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Silver Prices Could Face Volatile Week

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Technical indicators imply a volatile week ahead for silver. The dollar could rally on data releases while overall concerns of the strength of economic recovery loom large, increasing volatility in the white metal.

Last week, COMEX silver futures for September delivery were highly volatile to close at $18.11 an ounce. The candlestick formation indicates uncertain price trends, supporting higher volatility in silver this week. The white metal is strengthening and a bullish trend is certain if it breaches and sustains above the $19 an ounce mark this week. The weekly RSI is currently at 0.51, raising the target to 0.70, after touching the lower trend line.

The dollar may rally this week, as data releases are likely to show optimism in the U.S. economy. Rising housing starts and improving industrial production data may boost market sentiment. Moreover, manufacturing indicators such as the Empire State manufacturing and Philadelphia Fed indices are expected upbeat.

However, building permits may contract and continuing claims may rise, limiting any upside in the dollar. The European ZEW survey for economic sentiment is expected to decline, while China's slowdown fears could hit global equity markets.

Last week, silver tracked corrections in base metals, which declined more than 3% on the London Metal Exchange. The white metal failed to take cues from gold and was down nearly 2%. In addition to corrections in base metals, mounting concerns of a weak global economic recovery and tumbling equity markets dragged silver prices lower.

The gold-silver ratio advanced to 67.09 from 65.15. Meanwhile, silver prices for spot delivery on the COMEX closed at $18.15 an ounce, while futures ended at $18.11 an ounce, suggesting that silver prices are in backwardation. In contrast, COMEX gold for spot delivery closed at $1215.50 an ounce, while futures ended at $1215.40 an ounce, indicating that gold prices are in backwardation as well.

The calendar spread (the difference between two futures contracts) between silver Sep'10 and Dec'10 remained thin at -0.056, signifying that the far month contracts closed higher than the near month contracts. Meanwhile, the calendar spread between gold Oct'10 and Dec'10 contracts hovered at -1.20 past week.

Among major silver producers, the top silver stock pick for over five months Silver Wheaton (SLW - Get Report) was up 0.25%, while Pan American Silver (PAAS - Get Report) was down 3.24% last week. Although these companies reported record quarterly earnings on higher realized prices and production volumes, earnings per share were below analyst estimates.

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