Gold is the precious metal that commands the most attention from investors and the press and with good reason. The yellow metal is among the most heavily traded commodities and gold exchange traded funds are among the largest commodities funds in the world. And with ETFs such as the iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) up 4% in the past week, gold is shaking out of its recent doldrums to again captivate investors.
Other precious metals are getting in on the act as well, outperforming gold in the process. The iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) has surged 13% in the past week. Silver prices have been buoyed by strong physical demand for the white metal and SLV’s physical holdings rose to a four-month high on Tuesday. Platinum and palladium have also proven durable in the past 90 days, even as gold and silver struggled for part of that time. [Luster Restored: Silver ETFs Keep on Shining]
Said another way, “no gold, no problem” for the ETFS Physical White Metals Basket Shares (NYSEArca: WITE), which offers basket exposure to silver, platinum and palladium. Although WITE features no gold among its physical holdings, silver is the most prominent of the white metals in the fund. Silver weighed on WITE in May and June after the Federal Reserve implied it could taper its monetary easing efforts later this year with an outright end to the program perhaps arriving sometime next year. [WITE-Washed by Plunging Metals Prices]
Precious metals can be a volatile asset class and one prone to sharp reversals. WITE has recently offered investors a positive interpretation of a sharp reversal. Since touching its 52-week low around $35.40 in late June, WITE has surged and is now flirting with $44. The ETF recently closed below its 50-day moving average for the first time since February and now has little in the way of resistance as it closes in on its 200-day moving average, which it is 7.2% away from.
WITE may be in a sweet spot, indicating it could offer more near-term upside. Physical demand for silver is sturdy. Platinum supply shortages could be exacerbated if labor strife kicks up again in South Africa, the world’s largest producer of the metal. Strikes there last year lowered production 16%. Strong automotive demand in the U.S. is helping bolster palladium prices. [Platinum Supply Deficit Seen Easing ETF Losses]