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Monday, November 1, 2010

Silver shines in gold's shadow.

Is silver about to streak higher?

Silver's price has risen 8% in the past month, recently topping $20 an ounce for the first time since early 2008. The rally comes at a time when gold has been hitting new highs, on the latest round of fears that crisis-crazed central bankers will destroy the value of paper money.

The poor man's rally
Silver remains far from its own peak, set 30 years ago at a time of high inflation and a hare-brained attempt to corner the market. Unless the wheels fall completely off the global economy, silver seems unlikely to recapture its record high of $49.45 again any time soon.
Even so, silver could take on a new shine in coming months, as a slowing economy prods policymakers further out onto an easy money limb and buyers ponder just how high gold prices can go.
"Silver has been kind of going along as the poor man's gold," said Howard Simons, a strategist at Bianco Research in Chicago. "The gold-silver ratio right now is telling traders to buy silver."
Simons notes that at recent prices an ounce of gold can purchase 63 ounces of silver. Though this is hardly a historically unheard of ratio, the urge to buy the cheaper metal could push silver prices up as traders hedge their bets on gold.
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