This week’s big news out of the commodities pits is Wednesday’s epic move in silver, one that lifted the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) and the ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSEArca: SIVR), both backed by physical holdings of the white metal, by more than 3.4%.
That has the two physically-backed silver ETFs threatening to move above their 200-day moving averages for the first time since August. Perhaps Wednesday’s bullishness for silver will change investors’ minds, but being long silver has recently been a lonely trade. [Serious Silver Surge]
“Overall, long positioning is non-existent and the product is ~70% off its 21st century high. While most in the technical community are willing to wait for confirmation before adding length, and others in the dedicated commodity space would rather wait for the positive seasonality to materialize, frankly we make a living on taking a view two months before the crowd shows up,” said Rareview Macro founder Neil Azous in a note.
Although the U.S. dollar weakening, a primary catalyst for the upside seen in silver ETFs yesterday, investors have not been flocking back to precious metals funds. From the start of the second quarter through May 12, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) has bled $333.3 million in assets while SIVR has seen modest outflows.
SLV has added $14.7 million in new assets, but in confirmation that some traders were punished by Wednesday’s big move in silver, the ProShares UltraShort Silver (NYSEArca: ZSL) is, as of May 12, the current quarter’s second-best asset-gathering silver ETF with inflows of $10.2 million. [Silver ETF Issues]
ZSL fell 6.7% yesterday on volume that was than double the daily average while its bullish equivalent, the ProShares Ultra Silver ETF (NYSEArca: AGQ), surged 7% on triple the average turnover. Speaking of the lonely long silver trade, AGQ has lost $1 million in assets this quarter.
There are some points that could prompt investors to revisit silver ETFs from the long side.