Here’s what’s behind silver’s sterling rally

Silver has enjoyed an incredible surge recently, but some analysts doubt the sustainability of the metal's rally.

"As monetary policy over the course next nine months becomes hawkish and the dollar starts to strengthen, then this trade is going to start to unwind rapidly," predicted Stifel Nicolaus portfolio manager Chad Morganlander, referring to his expectation that the Federal Reserve is set to raise rates.

Silver has already risen 11 percent this month, a huge jump after years of losses. The move has come as gold turns a banner year, and industrial metals like copper rise. In the metals market, silver is a bit unique: It's a precious metal that also has some industrial uses.

The worry is that both components of silver's value will soon become anchors on its price. On the precious side, silver's inverse correlation with the dollar will turn into a problem if the dollar starts to rise once the Fed raises rates. On the industrial side, if global growth continues to stagnate, demand for the metal will drop.

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Technical analyst Ari Wald nevertheless emphasizes that at least in the short term, going for silver could remain smart.

"[This is a] very clearly defined reversal of silver's multiyear downtrend here," the Oppenheimer technical analyst said Wednesday on CNBC's "Power Lunch."

"The breakout point was at $16 — that 16 is now going to act as a level of support, and we do believe the trade is up to $18.50 resistance," he said.


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Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen joined CNBC in December 2013 as a correspondent, focusing on the global consumer. She is co-anchor of the 10AM ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET), broadcast from Post 9 at the New York Stock Exchange.

In March 2018, Eisen was named co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

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