On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, silver futures for May delivery traded at USD24.37 a troy ounce during European morning trade, down 7.5% on the day.
Comex silver prices fell by as much as 8.5% earlier in the session to hit a daily low of USD24.09 a troy ounce, the weakest level since November 3, 2010.
Silver prices were likely to find support at USD23.75 a troy ounce, the low from October 29, 2010 and resistance at USD25.03, the high from November 3, 2010.
Silver’s losses accelerated sharply after prices broke below key support levels close to the USD25.61-level and then the USD24.99-level, triggering a flurry of automatic sell orders amid bearish chart signals.
Prices of the precious metal are down nearly 51% since hitting an all-time high of USD49.81 an ounce in April 2011.
Silver has been on the decline given “weak industrial demand and mixed investor interest,” analysts at Barclays wrote in a research note last week.
Market analysts have warned that a drop below the USD24.00-level can lead to further losses in the near-term.
Market sentiment was hit after official data showed that the Chinese economy expanded by 7.7% year-on-year in the three months to March, down from 7.9% in the fourth quarter and undershooting expectations for 8.0% growth.
Separate reports showed that Chinese industrial production also came in below expectations, while retail sales rose slightly more than fore
Elsewhere on the Comex, gold for June delivery lost 4.1% to trade at a two-year low of USD1,440.05 a troy ounce, while copper for May delivery dropped 1.25% to trade at USD3.308 a pound.
Gold’s losses accelerated sharply after prices broke below key support levels close to the USD1,477 and then the USD1,440-level, triggering a flurry of automatic sell orders amid bearish chart signals.
Prices of the precious metal are down nearly 25% since hitting an all-time high of USD1,920.80 an ounce in September 2011, further deepening its descent into bear market territory.