by Adam Hamilton
The silver miners showed impressive fundamental strength during 2015’s grim fourth quarter. That was the worst silver suffered in many years, a perfect-storm trough with major secular lows fueling extreme bearish sentiment. Traders feared this entire industry faced an existential threat, so they fled in terror from silver stocks. But silver miners’ strong operational performances aced that severe trial with flying colors.
Q4’15 may seem like ancient history now, but it was exceedingly important for the entire precious-metals realm. Gold slumped to a miserable 6.1-year secular low in mid-December, on the day after the Fed hiked rates for the first time in 9.5 years. That was wildly irrational based on market history, which has proven gold thrives during Fed-rate-hike cycles with big average gains. Gold hadn’t seen lower prices since Q4’09.