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Silver Aiming For Recovery?

Posted on 2012-11-05, By A-Best Staff
By Michelle Smith — Exclusive to Silver Investing News

Silver hasn’t recovered from its leap day fall. Last week closed with the metal still on a low note and this week opened to a similar tune, but a “risk on” vibe has been gaining footing.

Renewed fears of slowing growth in China, prompted by the National People’s Congress (NPC), an annual legislative meeting that was held in Beijing at the beginning of the week, followed the sharp fall in silver prices last Wednesday.

Of note from the NPC was Premier Wen Jiabao’s announcement that China is aiming for economic growth of 7.5 percent this year, lower than the eight percent target of the past eight years, which China has consistently exceeded.

The NPC not only undermined silver and other markets, but also spurred the trend of profit-taking that appeared to be emerging in Asia last week.

US data hasn’t caused much movement in the market this week. On the day that is being dubbed “terrible Tuesday” by some US media sources, CME Group reported that silver dipped to its lowest trade since January 25.

Wednesday was a turning point as the market opened on a more positive note and appeared to be shaking off some of the “risk on” vibe seen earlier. There are some suggestions that silver was benefiting from the recovery of the euro and a rise in US equities. Physical buying in Asia has also been credited with supporting the white metal.

In the US, however, silver prices appear to have largely spoiled investors’ appetite for bullion – or at least bullion from the US Mint. Sales of silver American Eagles plummeted in February by 83 percent to 21,000 ounces compared to 127,000 ounces sold in January.

Wall Street Journal helps silver

An article published in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday reportedly gave silver a boost in some markets, most notably Asia.

According to the article, the Federal Reserve is considering a new option referred to as “sterilized” quantitative easing (QE). This approach would involve the Fed printing more money to buy long-term bonds. The difference between sterilized QE and the QE of the past is that the Fed would tie up the new money by borrowing it back for short periods at low interest rates.

The Fed’s primary motive for tying up the cash is to stamp out concerns that this money printing measure poses the risk of future inflation. However, the key takeaway from that article was the first sentence: “if they [the Fed] decide to take new steps.” As yet the Fed has not indicated that it will.

North American markets didn’t seem to be moved by this information.

Greek debt swap

Part of the optimism seen in markets that trade ahead of those in North America was linked to expectations of positive news about the Greek debt swap, and likely contributed to the push toward a “risk on” vibe in the US.

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