ETF Edge

Silver may have more room to run from its seven-year highs, ETF analyst says

Gold hits all-time highs. What the precious metal rally means for ETFs
Gold hits all-time highs. What the precious metal rally means for ETFs

Investors are mining for precious metals.

Gold hit an all-time high on Monday despite U.S. stocks rising slightly as concerns about the coronavirus and simmering U.S.-China tensions persisted. Silver futures surged more than 8% to seven-year highs.

In large part, the underlying exchange-traded funds followed. The SPDR Gold Shares Trust (GLD) hit highs not seen since 2011, while the iShares Silver Trust (SLV), Invesco DB Precious Metals Fund (DBP) and VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) climbed back to 2013 levels.

Possible explanations for the moves include the weakening U.S. dollar, which tends to have a negative correlation to precious metal prices. Market analysts have also cited lower interest rates, sluggish U.S. growth and concerns about inflation.

"I think it's all of the above plus an additional one," Reggie Browne, principal at GTS, told CNBC's "ETF Edge" on Monday.

"With the central banks around the world, with quantitative easing and printing of new currency to support some of the coronavirus rescue measures, I think we're seeing weak currencies across the board," Browne said. "I think the biggest story here [is] I think you're seeing greater adoption of commodities and particularly gold and silver being put into asset allocation models, and I think that's a new trend that we're seeing that's driving up the price of gold."

Even if that's the case, industry trends suggest silver prices could still have more runway, Harry Whitton, head of ETF sales and trading at Old Mission, said in the same interview.

With silver ETFs seeing "nonstop creation units in the ETFs [and] record volumes" in the last several weeks, traders think "there is more opportunity" in silver, Whitton said.

"Gold has run up a little bit higher. It's hitting all-time numbers whereas silver is still way off its all-time high," he said. "So, I think people think it has more room to run."

The SLV ETF closed nearly 8% higher on Monday. The GLD climbed 2%.

Materials ETFs, namely the Materials Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLB) and the iShares U.S. Basic Materials ETF (IYM), climbed back to 2018 highs on Monday.

Disclosure: Invesco is the sponsor of CNBC's "ETF Edge."