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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Silver Forecasters Bullish as Funds Retreat From Slump - Bloomberg

Silver Forecasters Bullish as Funds Retreat From Slump - Bloomberg

At a time when hedge funds are reducing bullish silver bets by the most in two years, analysts predict a rally as manufacturing expands from China to the U.S., boosting demand for the precious metal most used in industry.
Money managers cut wagers by 68 percent in two months as futures tumbled 22 percent, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Prices will rally to average $35.40 an ounce in the fourth quarter, the third-highest on record, according to the median of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Shares of Fresnillo Plc, the largest producer, will rise 25 percent in the next 12 months, based on the average of seven forecasts.
Silver bars are stacked in New York. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg
Silver, the most volatile metal tracked by Bloomberg, rose more than twice as much as gold this year on mounting confidence the global economy will skirt another recession. China’s factory output gained for a fifth month in April and U.S. manufacturing grew at the fastest pace in a year. Industrial demand from solar panels to batteries to film accounts for about 53 percent of consumption, the Washington-based Silver Institute estimates.
“A greater amount of confidence in the global economy generally means higher growth and that means more silver demand,” said David Jollie, an analyst at Mitsui & Co. Precious Metals Inc. in London and the most accurate forecaster in last year’s London Bullion Market Association survey of silver prices. “If you look out beyond the end of the year, you can still see reasons to be bullish.”

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