Silver mining companies settled mixed Tuesday, while the price of the white metal itself gave up ground to fears that global economic activity may be slowing.
Evidence of slowing economic activity affects silver because roughly half its demand comes from industrial customers.
The U.S. Labor Department reported Friday that the world's largest economy created no new jobs and there is a growing sense that European leaders are unable to contain let alone fix their now-chronic sovereign debt crisis.
Silver Wheaton Corp., Pan American Silver Corp., First Majestic Silver Corp. and Endeavour Silver Corp. all declined while Silver Standard Resources Resources Inc., Hecla Mining Co. and Silvercorp Metals Inc. gained.
The price of silver on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell $1.201, or 2.8 percent, to settle at $41.868.
Also declining was iShares Silver Trust, which lost 2.68 percent of its value.