As the global recovery from the worst recession in 70 years strengthens, investors are inclined to purchase precious metals as an inflation hedge. Higher levels of consumer purchases and manufacturing are signs of economic growth.
Silver is "riding on the back of gold at the moment, which is being driven by inflation fears," Stephen Flood, a director of Dublin-based bullion dealer GoldCore, told the Wall Street Journal.
Shortly before 3 p.m., gold futures were up 0.14 percent, a $1.90 increase to $1,387 per troy ounce. Silver futures were up 2.47 percent, a 0.78 cent increase to $32.35 per troy ounce.
February-delivery silver notched $32.57 per troy ounce earlier on Friday, achieving its highest value since March 1980. Thus far this year, silver futures have climbed 5.4 percent as the precious metal surged on the back of demand for the metal in industrial applications like electronics, solar panels and medical devices.
"It's benefiting from optimism on the global economy," Ralph Preston, market analyst at Heritage West Financial, told the publication.
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