Gold prices rose to a new record high above $1,780 an ounce on Wednesday on lingering debt worries, but silver exchange traded funds haven’t been keeping pace lately with gold. What gives?

One possible reason for the disparity is that silver has industrial applications, and investors are concerned the global economic recovery is flagging.

On Wednesday, however, silver was making up some lost ground on gold. The iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) was up 3.3% at last check, while SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) rose 2.7%.

Gold has attracted investors because of its safe-haven appeal, but silver prices are lagging behind, according to IBT. [Gold, Silver ETFs Diverge Before Fed.]

The silver ETF climbed above its 50-day exponential moving average on Wednesday.

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