After its biggest one-day fall since 1980 on Thursday, Friday saw silver bouncing back and carrying gold along with it as the two precious metals regained some lost territory. But as Asian bargain hunters looked to fill their coffers with silver and gold, they also kept a weather eye out for U.S.unemployment data due later in the day.
Reuters reported that another margin increase by the CME Group on COMEX silver futures drove the price of silver down by an alarming 12%, which panicked investors into selling off gold (a fall of 3%) and other commodities, including oil and copper. Ong Yi Ling, an analyst at Phillip Futures, was quoted in the report saying, "Prices have dropped so much over the past few days and bargain hunters are in."
That activity by bargain hunters took spot silver up almost a percent to $35 per ounce in early global markets, although that’s not enough to forestall a loss for the week of 27%. COMEX silver had fallen more than 5% before it reversed direction and headed back up; its early low was $34.27 but it had recovered to $35.05. However, if nonfarm payrolls are worse than expected, commodities could be in for a wild ride to the bottom.
iShares Silver Trust suffered too, falling by more than 1% in the wake of a 5% drop on Thursday, when holdings fell to 10,268.92 tons, their lowest since early November.
Where silver was a target for speculators, gold could resume its safe haven status; already back more than 1% from previous losses, it stood at $1,4686.96 per ounce. COMEX gold, too, rose, although not as much; it gained 0.4% to come in at $1,487.20 per ounce. Although this was gold's worst week since March of 2009, looking likely to record a 5% fall, that could change. Ong also said, "Gold is a better bet than silver or oil, as losses would be capped by its safe-haven status."