On Friday, Yahoo Finance columnist Seana Smith ran an article entitled, “Why silver’s post-Brexit bull run may soon be over.” The main thesis is that Brexit has added uncertainties to the global economy that were already brewing, thus driving valuations for risk-off assets. Silver bullion has been one of the biggest beneficiaries, jumping up about 17% since Great Britain voted to leave the European Union. But recently, demand has softened, begging the question of whether or not the silver rally is sustainable.
Bob Iaccino, chief market strategist and co-founder of Path Trading Partners, warned Yahoo Finance viewers that profit-taking initiatives may bring increased volatility to the silver markets. As the spot-price skyrockets, the profits on silver futures contracts move exponentially. Traders being who they are want profits, not physical delivery. At current levels, there’s too much temptation for traders not to take the money and run.
However, this analysis — though extremely accurate — is nothing new. Traders always take profits when they can. Furthermore, it’s not native to the silver bullion market. In any commodity, especially one that is thinly-traded, will experience volatility as fewer players have more leverage. But that’s also true to the upside. If a major player buys silver en masse, the spot price is just as likely to scream higher.
The biggest contention I have with the article, however, is that the profit-taking risk is not indicative of silver’s bull run dying. Rather, it’s a sign of a healthy market. Excessive buying with no selling leads to an unsustainable bubble. The idea that traders are debating whether to sell their positions or not confirms that there are still valid reasons to hold on to silver.
Sadly, this is another example of the clickbait culture that has infected the journalistic and editorial world. Yahoo Finance knew that presenting a bearish headline would attract silver investors in droves. Perhaps they were even anticipating a trove of contrarian comments. Yet if people actually read the article, they would realize that there was nothing of substance there to say one way or the other if silver indeed is about to crash.
Looking at this from a more objective view, I think it’s very difficult to ignore the massive gains that were made. In my opinion, the bullishness in silver and other precious metals aligns with broad fears of global economic instability. If anything else, it suggests that investors are finding few places where to park their money. Of course, we have to consider the profit taking motives of Wall Street traders. But once they take their profits, will silver move higher or lower?
Let’s look at the facts. If fear was driving the silver price, surely, the events over the past couple of days would only ignite those fears, not make them go away. From a technical perspective, silver has spent more time above its 50 day moving average than below it. That’s confirmation that something very substantive is driving the precious metals complex.
No, it’s far too early to call the silver rally dead. When placed in context, there might not be a better time to consider hard assets.