GameStop investor battle moves on to silver as prices surge

  • 12 months   ago

Silver prices have hit an a eight-year high after calls to buy the metal on social media sparked a trading frenzy.

It comes a week after amateur investors piled into shares in the games retailer GameStop, causing them to jump 700%.


On Monday silver rose by as much as 11% to $30 an ounce, while shares in some mining firms were up as much as 60%.

Small time traders swapping tips on Reddit are thought to be behind the trend, as they seek to drive prices up.

However, some users of the site dispute this, alleging the "Silver Squeeze" is secretly being coordinated by big Wall Street firms.

What is going on?

It is the latest example of apparently small-time traders taking on big Wall Street hedge funds that hope to profit when the price of an asset or stock falls, but could lose heavily if it rises.

Tips posted on social media sites like Reddit say these so called "short sellers" are manipulating the markets.

And so the amateurs buy up the stocks or assets, driving up the price and inflicting losses on the big players.

It began in January when amateurs piled into loss-making retailer GameStop and other companies such as AMC and Blackberry.

GameStop shares, which were trading at less than $20 (£14.61) each at the start of January, shot to nearly $350 last week. They fell 30% on Monday to $225.

Now the battle appears to have moved on to silver - a far bigger market.

What's being said to stoke the speculation?

The price of silver slid from its early highs on Monday. But the metal is up by almost 20% since Wednesday, when messages began circulating on Reddit forums, encouraging users to buy the metal.

Coin-selling websites say they are now seeing unprecedented demand and delays in delivering silver.

Reflecting the attitude of many of those swapping tips on the site, one user called RocketBoomGo urged fellow traders to "think about the Gainz" in a widely circulated post.

"If you don't care about the gains, think about the banks like JP Morgan you'd be destroying along the way," they added.

However, some on Reddit expressed scepticism, with one saying they had analysed comments and posts on the thread Wall Street Silver and found that 80% "came from accounts mostly created in the last 2 days. Pretty suspect.. who do these people really work for?!"

GameStop - a political fable

Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, said that amateur investors would find it much harder to influence the price of silver than they did with GameStop.

For one thing, the total value of silver being traded is about $1.4-$1.6 trillion, he said, which is 1,000 times the total value of GameStop's share capital before it became the target of speculation.

A large proportion of the silver market also exists "off-exchange", meaning it can't be bought and sold as easily online.

Source: BBC