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Silver Coin Sales Picked Up in 2015

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Jan. 5 2016, Updated 7:54 a.m. ET

Physical sales gear up

Silver dropped by 11.8% in 2015. Gold prices also retreated, by a whopping 10.8% from the year prior. Though the plunging prices left precious metal lovers in dismay, they certainly raised demand in the market. US Mint silver coin sales hit a record high in 2015. Silver American Eagle coins hit 47 million ounces, while gold coin sales rose 53% and touched 801,500 ounces.

Falling prices lure precious metal fans, resulting in higher physical demand. Silver futures for March 2016 expiry were trading below their 20- and 100-day moving average prices. The fall below these critical marks could suggest a possible bounceback in price or a short-term downward trend with good chances of a bounceback. Though precious metals fall for various reasons, the primary factor is the US dollar. When the US dollar flexes its muscles, dollar-denominated commodities and metals go weak at the knees.

[marketrealist-chart id=939304]

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ETF performance

The above chart shows the price performance of the iShares Silver Trust ETF (SLV), which closely follows silver. It replicated the losses in silver, as did silver-based mining companies such as First Majestic Silver (AG), Silver Wheaton (SLW), and Pan American Silver (PAAS). These three companies together make up 7.1% of the price fluctuations in the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX). The Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) also follows the trend in silver prices.

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