Silver Prices And The Federal Reserve's Quantitative Easing Policy
A major factor influencing rising investment demand in precious metals often referenced by analysts is the quantitative easing measures employed by The Federal Reserve in an attempt to bolster the US economy. One of the effects of the Fed's paper-printing policies is the debasing of the US dollar, which makes gold and silver attractive safe-haven buys. A reversal in that policy could have a dire impact on silver prices.
By Melissa Pistilli—Exclusive to Silver Investing NewsHistorically known as “the poor man's gold,” silver's price performance is inextricably linked to that of its yellow cousin. Since 2005, gold and silver prices have moved nearly in tandem as investment demand for both metals soared. As a precious metal, silver is viewed as a cheaper investment alternative to gold; especially now that gold prices are trading near $1400 an ounce. Even in gold-hungry India, demand for silver pushed imports up more than 600 percent in the first half of 2010 to $1.7 billion. In the second half of 2010, silver prices soared to 30-year highs of near $31 an ounce, finishing up over 80 percent for the year; a staggering figure on its own, but made even more impressive compared to gold's 30+ percent gains. Most analysts hold a bullish price outlook for gold and silver in 2011 on low interest rates, concerns over currency debasement, inflation worries and continuing debt crises. Barclays Capital says it expects gold to average $1,495 an ounce this year with a trading range of $1300 to $1,620 an ounce. The bank sees silver “piggy-backing off gold” with an average of $29.10 an ounce and a trading range of $18.50 to $36.50 an ounce. HSBC's precious metals price outlook includes $1,450 an ounce for gold in 2011 and $1,300 an ounce in 2012; silver prices in 2011 are expected to average $26 an ounce followed by $20 an ounce in 2012. Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts see gold reaching $1,500 on the near term. Silver-Investor.com founder David Morgan forecasts 2011 silver prices trading between $30 and $40 an ounce with the potential to reach as high as $45 an ounce.