GameStop mania drives jump in Aussie miner with similar stock code

FILE PHOTO: A sign is seen outside a GameStop store in Niles, Illinois, U.S. May 23, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Shares in small Australian nickel and cobalt explorer GME Resources jumped as much as 53% on Thursday, apparently driven by the similarity of its stock ticker code to U.S. retail investor darling GameStop.

GME Resources stock closed up 13% at 8.5 Australian cents, or a gain of one cent on the day, giving up most of its gains of four cents in early trade, when it reached A$0.115 ($0.0878). It rose 14% on Wednesday.

“There are people buying the stock for shits and giggles, just because of the ticker symbol,” said market analyst Kyle Rodda of brokerage IG Markets in Melbourne.

“It’s all caught up in this GameStop dynamic,” he said.

“It’s got nothing to do with the company and entirely to do with this mad phenomenon that we’re seeing at the moment where these Redditers looking to swarm into these stocks and play around with the market a little bit for their own amusement.”

Shares of U.S. videogame retailer GameStop have soared about 17-fold since Jan. 12 as small investors, organising on social media, have piled in and forced professional short-sellers to abandon their positions with heavy losses.

A spokesman for GME Resources was not available for comment. However, Managing Director Peter Sullivan told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper the surge caught him by surprise.

“When I opened my share tracking app and saw it was at 9.4 cents, I was stunned,” he told the paper. “It just went bang, and I thought: ‘Well, what’s going on here? Is there something about my own company that I don’t know?’”

“Eventually my brother’s son, who works in Sydney, told us it was about speculation to do with the ticker GME,” he said. “I was hoping to be able to say it was more to do with our world-class nickel projects.”

Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Arun Koyyur