It is widely known that gold and the corresponding exchange traded funds have been sturdy to start 2016. Though the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) and the ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSEArca: SIVR) are each up about 8% over the past month, silver is lagging its yellow counterpart to start the new year.

Silver and the aforementioned exchange traded funds struggled in unison with other commodities last year as the U.S. dollar strengthened. SLV and SIVR both finished the year with double-digit losses that exceeded those of comparable gold ETFs.

Investors have previously turned to silver exchange traded funds as an asset with a safe store of value and as a metal with wide industrial application in a growing economy. However, the precious metal is now suffering from a bad turn on both fronts. That means heading into 2016 silver ETF investors face a confounding set of circumstances.

Some slack economic data has recently weighed on silver ETFs.

“On a global scale, the IMF released last month its revised GDP outlook, in which the global economic growth was revised down by 0.2% to 3.4% in 2016 and 3.6% in 2017. And the U.S. GDP was also slashed by 0.2% to 2.6% for both 2016 and 2017. This week, the U.S. GDP for Q4 (second estimate) will be released. It’s expected to present a growth rate of 0.5% — lower than the first estimate of 0.7%. Any lower growth rate could renew the bearish market sentiment and selloffs of equities, which could behoove the price SLV: The demand for silver as investment could rise because some investors consider it a safe haven investment,” according to a Seeking Alpha analysis of SLV.

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