The price of silver soared on Monday, March 13, as its safe-haven appeal drew in investors scared by the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The price of the precious metal increased 6.3 percent to $21.81 per ounce during the morning session.
“A lot of investors are looking to the precious metal space as a safe haven against this volatility and this risk … amid a much lower interest rate environment, and the U.S. dollar that’s dropping, which is lifting their prices,” said Bart Melek, head of Commodity Strategy at TD Securities.
Traders no longer anticipate a rate hike of 50 basis points by the Federal Reserve, and the current projection is for a 25-basis-point move, with some even predicting no hike at all – making silver more attractive as it doesn’t give any interest.
Aside from silver, gold price also increased on Monday. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar and Treasury profits extended their slumps in spite of efforts by regulators to deal with the chaos in the bank industry. “Gold looks very much like it is fulfilling its mandate as a safe haven,” said Melek.
Prices of gold, other precious metals also up
The price of gold surged 2.4 percent to $1,921.06 per ounce, the highest since early February. Prices of other precious metals were also up, with platinum rising four percent to $997.60 and palladium increasing 7.8 percent to $1,485.74.
“The future of gold prices largely depends on whether the Fed’s measures prove effective. If the Silicon Valley Bank’s bankruptcy is deemed an isolated incident, gold may lose some of its recent gains. However, if the crisis leads to a sustained reversal in the Fed’s policy, gold may remain in demand,” said Heraeus precious metals dealer Alexander Zumpfe.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced Friday, March 10, that federal regulators shut down SVB, the leading financial institution for Silicon Valley tech startups for the past four decades. (Related: Australian bank tells customers to withdraw funds immediately before it closes this week.)
The crash of SVB represents the largest banking failure since the 2008 global economic crisis. Several venture investors and technology executives compared SVB’s disaster to that of Lehman Brothers, which filed for bankruptcy in 2008.
A lot of the investors and executives requested anonymity as they were talking about issues that might affect their companies and workers. But the prevailing opinion is that SVB did a poor job informing its clients of its real situation.
SVB tried to allay fears that it was financially unsound as late as March 9.
In an email that SVB sent to a customer, a copy of which CNBC acquired, the bank described the rumors about its troubles as “buzz about SVB in the markets.” SVB told the customer that it has launched a series of strategic actions to strengthen its financial position, enhance profitability and improve financial flexibility now and in the future.
“We have a 40-year history navigating bear and bull markets and have developed leading risk mitigation capabilities to ensure our long-term financial health,” SVB stated in the email.
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