Silver futures plunged Friday, with the COMEX December 2011 contract settling lower by $6.48, or 17.7%, at $30.10 per ounce. Silver reached an intra-day low of $29.845 per ounce earlier this afternoon.
In doing so, gold’s sister precious metal posted its largest single-day decline since at least 1984 – according to FactSet Research, which does not have data going back further. The previous record drop was a 13.8% fall on April 20, 2006.
The spot price of silver fell even more than the futures, as it reached $29.76 per ounce. With today’s sell-off, the price of silver is now lower by 26.9% this week alone, and by 28.3% in September. More importantly, the silver price has now erased its entire year-to-date gain and is lower by 3.8% in 2011.
Silver stocks dropped alongside the metal today, but to a lesser extent. The Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) – comprised of the world’s largest silver stocks – fell $1.67, or 7.1%, to $21.90 per share. The SIL extended its weekly and year-to-date losses to 21.6% and 19.3%, respectively.