The silver spot price is flat today (Friday), but all indications suggest the silver price will keep climbing in 2016.
In fact, there is one major reason why we remain bullish on the silver spot price this year.
First, here's what's moving silver prices today…
In afternoon trading today, the spot silver price was trading up $0.03 at $15.51. Spot silver prices started inching up Friday as stocks dipped and investors turned to safe-haven assets. In morning trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 130 points.
Silver, like gold, is looked at as insurance when markets fall and is a great store of value. During the 2008 financial crisis, a time when investors were scrambling for safe havens, the silver price doubled.
Silver has remained a smart investment throughout 2016 as global markets have officially hit bear market territory. Worries of a systemic banking crisis in the Eurozone and China and concerns of an economic recession have also boosted silver prices.
The Silver Institute recently said they believe the silver price should "find solid ground this year" and that the silver deficit will accelerate. The deficit has been building for more than a year. In the first 11 months of 2015, U.S. silver mine production dropped by roughly 8%, according to data from the U.S. Geological Survey. That should continue to drive silver prices higher.
The Institute also sees higher industrial demand this year. Silver is used in solar panels, plastic production, jewelry, and coins.
In addition, record demand out of India is expected. India vies with China as the world's No. 1 gold consumer.
And silver consumption is already off to a strong start this year.
The U.S. Mint has already sold 8 million ounces of silver in American Eagle coins in 2016. At this pace, the Mint is on track to report another year of record silver sales.
Spot silver prices are approaching the psychologically important $16.00 level.
According to Money Morning Resource Investing Specialist Peter Krauth, a "host of fundamental and sentimental drivers are at working helping to push silver prices higher and odds are good they will remain supportive."
But there is one factor above all else that will contribute to spot silver price movement in 2016…
The Biggest Influence on the Silver Spot Price Today
The biggest catalyst for silver prices in 2016 is the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Minutes from the Fed's Jan. 26-27 meeting show policymakers appear increasingly reluctant to raise short-term interest rates at its next meeting. That reluctance may persist throughout 2016.
The Fed's next gathering is March 15-16, and futures market traders see a 94% chance the central bank won't raise rates. According to data from Chicago Mercantile Exchange, traders see an 83% chance the Fed won't raise rates before midyear, and a 50% chance the Fed won't raise rates at all in 2016.
That's bullish for silver prices in 2016. Coupled with mounting global financial woes and prospects of more central banks turning to negative interest rates, silver prices should continue to shine.
Amid a volatile start for stock markets in 2016, silver prices are already up some 15% year to date. In comparison, the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq are down 6.06%, 6.23%, and 9.96%, respectively.
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- U.S. Mint: Bullion Sales
- Reuters: Global Downturn Spurred Fed to Consider Changing Rate Path: Minutes
- Kitco: Gold Pushes Above Unchanged as U.S. Equities Under Pressure