Silver prices surged to fresh highs today along with gold prices as investors await the periodic meeting of The European Central Bank later today, as analysts don't expect any more easing of policy after the last barrage of easing, but traders will parse through the ECB president Mario Draghi's speech to figures out the bank's monetary policy futures.
Silver hit a new 11-month peak at $17.62 an ounce, while last trading at $17.39, up a strong 25 cents on the day, or 1.47%, while gold also made some gains, advancing nearly five dollars, or 0.40% to hover around $1,259 an ounce.
Euro was a little bit jittery, inching down 0.05% against its American rivals to trade at 1.1293, while the dollar index, measuring the U.S. currency's performance against a basket of six major rivals, was largely flat in European trade at 94.56.
European shares jumped to a 3-1/2 month earlier in the day but then eased down, with the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index dipping 0.16% to 1,379, but Germany's DAX outperformed the wider markets, rising 21 points, or 0.20% to trade at 10,442.
Aside from the ECB meeting, investors wait for other data later, with Britain's retail sales expected to have fallen a steep 1.3% m/m in March, adding to February's 0.5% drop, which would be negative for sterling.
From the U.S., unemployment claims are forecast to have risen to 265 thousand last week, compared to the previous week's 42-year low of 253K, which would still indicate a strong labor sector in the world's largest economy.