ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Poor man’s gold appears to be gearing up for another run at all-time highs even though the yellow metal has been stealing all the headlines lately.

Silver traded over $44 an ounce on Monday. A spike earlier this year fizzled shy of $50 an ounce while higher margin requirements for futures contracts took some of the speculative momentum from the rally.

Silver has more industrial uses than gold and is therefore more sensitive to global economic growth.

“Silver has clearly regained its footing. After a phenomenal surge higher that culminated in a euphoric peak at the end of April 2011, silver corrected sharply in May and ground its way through June,” writes Eric Parnell at SeekingAlpha. “But the white metal managed to establish a bottom over the summer and has begun to ascend once again. And it just might have the strength to break through to new highs this time around.”

The $13.6 billion iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) is the largest ETF that invests in the metal. The ETF was up 38.1% year to date through Aug. 19, according to Morningstar. It is outperforming the 33.1% gain posted by SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD).

The silver ETF, which was listed in May 2006, gained 2.3% on Monday while gold prices climbed above $1,900 an ounce for the first time. [Gold ETFs Rise; Metal Hits $1,900 as Markets Await Bernanke]

At the end of last week the silver ETF broke out to a new all-time relative high against the S&P 500, said Tarquin Coe at Investors Intelligence. [Risk Off: Gold, Silver and Treasury ETFs Outperform]

“On Friday trading broke through price resistance from the early August high. That breakout has the all-important follow-through today,” the technical analyst wrote in a newsletter Monday. “Momentum conditions are a long way from the overbought level of late April.”

Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own SLV and GLD.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of John Spence, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.