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Have Silver Prices Topped?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) -- Silver prices have plummeted 25% from their intra-day high of $49.82, which was hit last week. As prices continue to waver, the question turns to whether silver prices have hit a top?

Many analysts before the silver "flash crash" were calling for prices as high as $130 and a silver:gold ratio of 17:1. Then the parabolic rally ran out of steam as the gold:silver ratio rose to 40, the CME raised the amount of money a trader has to put down to own a 5,000 ounce silver contract three times in a week and as the traders betting against silver's rally dragged down prices.

The next stop for silver is uncertain. It is a volatile and thinly traded market, which was the main reason for recent margin hikes, but $37.87 where the rally started from, to $49.82, where the rally ended, is a wide trading range. Is $49.82 the best it will get for silver?

Jeffrey Christian, managing director of the CPM Group, says silver has hit its top, for now. "We think you will see more weakness over the next few weeks." The CPM Group has been calling for a peak price of $42 in April and May and Christian says the majority of the rally was short covering and liquidation in the May futures contract.

The long positions in the May contract are now rolled over into July, so come mid-June, Christian believes silver could see another big spike "if it does, then the bullishness will continue ... if we don't take out new highs....[it proves a] cyclical peak." Christian is betting on the latter and a silver price range of $20-$30 and the silver:gold ratio between 45 and 50 to 1.

"Our expectation has been ... that real economic conditions have been improving in the U.S. [there are some problems like a weaker dollar and inflation overseas] ... if those trends continue and the Fed doesn't have to continue its QE program ... that may well be taken as a sign by investors as real economic strength ... consequently we don't need that much gold and silver."

Jon Nadler, senior analyst at, who takes a lot of heat for being perceived as bearish on gold and silver, agrees. "The possibility of having hit a top in silver is quite real judging by how the action has unfolded since last Friday." Nadler thinks there could be more attempts to break to new records but that speculation has taken the market down.
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