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Silver ETFs: Sluggish to Start 2019

This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

The SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) , the largest physically backed gold-related exchange traded fund, has traded modestly higher this year while the Aberdeen Standard Phys PalladiumShrs ETF (PALL) is continuing its jaw-dropping ascent.

However, the  iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) is proving to be a dud among precious metals ETFs to start 2019. SLV, the largest physical silver ETF, entered Wednesday with a year-to-date loss of 0.60%.

“Analysts say silver is getting hit from at least two sides as investors are turned off by its status as both a haven and industrial commodity,” according to Bloomberg. “Optimism over trade talks is boosting equities and curbing demand for shelters from market turmoil. At the same time, caution over the broader economic outlook dims industrial-demand prospects at a time when silver is plentiful.”

Silver's slack start to 2019 is betraying what were optimistic forecasts for the metal heading into the year after a rough 2018. A more accomodative Federal Reserve would bolster the case for silver. Looking ahead, silver and other precious metals may continue to face an uphill struggle as the Federal Reserve is expected to keep hiking interest rates, which makes non-yielding assets like commodities less attractive.

Related: Renewed Affinity For Gold Could Benefit Silver ETFs

Another Betrayal for Silver

Making SLV's slow start to 2019 potentially more concerning is the ETF's reputation for performing well in January.

Over the past 10 years, only one ETF has been positive in January more frequently than SLV and the silver ETF has been the best-performing commodity in the first month of the year over those 10 years. During that period, SLV was one of the best non-leveraged ETFs in the first month of the year.

“Silver has an industrial component, and industrial metals have been 'weighed down by slowing global growth concerns,' said Daniel Ghali, a TD Securities commodities strategist. For today, you would expect a 'boost to prices because of increasing hopes of a U.S.-China trade deal. But there’s still loads of inventory weighing on the metal’s price,'” reports Bloomberg.

Investors have pulled $139.27 million from SLV this year.

For more information on the silver market, visit our silver category.