While Silver ETFs Outperform Relative to Gold, Miners Continue to Suffer

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Where an investment in silver ETFs would have returned 33% over the past 12 months, a weighted investment in 43 listed silver stocks is now returning a highly dramatic negative -33% over the same period. Gold ETFs, represented mainly by the US-listed SPRD Gold Trust, have also performed well, with a return of 28%, ranking just behind silver ETFs.

Amid the hammering of listed resources stocks over the past two months, and the more recent heavy sell off of commodities, silver exchange traded funds (ETFs), represented mainly by the US-listed iShares Silver Trust, stand out as one of the most resistant commodity-linked securities. An investment in the iShares Silver Trust, which currently holds USD 3.4bn in silver bullion, is an easily accessible proxy investment in silver bullion.

Where an investment in silver ETFs would have returned 33% over the past 12 months, a weighted investment in 43 listed silver stocks is now returning a highly dramatic negative -33% over the same period. Gold ETFs, represented mainly by the US-listed SPRD Gold Trust, have also performed well, with a return of 28%, ranking just behind silver ETFs.

Listed gold stocks, however, have far outperformed listed silver stocks, returning a composite 5% over the past 12 months. The disparities in the returns from listed stocks may at least be partially explained by the declines in spot prices: at USD 919 an ounce, gold bullion is currently 11% off its highs, while at USD 17.23 an ounce, silver bullion has fallen by 19%.

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