The iShares Silver Trust ETF (NYSEArca: SLV) and the ETFS Physical Silver Shares ETF (NYSEArca: SIVR) are each up about 13% over the past 90 days. Silver’s rapid rally and quick, large gains for the aforementioned exchange traded funds (ETFs) are among the catalysts prompting professional speculators to bet against the white metal.
While a near-term pullback could be in order, the depth of such remains in question. With the dollar faltering and precious metals commodities surging, a silver retreat could prove to be shallow and unsatisfying for those betting on that event.
Silver and other precious metals enjoyed safe-haven demand as the equities market plunged into a correction. The metal also maintained its momentum as the Federal Reserve lowered its interest rate outlook to only two hikes this year from a previously expected four rate hikes. Additionally, with the dovish Fed stance, the U.S. dollar weakened, which made USD-denominated silver cheaper for foreign buyers and a better store of value for U.S. investors.
Related: Silver ETFs Are Outshining Gold
Looking ahead, the ongoing negative interest rate environment, with European and Japanese central banks cutting benchmark rates deeper into the red to promote growth, could push investors toward precious metals as a more stable store of wealth.
“Specifically, as of Tuesday, April 26, commercial hedgers held a net short position of 91,302 silver futures contracts. Since the CFTC began reporting the Commitment Of Traders’ data in 1986, that is their largest net short position on record. Of course, on the other side of that position, we find the non-commercial speculators holding a record net long position of 78,773 contracts,” according to See It Market.