Silver declined to $21.5 per ounce in the second week of June, approaching its lowest level in three weeks and not far from a 22-month low of $20.4/oz hit on May 13th as higher government bond yields following the ECB meeting dampened demand for the white metal. The ECB confirmed plans to raise interest rates by 25bps at the July meeting and signaled further hikes in September, possibly by a half percentage point. At the same time, the Federal Reserve is expected to increase borrowing costs by 50bps at its June and July policy meetings, and a high inflation reading for May would add to expectations of aggressive tightening even in the second half of the year. Historically, Silver reached an all time high of 49.51 in April of 2011. Silver futures and options contracts are used by mining companies, fabricators of finished products, and users of silver-content industrial materials to manage their price risk. As a precious metal, silver also plays a role in investment portfolios. The largest industrial users of silver are the photographic, jewelry, and electronic industries. The biggest producers of silver are: Mexico, Peru and China followed by Australia, Chile, Bolivia, United States, Poland and Russia.

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