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TheStreet Open House

Gold, Silver Prices Recover After Carnage

Stocks in this article: AUY FCX NGD GFI

NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) -- Gold and silver prices recovered Monday after a painful selloff last week as bargain hunters stepped in.

Gold for June delivery added $11.86 to settle at $1,503.20 at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange after falling 4.8% in a week. The gold price Monday has traded as high as $1,512 and as low as $1,489. The spot gold price was rising $13.10, according to Kitco's gold index.

Silver prices rose $1.82 to close at $37.11 an ounce after plummeting 27% last week.

The consensus seems to be that silver has more downside now than gold. Barclays Capital thinks that silver will find support in the low $30s as "retail demand" takes the lead but that "longer-term investor interest in gold remains robust." Barclays cites Asian demand as a key factor for higher gold prices.



Goldman Sachs seems to be in agreement, issuing a 12-month silver price target of $28.20 with silver slipping as low as $24.70 in the next three months, while gold's one-year target is $1,690 an ounce after falling to a three-month low of $1,480.



"There is overhead resistance in silver," said David Morgan, founder of silver-Investor.com, "the ratio will favor gold" for a while. The ratio refers to how many ounces of silver it takes to buy an ounce of gold. The ratio fell to as low as 31 when silver hit a recent intraday high of $49.82, and has now risen to 40.

"We're seeing gold outperform silver on a ratio basis ... I'm not that eager to get back into the market," Morgan said.

Morgan thinks the ratio could move even higher, as much as 50:1, which implied more downside from the $36 level, but that long term he is sticking by his ratio of 16:1.

"The fundamental fact remains that you cannot print wealth, and as long as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and other central bankers in the world try to print wealth you're going to have more and more upside for the metals," he said.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission's bank participation report for May shows that gold long positions fell 7% as of May 1 compared to April 1, but short positions stayed relatively the same, whereas silver's long position rose 25% and short positions fell 18%.

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