Silver ETF Assets Soar to Record, Buoyed by Industrial-Use Bets

  • iShares Silver attracts biggest quarterly inflow since 2010
  • Gold futures fall on Wednesday amid U.S. Fed rate concerns

Silver is looking shinier than ever, at least in the eyes of the exchange-traded fund investors.

Holdings in ETFs backed by silver climbed to the highest since they were created about a decade ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This quarter, investors poured $625.5 million into iShares Silver Trust,, the most since 2010, data show. iShares owns more than half of total silver holdings in ETFs.

Silver has rallied 39 percent this year, helped by a tailwind from gains in gold, as the Federal Reserve kept U.S. interest rates steady and other central banks increased stimulus to support growth. An improving outlook for the U.S. economy and Chinese manufacturing has also benefited silver, with industrial use accounting for more than half of the metal’s demand.

“Some of the data that we’ve seen from an industrial standpoint has been relatively decent,” Tim Evans, the chief market strategist at Long Leaf Trading Group Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Silver having that industrial component, tends to respond more favorably to those kinds of news development than gold does.”

Consumer confidence rose in September to the highest since before the last recession on optimism about the labor market, according to a report from the New York-based Conference Board on Tuesday. The same day, a government report showed profits of China’s industrial corporations jumped the most in three years, a report Tuesday showed, adding to evidence of continued stabilization in manufacturing.

Silver futures for December delivery slipped 0.2 percent to $19.121 an ounce at 1:39 p.m. on the Comex in New York, paring this quarter’s gains for the most-active contract to 2.7 percent. Gold futures for December delivery declined 0.5 percent to $1,323.70 an ounce.

In other precious metals and mining news:

  • A gauge of 14 senior global gold producers tracked by Bloomberg Intelligence fell 0.6 percent, with shares of Newcrest Mining Ltd. among the biggest decliners.
  • On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures gained, while platinum futures fell.
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