100 ounce silver bullion bars are arranged for a photograph in Singapore. (Photographer: Munshi Ahmed/Bloomberg)

Silver Is the Outcast Among Precious-Metals Outcast to Start 2019

(Bloomberg) -- Silver just completed its worst year in three. Investors are showing no signs of taking a shine to the metal in 2019, either.

The commodity has erased its 2019 gain, while gold, platinum and palladium hold onto theirs. Silver futures on Friday posted the biggest weekly loss since November.

Analysts say silver is getting hit from at least two sides as investors are turned off by its status as both a haven and industrial commodity. Optimism over trade talks is boosting equities and curbing demand for shelters from market turmoil. At the same time, caution over the broader economic outlook dims industrial-demand prospects at a time when silver is plentiful.

Silver has an industrial component, and industrial metals have been “weighed down by slowing global growth concerns,” said Daniel Ghali, a TD Securities commodities strategist. For today, you would expect a “boost to prices because of increasing hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal. But there’s still loads of inventory weighing on the metal’s price.”

Silver Is the Outcast Among Precious-Metals Outcast to Start 2019

“There’s absolutely no shortage of silver around,” Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading at BMO Capital Markets, said by phone. “People bought silver on the back of gold rather than on solid fundamentals. As soon as gold retreats the desire to hold silver fades quickly.”

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.