Precious Metals

Silver spent half the week adding to its string of gains. It also showed its ability to outperform gold, but was later overcome by pressure and declined.

Though the week began with a United States holiday, on Monday silver was still able to manage gains that boosted it above the $32 level, although only by a mere two pennies. Silver was not done, however, and continued adding to its positive record. By the end of trading on Wednesday, silver had amassed a string of eight consecutive gains and was resting at $32.23.

Furthermore, a portion of silver’s progress came without support from gold, with the white metal outperforming its yellow peer on Wednesday.

After hitting a five-week high, March silver on the COMEX ended near session highs. The metal finished the day with gains of $0.02 on the New York spot market. In contrast, February gold ended the US session near its lows of the day. At the close of the New York spot market, the yellow metal had lost $7.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) slashed its forecast for gold, citing — like many other market participants — expectations that silver will outperform the yellow metal on a relative basis this year.

In the near term, some are skeptical about silver’s ability to make significant and sustainable upward moves. Although silver has been posting pluses, which have allowed it to move back into bull territory, it has shown a tendency to struggle to make meaningful progress above the $32 level.

Standard Bank believes momentum in the gold market could be helpful.

Part of gold’s problem is that some safe-haven demand appears to be giving way to risk appetites. Also, some market participants are disappointed that the metal has failed to break through the $1,700 level.

“Silver could rally towards $32.60 especially if gold manages to test $1,700. However, tactically we would sell into rallies above $33. Also, we doubt that silver could sustain trading above $33 throughout Q1:13,” Standard Bank strategist Walter de Wet stated in a market note.

The close

Thursday, technical selling and diminishing safe-haven demand emerged as unshakable sources of pressure for silver, which snapped its string of gains and experienced a sub-$32 drop.

COMEX March silver ended the US day session $0.72 in the red, at $31.72. New York spot prices fell $0.61, to $31.62.

Company news

Silvercorp Metals (TSX:SVM,NYSE:SVM) stated that it is aware that class-action lawsuits have been filed against it. Based on allegations made on the website, the lawsuits essentially accuse the company of fraud by way of misrepresenting information about ore grades and financial details.

These accusations, in Silvercorp’s opinion, have been proven false by a forensic report, an Ernst & Young audit and updated technical reports that were reviewed by regulatory authorities.

Prospero Silver (TSXV:PSL) signed option agreements that enable it to earn 100 percent of two additional claims — Sucara and Dos Amigos — within the Northern Cebollas target area of the Baborigame district in Mexico. With these agreements, the district “is essentially 100% controlled and covers all exploration targets identified in the project area,” the company stated in a press release.

Prospero and its joint venture partner, Minera Hochschild Mexico, are preparing Baborigame for drilling. The two additional claims will be integrated and funded under the terms of that partnership.

El Tigre Silver (TSXV:ELS,OTCQX:EGRTF) started drilling at its El Tigre silver-gold property in Sonora, Mexico.

The 2013 exploration program anticipates drilling 5,000 meters of core in 30 to 40 holes. Assay results from the first phase, which will be 2,700 meters, are expected by the end of March. The company said it will concurrently be working to update its NI 43-101 technical report “to include the first reported gold and silver resource based on this phase of the drill program and the 2011 and 2012 programs.”

Southern Silver Exploration‘s (TSXV:SSV) board of directors approved an advance-notice policy for director nominations in hopes of providing a clear framework for the process.

“The Policy contains a provision requiring advance notice to Southern Silver in certain circumstances where shareholders of Southern Silver nominate individuals for election to the board of directors. The Policy establishes deadlines by which director nominations must be submitted to Southern Silver prior to any annual or special meeting of shareholders and also outlines the information that must be included in the notice to Southern Silver for an effective nomination to occur,” the company said.


Securities Disclosure: I, Michelle Smith, do not hold equity interests in any of the companies mentioned in this article.


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