Silver ETFs Outshining Gold On QE3, Bullish For Metals

by: Tom Lydon

With the Federal Reserve fully intent on throwing more money into the system, precious metals assets are strengthening, and investors have been particularly voracious in taking on silver and silver miner exchange traded funds.

Usually when silver is outperforming gold, it is a bullish sign for the precious metals complex. Silver has been leading the way recently, although the metal stumbled to open the week with a 2% setback Monday morning.

For instance, over the past three months, physically backed silver ETFs jumped 23%, including iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV), ETFS Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SIVR), and PowerShares DB Silver Fund (NYSEARCA:DBS).

Silver prices are hovering around $35 an ounce to the highest level in more than six months.

Silver miners are also strong performers in the third quarter, with the Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSEARCA:SIL) rising 25.4% the past three months, and iShares MSCI Global Silver Miners Fund (NYSEARCA:SLVP) gaining 22.0%.

In contrast, SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEARCA:GLD) added 9.9%, and the Market Vectors Gold Miner ETF (NYSEARCA:GDX) was 15.0% higher over the same period.

Gold futures are now trading at around $1,770 an ounce.

Precious metals prices are rising as a hedge against currency depreciation in light of central bank measures. The outperformance in silver prices provides a strong, bullish signal for the metal.

"While silver trades more volatile than gold, when the fundamentals for the safe-haven trade are in place, it performs extremely well and is affordable for any investor seeking refuge from the equity and bond markets or looking to hedge the dollar," Dawn Bennett, portfolio manager of the Bennett Group of Funds, said in an Investor's Business Daily article.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

Disclosure: I am long GLD, SLV. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: Tom's clients own GLD and SLV.

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