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TheStreet Open House

Silver Investors Hold Their Ground

Silver Investors Hold Their Ground

Silver's New York spot price dropped four cents on Monday, to $28.58. That loss  amounted to more than half of the gains the metal posted before heading into the first weekend of March. These circumstances were perhaps foreshadowing that silver would once again spend the week bouncing around the range it has been frequenting.

On Tuesday, silver bulls flexed their muscles in an effort to drive the metal above $29, a task that has become increasingly difficult. Intraday, they were successful, but by the close of the New York spot market, silver's price had been beaten back down. Still, the metal managed to end the day with a 16-cent gain, which perhaps served as a source of empowerment for the bulls. Wednesday, it was the bears' muscle that was lacking as silver managed to not only rise above $29, but also to close at $29.04.

Likely of more interest than this range-bound price action is the divergence between  gold and silver. That exists not because the metals' prices are moving in opposite directions, but rather because sentiment is diverging among physical investors.

Gold investors have been fleeing their positions in physically backed ETFs. The SPDR Gold Trust (ARCA: GLD), the largest of the funds, has reportedly seen outflows of over $5 billion year-to-date. Standard Bank said that last week alone, investors sold over 59 metric tons (MT), a 12-month record.

Meanwhile, silver investors have been steadily stacking their metal, with ETF investors adding nearly 68 MT last week. That boosted holdings to about 20,253 MT, which is not too off from the all-time record of 20,362.1 MT, according to Standard Bank.

US Silver Eagle sales in February of 3,368,500 ounces did not match those in January, when 7,498,000 million silver coins were sold, but there was still clearly healthy demand.

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