2016 was a rollercoaster year and precious metals, including silver, were impacted by political concerns and uncertainty worldwide, such as Brexit results and the US election outcome.

Silver prices steadily increased during the first half of the year, reaching a high of $20.28 per ounce in July. Even though the white metal pulled back to hit a low of $15.76 in December, market participants were hopeful about silver’s prospects in 2017.

As 2016 drew to a close, many were asking the question, “is silver going up in 2017?” and finding out that the answer might be “yes”.

In particular, silver price predictions from key firms were buoying hopes about silver. For example, some had put forward the following estimates:

  • Capital Economics – $16 per ounce
  • CIBC – $16.90 per ounce
  • Citi Research – $15.50 per ounce
  • Commerzbank (OTCMKTS:CRZBY) – $19 per ounce (Q3 and Q4 2017)
  • HSBC – $16 to 21.50 per ounce
  • RBC Capital Markets – $19.30 per ounce

That said, it’s interesting to look back at the question, “is silver going up in 2017?” Here’s a brief overview of how silver has fared so far this year, and a look at the factors that may influence it moving forward.

Taking a look at the chart below, it’s clear that after hitting a low at the end of last year, silver has trended upward in 2017:

silver-priceMore specifically, the white metal has gained 12.75 percent, or $2.03, as of February 15. The current silver/gold ratio is 68.5, still a bit far from the 10-year average of 61.55, but nevertheless impressive compared to the end of 2016.

Looking further at stats, silver hit its highest point in 2017 on February 12, when it briefly reached $18, a three-month high. At the time, the white metal hit the highest level since the aftermath of the US presidential election, despite a strengthening US dollar and weaker gold prices.

On the flip side, silver hit its lowest point of the year on January 1, the day it sank to $15.91, due to a higher greenback and after the Federal Reserve voted to increase interest rates for the second time in a decade.

Most recently, the silver price was sitting at $17.95 as of 3:00 p.m. EST on February 15, and many market watchers are suggesting that further gains could be in store later this year. In particular, the instability US President Trump brings into the markets could push prices higher, and as a result many investors have turned to precious metals.

In a recent interview with INN, Louis James, editor of the International Speculator, said: “Trump is still a source of instability, which markets don’t like, so this is very bullish for safe-haven assets.”

Another factor that will impact prices are political concerns supported by the upcoming elections in Europe. Potential anti-establishment upsets in national elections in France, the Netherlands and Germany, alongside a global rise in protectionism pose the biggest threats to the euro zone economy, according to a majority of economists polled by Reuters.

“With populist parties still gaining support and opinion polls consistently proving unreliable, there are plenty of events that could unsettle markets,” Simon Wells, chief European economist at HSBC