A late-session push by iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) carried the exchange traded fund (ETF) over $43 a share for the first time while gold prices homed in on $1,500 an ounce.

The iShares Silver Trust was up more than 1% in afternoon trading Tuesday, rising again in the wake of Standard & Poor’s warning on the U.S. debt load.

The U.S. dollar weakened against rivals as precious metals were bid higher.

Gold has gained 32% in the past 12 months, while silver prices have more than doubled, Bloomberg reported.

“The U.S. credit rating will undoubtedly be lowered in the next few years,” said Michael Pento, a senior economist at Euro Pacific Capital, according to the report. “This will mean much higher borrowing costs and a much lower currency. International investors have been using gold and silver as an alternative currency and an alternative to the dollar, and this will only exacerbate and accelerate that process.”

The silver ETF was trading at a fresh 52-week high on Tuesday afternoon. [Silver ETFs See Performance Diverge on Premium.]

Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own SLV.

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