In the past few weeks, the prices of gold and silver have been soaring and have hit all-time (nominal) highs. Over the past 12 months, gold has risen by 31%, while silver has risen by 149% and 64% since the start of February. Part of this reflects the general rise in commodity prices (see also). Oil is trading at around $125 per barrel, up 43% on a year ago; wheat is up 66%, maize by 114%, coffee (Arabica) by 118% and cotton by 122%.
Part of the reason for the rise in the price of precious metals, however, has been the weakness of the dollar. In such times, gold and silver are often seen as a ‘safe haven’ for investors.
So why have commodity prices been rising and why has the dollar been falling? What is likely to happen to the prices of gold and silver in the coming weeks and months? Is their meteoric rise set to continue? Will the ratio of the gold price to the silver price continue to fall? The following articles investigate.
Gold and silver prices jump to new record highs BBC News (25/4/11)
Gold rises 7% in April as US dollar continues to weaken BBC News (29/4/11)
Gold and silver set new highs after S&P move Financial Times, Jack Farchy (22/4/11)
Real Interest Rates Explain the Gold Price Perfectly…Too Perfectly? The Market Oracle, Andrew Butter (25/4/11)
Silver, platinum to outshine gold Toronto Sun, Sharon Singleton (25/4/11)
Gold Bugs Beware Of Fed Extermination Forbes blogs: Great Speculations, Mark Sunshine (25/4/11)
Shock and Au: Hedging Against Fear EconomyWatch, Alice Briggs (26/4/11)
Keeping an Eye on the Gold/Silver Ratio Seeking Alpha, Evariste Lefeuvre (25/4/11)
- Why have the prices of gold and silver risen so much recently?
- Why has silver risen more than gold?
- Why may higher rates of world inflation make investors turn to precious metals for investment?
- How are future decisions by the Fed likely to affect the price of gold?
- According to the efficient capital markets theory (strong version), the current price of a commodity should already reflect all knowable factors that are likely to affect the price? Does this mean that speculative buying (or selling) is pointless?
- How is the price elasticity of supply of silver and gold relevant in explaining the magnitude of their price movements?