Silver prices edged slightly lower on Thursday and were on track for their first loss in four days, as a semblance of calm returned to precious metals after a volatile start to July.
September silver contracts edged down 3 cents, or 0.1%, to $15.87 a troy ounce at 7:56 a.m. ET. The grey metal traded between $15.85 and $15.96 overnight.
Silver has gained in three of the past four sessions to trade at nearly one-week highs. Prices underwent a major correction last week, including a sudden flash crash that wiped as much as 11% off the grey metal’s value. The declines culminated in fresh 15-month lows on Friday.
Gold was flat through the early morning session, with the August futures contract last seen trading at $1,219.60 a troy ounce.
Precious metals are feeding off renewed volatility in the U.S. dollar after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen struck a dovish tone in her first day of congressional testimony on Wednesday. The dollar index (DXY) was last down 0.2% against a basket of world peers.
The Fed’s pledge to normalize monetary policy has failed to lift the dollar this year, as traders bought the rumor and sold the fact with respect to interest rates. The central bank continues to pledge an additional rate hike this year. Markets are pricing in a more than 50% probability that occurs.
North of the border, the Bank of Canada raised interest rates on Wednesday for the first time in nearly seven years, bringing the overnight cash rate to 0.75%. With the move, Canada became just the second G7 nation to boost rates.
Comex Silver Futures (September 2017)