Silver exchange traded funds were leading the charge in precious metals on Friday although the ETFs remained on track for a weekly loss.

The iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) was up nearly 3% in early trading Friday after falling the previous two sessions.

As investors speculate on growth in various emerging economies and the European debt crisis remains unsolved, silver prices could rebound as investors look for an alternative to gold. ETFs that hold bullion or track futures prices are one way to invest in silver.

A recent survey of Bloomberg analysts reported that the metal may average $38 an ounce this quarter, and could rise to a new record in 2012. [Silver ETFs Hit Hardest in Precious Metals Pullback]

“Prices now look relatively cheap to where they have been recently,” David Wilson, an analyst at Societe Generale SA in London, said.”The backdrop is still very supportive for gold and we think that silver will leverage off the back of that. Emerging markets are going to be important for demand for sure.”

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