PRECIOUS-Silver lights up as traders seek cover from attempted squeeze

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
PRECIOUS-Silver lights up as traders seek cover from attempted squeeze
Credit: © Reuters.

(New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments)

* Dollar retreats from a more than one-week high

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By Shreyansi Singh

Jan 28 (Reuters) - Silver prices rose around 7% on Thursday as the dollar weakened, making the metal cheaper for buyers outside the United States.

Some traders were also moving to cover short positions as rumours rippled through the market about a GameStop-style squeeze driven by retail investors.

Calls to drive silver prices higher by buying shares in silver miners and exchange traded funds (ETF) were circulating on social media such as Reddit and Twitter.

Trading of Blackrock (NYSE: BLK )'s BLK.N iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV )< SLV> surged, while shares in Canadian miner First Majestic Silver FR.TO AG.N leaped more than 30%. prices XAG= shot as high as $26.95 an ounce after U.S. markets opened, up almost 7%, before slipping back to $25.93 an ounce by 01:43 p.m. EST (1843 GMT).

"After watching GameStop (NYSE: GME ) and other shorts getting blasted, rumours that silver could be targeted has traders preemptively covering shorts just in case,” said Tai Wong, a trader at investment bank BMO in New York.

Other analysts said the social media action was not impacting prices.

The silver market is much larger and more liquid than shares of companies such as GameStop GME.N , whose shares have ricocheted madly this week. Because of this, efforts of retail investors will have little effect, predicted Ross Norman, an independent analyst.

The dollar also fell as U.S. markets opened, giving a boost to dollar-priced precious metals. FRX/ .DXY

Data showed the U.S. economy contracted in 2020 at its sharpest pace since World War Two, encouraging investment in assets such as silver and gold, traditionally seen as safe stores of wealth.

Spot gold XAU= spiked as much as 1.1% higher as U.S. trading began, before slipping to $1,840.81 an ounce, near their lowest since Jan. 18.

U.S. gold futures GCv1 settled 0.4% lower to $1,837.90.

Meanwhile, platinum XPT= edged up 0.5% to $1,070.31. Palladium XPD= rose 1% to $2,327.98.

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