiders. Here are some of the biggest deals by company di…
23 May 2022
Amazon’s shares have fallen hard – value investors should take note
Share tips

Amazon’s shares have fallen hard – value investors should take note

Investors have dumped Amazon shares as post-pandemic life returns to normal. But it still has plenty of competitive advantages, says Russell Hargreave…
23 May 2022

Most Popular

Imperial Brands has an 8.3% yield – but what’s the catch?
Share tips

Imperial Brands has an 8.3% yield – but what’s the catch?

Tobacco company Imperial Brands boasts an impressive dividend yield, and the shares look cheap. But investors should beware, says Rupert Hargreaves. H…
20 May 2022
Barry Norris: we’re already in the 1970s. Here’s how to invest
Investment strategy

Barry Norris: we’re already in the 1970s. Here’s how to invest

Merryn talks to Barry Norris of Argonaut capital about the parallels between now and the 1970s; the transition to “green” energy; and the one sector w…
19 May 2022
Share tips of the week – 20 May
Share tips

Share tips of the week – 20 May

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
20 May 2022