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Investing in Silver

With prices bouncing between $4 and $25 per ounce over the course of the last decade, investing in silver can be a bit of a roller-coaster with the metal earning a reputation as one of the most volatile metals to trade.

The silver price tends to follow the price of gold, and to a slightly lesser extent that of copper, but as the market for the grey metal is much thinner than either the gold or the copper market, the link with the other two metals is occasionally broken because of speculation.

Investors interested in trading the silver market should keep a close eye on the main producers of the metal such as London-listed Mexican miner Fresnillo, Australian mining giant BHP Billiton and Polish company KGHM Polska Miedz. Announcements of annual production levels, mine openings and closures or mining disruptions will all have a significant effect on short-term prices.

Although most people traditionally think of silver as a jewellery metal, twice as much silver is used for industrial purposes as for fashion. Silver is a component in mobile phones, medical applications and batteries. Monthly indicators of industrial demand and manufacturing for major industrial regions such as the US and the eurozone will provide a good signal for where the silver market is likely to move next.

Silver futures are financial contracts that allow traders to express their opinion on the future price of silver without having to physically own the metal. When you buy or sell a silver futures contract, you are agreeing to exchange a specified amount of silver at a predetermined price on a future date. These contracts are standardized and traded on exchanges like the CME Group, providing investors with a way to gain exposure to the silver market and potentially profit from price fluctuations. Silver futures offer leverage, meaning that investors can control a large amount of silver with a relatively small initial investment or margin. Trading silver futures requires a good understanding of the market, a solid risk management strategy, and the ability to weather the metal’s potential price volatility.

Silver is traded in the form of futures on CME Group’s COMEX exchange in the US or over-the-counter in London where prices are fixed once a day by a group of market-making banks. The daily pulse of the silver futures market can be taken by looking at the Comex inventories and contract open interest – the total number of outstanding contracts held by futures markets participants at the end of each day. Longer term data such as demand and supply statistics is provided by the Silver Institute, a miners’ association based in Washington.

Investing in silver can be done through various methods. A popular option is to invest in silver-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or mutual funds. These instruments provide exposure to silver without the need to physically hold the metal, making them a convenient choice for many investors. You can start investing in Silver ETFs via online investment platforms and trading accounts. They can be bought and sold like stocks, offering greater liquidity compared to physical silver.

You can also invest in silver futures and options with multiple contract sizes to fit your risk tolerances through CME Group. Learn more about trading silver futures here. To start trading silver futures, you’ll need to open an account with a registered broker that offers access to the desired exchange, such as the CME Group. Once your account is set up and funded, you can begin placing trades based on your market analysis and trading strategy.

Silver can also be traded using spread bets (UK) and Contracts for Difference.

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