HSBC has lowered its silver and platinum group metals price forecasts for this year and next citing a recent drop in prices and weaker Chinese demand. "Even a modest Chinese slowdown has the capacity to drive prices of these metals lower, and we believe those concerns have led to the sharp price falls," the bank said in a note. China is a major importer of all three metals for use in the car, industrial and jewellery sectors. Silver prices had fallen to six-year lows, while palladium prices touched a five-year low on August 26. The broad-based commodity declines may be encouraging margin call liquidation and fresh selling in platinum group metals, HSBC said. "Potential buyers may be deterred by widespread commodity sector weakness. This comes on top of other factors that have been a drag on the sector, such as the strong dollar and moderating global auto production." The bank reiterated that it expects gold prices to bounce back by the end of the year on emerging market buying.