The price of silver today (Monday, May 1) is down 0.5% and trading at $17.17 per ounce. According to FactSet, that's the lowest price since the metal closed at $16.92 on March 15.
In my review of silver prices in last week's column, I pointed out how silver prices had been retreating the entire previous week.
I also said that momentum indicators like the RSI and MACD were pointing to further downside for the precious metal.
Since then, the silver price has headed almost exclusively downward, hardly even stopping to test its 200-day and 50-day moving averages.
Commitment of Traders (COT) reports have been showing "smart money" hedgers as very bearish, while traders have reached an all-time extreme bullish stance. Since big "smart money" investors typically put more money in the market than individual traders, the former have a bigger influence on the price. That means their more influential bearish positions strongly suggest short-term silver prices will continue to weaken from here, while traders will bet on the possibility of a bounce.
So if we do get further weakness in silver, where will prices end up?
I'll show you the targets I think silver will hit later this year. First, let's look at the metal's continued weakness last week...
Price of Silver Today Continues Last Week's 3.5% Decline
After settling at $17.86 on Friday, April 21, silver opened lower on Monday, April 24, at $17.75. However, it followed gold prices and bounced higher throughout the day. Silver prices eventually settled 0.4% higher at $17.93.
That strength held overnight, but by early morning Tuesday, sellers had overtaken buyers, and silver opened lower again at $17.81. It saw a sharp sell-off throughout the session despite similar weakness in the U.S. Dollar Index (DXY). By the end of the day, the price of silver was down 2% to $17.57.
For comparison, here's how the DXY trended last week...
On Wednesday, April 26, the silver price sold off as the dollar skyrocketed above the 99 level. It traded lower throughout the day, ending down 0.5% at $17.48.
The losses kept coming on Thursday as the dollar kept rising during the session. Silver opened lower at $17.37 and fell to $17.23 by the close for a 1.4% loss.
Don't Miss: The Free Guide to Investing in Silver This Year
The tides changed on Friday as silver prices posted their first daily gain since Monday. The metal opened slightly higher at $17.25 and continued to $17.26 by the closing bell. With that, the price of silver posted a 0.2% gain on the day but a big 3.5% loss on the week.
And the overall weakness from last week has spilled over into this week, as the price of silver today (Monday, May 1) is already down 0.5% to $17.17. That puts it on track for the lowest settlement in more than six weeks.
With consistent losses in recent sessions, it's clear we're steadily approaching the $17 level that I told you to expect last week.
That's why I see silver hitting these short-term and long-term targets this year...
My Forecast for Silver Prices in 2017
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Unfortunately, even if we get something of a bounce from here, it may be nothing more than a dead cat bounce. I think protracted weakness could pull the short-term silver price down to anywhere from the $16.50 to $17 range.
Remember, recent COT reports certainly point to too much optimism toward the silver price. In fact, the latest COT numbers show futures traders are at an all-time extreme high, surpassing the previous high of last August. And that brought about a sizable correction.
As you'll see in this chart, the green lines indicate the recent bottoms for silver. These also happen to be the range I predict short-term prices will hover in...
With the current correction having been pretty steep, we could first see a small bounce at this juncture, perhaps even to the 50-day average around $17.88. But from there, I would not be surprised to see the price of silver test the $16.50 to $17 range, as I suggested.
Still, as we work our way through summer and onward, I'd expect fundamentals, technicals, and sentiment to return to silver's favor. And that should power it considerably higher.
I expect it will be able to surpass last year's high and head for $22. That would be a 28.1% gain from the current silver price of $17.17.
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