Analysts at the London-based research firm GFMS Limited believe that in 2011, silver will gain at least 17 percent to trade at $30 per troy ounce, with an average price of about $28 per troy ounce.
Barring a truly shocking price move, the average price of silver this year will be about $20 per troy ounce.
According to the firm, investment demand for a hedge against currency devaluation and economic instability will continue to push up the price of the white metal. It's typically traded with gold, but it's much more volatile; it's gained nearly 60 percent since the beginning of the year, compared to just 23 percent for gold.
That's partially because silver has more industrial uses, and is more tied to the supply and demand curve. Gold, on the other hand, is primarily consumed at a luxury level for jewelry, and is otherwise held by central banks, funds and individuals. At a time when some are describing the global exchange rate system as a "currency war," many see an important role for hard assets in preserving value.
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