Investors turn sour on silver in worst losing streak since 1983

Silver coins. File image.

Silver’s dimming industrial demand outlook is keeping the metal from attracting haven demand that’s boosting gold– its costlier cousin.

The white metal, used in solar panels, jewelry and electronic components, is down 28% in the past eight sessions, the worst streak since 1983, as the coronavirus disrupts global economic activity, weakening consumption of industrial raw materials. The demand outlook is worsening at a time when silver already facing oversupply.

Silver also suffered as investors recently exited precious metals across the board in their rush to sell gold. The pricier yellow metal tumbled 11% in the five sessions through Monday as money managers seek to raise cash to cover losses in other assets. Gold is now back in vogue, rallying 2.7% on mounting speculation that central banks will take more action to quell market anxiety.

“Silver is essentially an industrial metal in surplus,” Rhona O’Connell, head of market analysis for EMEA and Asia at INTL FCStone, said in an emailed note Tuesday. “Market conditions are a perfect storm for silver as it is dragged lower by weaker gold at the same time.”

Silver futures for delivery in May slipped 2.5% to settle at $12.735 an ounce on the Comex in New York.

(By Justina Vasquez)

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