Silver surges to near 6-month peak on retail frenzy

Feb 1: Silver soared as much as 7.4% to climb a nearly six-month peak on Monday, after social media posts last week called for retail investors to flood into the market and push up prices of the precious metal.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot silver hit its highest since Aug. 11 at $28.98 an ounce, and was up 5.4% to 28.45 by 0049 GMT.

* Silver has risen nearly 15% since Thursday, when posts began circulating on Reddit urging retail investors to buy silver mining stocks and iShares Silver Trust , an exchange traded fund (ETF) backed by physical silver bars, in a GameStop-style squeeze.

* Buying an ETF can boost silver prices by increasing the number of shares in the fund and making its operator buy more metal to back them.

* The gold/silver ratio, which measures the number of silver ounces needed to buy an ounce of gold, fell to its lowest since 2014.

* Speculators upped their bullish positions in COMEX gold and silver contracts in the week to Jan. 26, data showed on Friday.

* Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,852.35 per ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 0.3% to $1,856.30.

* Meanwhile, 10 moderate Republican U.S. senators urged President Joe Biden on Sunday to significantly downsize his sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

* Elsewhere, platinum eased 0.1% at $1,072 and palladium shed 0.2% to $2,222.46.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0500 India IHS Markit Mfg PMI Jan 0600 Russia Markit Mfg PMI Jan 0745 France Reserve Assets Total Jan 0845 France Markit/IHS Mfg PMI Jan 0850 France Markit Mfg PMI Jan 0855 Germany Markit/BME Mfg PMI Jan 0900 EU Markit Mfg Final PMI Jan 0930 UK Markit/CIPS Mfg PMI Final Jan 1000 EU Unemployment Rate Dec 1300 Brazil Markit Mfg PMI Jan 1445 US Markit Mfg PMI Final Jan 1500 US ISM Manufacturing PMI Jan

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