03:46 GMT +324 March 2018
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    All That Glitters is Not Just Gold: Brexit Sends Silver Prices Soaring

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    All eyes have been on gold amid this year's economic uncertainty, but the price of silver is rising even faster, Gazeta.ru reported.

    The result of the Brexit referendum in the UK has added to economic uncertainty and increased the value of precious metals. 

    On Wednesday gold futures for August delivery were trading at $1,350.70 per troy ounce, the highest level since mid-March 2014, according to data from Marketwatch.

    The threat of recession and already high gold price has also led investors to seek another safe haven – silver. On Wednesday, silver futures for July were trading at $19.76 per troy ounce. This is its highest price since August 2014, and represents a steep rise of 25 percent since the beginning of June.

    While the increase in gold's value since the beginning of 2016 has been well reported, silver's value has actually increased even more, by 47 percent since the turn of the year in comparison to the 27 percent increase for gold.

    According to investment banking firm Sberbank CIB, on June 16 Exchange-traded fund investments in silver reached their highest ever amount, $650.5 million ounces.

    The increasing value of silver has had a positive effect on producers, too. The share price of Russia's leading producer, Polimetal, has skyrocketed by 24 percent on the London Stock Exchange since June 23; the price of Polimetal shares has almost doubled since the beginning of the year.

    Analysts believe the UK's decision to leave the EU in the referendum on June 23 is one of the main factors driving the recent rise of silver, as is a growing belief among investors that the US Federal Reserve will decide against raising interest rates this year because of economic uncertainty.

    In December the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.25 percent, for the first time since 2006.

    "Following Britain's exit from the EU, investors' expectations have increased that the world's central banks will engage in more loose monetary policy, which will lead to a fall in sovereign bond yields and consequently the transfer of capital into defensive assets," Roman Kuznetsov, an analyst at asset management firm QBF, told Gazeta.ru.

    Gold ingots
    © Sputnik/ Pavel Lisitsyn
    Gold ingots
    Another factor is silver's industrial use. In contrast to gold, the price of silver is mostly determined by manufacturing demand – 54 percent of its price is the result of demand from manufacturers.

    Industrial demand for silver is predicted to rise by three percent this year in comparison with last year, while total world production of silver is expected to decrease by two percent annually.

    Artem Deev, head of analytics at AMarkets, told Gazeta.ru that popularity among Chinese investors is also driving the rise of silver.

    During trading on Monday in Singapore, demand for silver forced the price to increase by 6.9 percent, reaching $21 per ounce, the highest price since July 2014. In Shanghai, the price of silver increased by 5.7 percent, far more than the 1.2 percent increase in gold's price.

    On Friday, trading in the December silver futures contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange reached nearly 95 billion yuan ($14.2 billion), more than four times the daily transaction volume of a month ago, according to data provider Wind Information.

    "This trend on the markets will continue at least until the future of Britain's relationship with the EU is decided, and until then defensive assets will continue to rise," Deev predicted.

    Silver's rise is also compounded by a recent slump in value since 2012, when the price averaged $31.15 per ounce.

    "Over the past four years it has fallen by price, losing almost half its value. Current events are allowing it to regain its value, at least in part," he explained.

    "Over the course of several years, silver has been a significantly undervalued asset."


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    silver, gold, assets, Brexit, London Stock Exchange, China, United Kingdom
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