Updated Price at 10:00AM (Silver is up 10% so far today)
NEW YORK, April 28 (Reuters) - Trading in the first ever investment fund backed by silver was set to launch Friday on the American Stock Exchange, according to Amex and the security's developer, Barclays Global Investors.
The iShares Silver Trust, with the trading symbol SLV (SLV.A: Quote, Profile, Research), was to launch when the market opened at 9:30 a.m. EDT (1330 GMT).
"It is expected to start trading today," said Christine Hudacko, a spokeswoman at BGI, which is a part of Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research).
Members of Barclays iShares group will ring the opening bell at the exchange to kick off the listing of the long-awaited exchange-traded fund.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday removed the last regulatory obstacle to the innovative fund, which will let investors track moves in silver bullion without the hassle and cost of storage, insurance and transport.
"Because the silver-backed ETF will be listed on a major stock exchange, shares in it are easily traded like any equity investment," said Michael DiRienzo, executive director of the Silver Institute in Washington.
"This investment vehicle will give a wide-range of investors the opportunity to diversify their portfolio with exposure to silver."
The ETF will be backed by bullion stored in vaults in allocated accounts. Each share will be worth 10 ounces of silver.
Silver prices have risen as much as 67 percent this year on expectations that the ETF would lift demand for the metal, which is used in jewelry, photography and dentistry.
After years of weak silver prices, the market has become one of the best performers in commodities in recent months.
U.S. silver futures hit a 23-year high last week at $14.69 per ounce. In early trade Friday, benchmark July silver