If you're wondering why silver prices fell sharply Monday, it looks like the answers lie in Asia.
Silver prices staged a sharp recovery Monday after volatile trading that took the white metal tumbling 9% in 10 minutes to $20.25 an ounce, a level not seen since 2010.
The steep selloff followed a spike in the Japanese yen against the dollar. Precious metals traders surmise investors were forced to sell silver to cover losses in the currency market. The result was a rash of automated sell orders.
Indeed, the effect has so extreme and rapid, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange halted silver futures trading four times to restrain volatility and rein in excessive price movements, a move known as Stop Logic. Because volumes for silver are lower than for gold, they are more prone to sharp swings, up and down.
Data shows more than 3,000 contracts in Comex silver futures sold in just 20 minutes during early Asian trading. Standard Bank in Tokyo confirmed an unidentified investor sold a sizable position of silver Monday morning.