Silver was at $17.53 per ounce at the end of trading on Monday, over 1 percent lower than its opening price. That is 5 percent lower than silver's price from a week ago but 1.9 percent up fro its price a month ago.
While gold prices have seen much more drastic volatility due to growing bets that inflation will raise as a result of both President Donald Trump's economic policies and years of muted price growth from weak demand, silver has not been impacted to the same extent. Although silver is used as an inflation hedge by many investors, the ETFS Physical Silver (SIVR) and iShares Silver Trust (SLV) funds have seen muted activity, with relatively low daily trading volume even though the funds' counterparts specializing in gold have received renewed interest.
Silver ETFs like SIVR and SLV pool together investor funds that are then used to invest in silver futures that are bought and sold on open markets. As a result, these funds are designed to track the price trend of silver itself. Both SLV and SIVR have fallen 4.5 percent in the last five days of trading, although both have risen by nearly 10 percent since the start of 2017 thanks to the strong bull run in precious metals.
Even in its asset class, silver has been a sharp outperformer. Gold has seen more modest gains, driving the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) up just 5.7 percent year to date, slightly more than half of silver’s performance over the same time period.
Silver remains 64 percent off its all-time high price point, which it reached in early 2011. Both SIVR and SLV have fallen by a similar amount since then but remain up 23 percent over the last decade.
That gain massively underperforms most other asset classes. During the same time period, the S&P 500 gained 170%. Long-term U.S. government bonds had a similar return to the precious metal but still outperformed silver, rising around 28 percent including dividends over the last decade.