- Silver prices appear to have found support at $16.17 per oz. The metal put in a strong performance on December 7 and is consolidating those gains now.
- The stochastics are bullish but have become quite choppy. We wait to see if there is follow-through buying interest around.
- Prices appear to have run into resistance above $17.20 per oz, which was around the level of the former lows from early October.
- A move up above the $17.25-17.50 range may be needed before silver prices look less bearish.
Industrial metals, especially the base metals and palladium, have benefited from the stronger economic outlook so we are surprised silver prices have been dragged down as much as they have by the sell-off in gold price. The common denominator is poor jewellery demand but, with the economic outlook improving, perhaps jewellery starts to recover.
The strong dollar has weighed on prices but the dollar is showing signs of tiring now – perhaps the run up to this month’s FOMC meeting, which concludes on December 14, has been a buy-the-rumour-sell-the-fact set-up ahead of a likely US interest rate rise.
The downward trend in the CFTC’s net long fund position (NLFP) climbed 325 contracts last week – the first uptick since November 8 – via 2,010 contracts of fresh buying, making this the second week of buying in the past ten weeks. Shorts added 1,685 contracts, which was the first fresh shorting in for six weeks. The gross long position is now in mid-range and the gross short positions is in low ground, which means direction from the funds could come from either direction.
The sell-off has been severe. We are surprised that bargain-hunting has not stepped in before now. Prices seem to have built a base and are now challenging likely resistance levels. If a base is seen to be in place, the market might start to focus on the political uncertainty that lies ahead once an interest-rate decision is out of the way.