Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Silver is the top-performing major asset of 2020, displacing orange juice, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis, after a gain of nearly 34% since July 1.

What's happening: The rally has been boosted by a fast-falling U.S. dollar, concern about the U.S. economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, and increasing tension in the U.S.-China trade war, analysts say.

  • The combination of unprecedented government and central bank stimulus measures around the globe and fears about further growth have investors betting big on precious metals.
  • Copper and aluminum also have been well bid in recent weeks.

Of note: Trading volume in silver rose to its highest since September 2019 last week.

Go deeper

Trump's swift, sweeping China offensive

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's rhetoric on China has tended to run hotter than his actions — until now.

Why it matters: Even at the height of Trump's trade war, his administration never hit China as hard, as fast, and on as many fronts as it is right now.

Death spiral for consumers

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Despite some recent good news about dwindling household debt, the financial health of U.S. consumers is rapidly deteriorating — and families with children are faring the worst.

Why it matters: As Congress deadlocks over pandemic relief and President Trump issues executive orders of dubious potency, many Americans are suffering from a quintuple whammy: unemployment, overdue rent, mounting bills, food insecurity and health fears.

The end of Hong Kong's political freedom is here

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The end of Hong Kong's relatively free political system is no longer looming. It's here.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is already wielding the new national security law it forced upon Hong Kong just over a month ago.

  • And through the extraterritoriality enshrined in the new law, Beijing has signaled that its push against pro-democracy activism is going global.