Silver Hits Highest Level in Nearly 31 Years

Silver prices are rising on expectations of stronger demand and the metal's appeal as a relatively safe investment in times of uncertainty.

Silver bar and coins
Thomas Northcut | Photodisc | Getty Images
Silver bar and coins

Silver prices hit their highest level in 31 years Friday before falling back to settle up 2.3 percent.

Silver prices have climbed consistently since late January. More evidence of stronger economic growth is driving expectations that manufacturers will need more of the metal for consumer products such as jewelry and electronics.

Meanwhile, global concerns are driving many commodity prices.

Instability in the Middle East is helping oil, gold and silver.

China's latest step to control inflation is benefiting the precious metals but pressuring soybeans.