For centuries, humans have used silver as an antibacterial agent for medicinal and food storage purposes. Now those historical uses can be expanded upon as scientists discover the numerous benefits of ionized silver nanoparticles.
By Melissa Pistilli—Exclusive to Silver Investing NewsAfter riding high for most of June and breaking past the $19 an ounce level late in the month, the silver price has tumbled into July losing about a $1 in the first week. Pressure from falling gold prices and depressing economic indicators are the leading causes, another example of how the shiny metal's dual nature creates such a volatile market. Last Thursday, silver, along with most US equities and other commodities, was rocked by poor economic data: The Institute for Supply Management index dropped 3.5 percentage points to 56.2 percent in June, its lowest level since December; the US Labor Department reported that the number of first-time unemployment benefit claims jumped unexpectedly by 13,000 in one week to 472,000; and The National Association of Realtors reported new sales contracts on existing homes fell 30 percent in May. China, too, reported some not so welcome economic data showing growth in manufacturing activity slowed in June. Gold prices also suffered steep declines at the start of the new month, placing further pressure on sometimes precious silver. Silver's loss on the day Thursday (4.9 percent) was its largest one-day drop in two months. Gold dropped 3.2 percent, its biggest one-day drop in five months, despite the poor economic reports that generally would support safe haven gold. However, gains in the euro had more of an impact. "What you are seeing is this unwinding of the euro-gold trade," said Walter de Wet, analyst at Standard Bank. Friday's close for the white metal at $17.72 an ounce gave silver its worst week since early February. Both precious metals traded sideways Monday with silver closing at $17.81 an ounce in New York. On Tuesday, the price of silver on the COMEX fell as low as $17.58 before climbing back above $18 an ounce midway through the trading day; however, the metal couldn't sustain prices above that level and fell back to close at $17.84 an ounce.