ETF Trends
ETF Trends

The iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) and the ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSEArca: SIVR) are each down nearly 5% over the past month, indicating that now might not be the time to bet on upside for the white metal.

The strong dollar is a thorn in the side of commodities, which are dollar-denominated. Not to mention the other headwinds facing marquee commodities, such as gold and silver. Silver is used in many industrial applications, but industrial demand is diminishing as global growth, notably China, begins to slow. Industrial demand for silver dipped 0.5% last year on lower demand from Europe and North America.

“With prices still down 21% so far this year, silver may look cheap. Some analysts warn, however, that while the metal may have seen the worst of its declines, there are not many catalysts that could spark a rally. Silver recently traded at $14.505 a troy ounce,” reports Ira Iosebashvili for Barron’s.

Barclays analysts project silver prices will continue to decline 20% in the coming year. Last month “HSBC lowered its 2015 silver price forecast to $15.60 from $17.05 per ounce and its 2016 forecast to $16.90 from $18.25. It lowered its 2015 forecast for platinum to $1,126 from $1,170 per ounce and its 2016 forecast to $1,235 from $1,350. The bank reiterated that it expects gold prices to bounce back to $1,205 per ounce by the end of the year on emerging market buying,” according to the Economic Times.

Consequently, those who have a strong conviction that silver prices will continue to dip can utilize inverse silver ETF options to play the fall. More aggressive traders can take a look at the VelocityShares 3x Inverse Silver ETN (NYSEArca: DSLV), which takes the -300% performance of silver, and the ProShares UltraShort Silver (NYSEArca: ZSL), which takes the -200% performance of silver price movements.

Still, some investors insist silver looks cheap, a view that is stoking bargain hunting “from retail investors, who often prefer to buy silver over gold because of its much lower price. Sales of American Eagle silver coins more than doubled in August from a year earlier. But while the interest from individual investors may have stemmed further losses, it hasn’t been enough to spark a rally,” according to Barron’s.

iShares Silver Trust

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, 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.