Buying into 'poor man's gold', Chinese investors jump on silver

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -Chinese investors rushed into silver investments on Monday, pushing up Shanghai silver prices while boosting performances of related stocks and funds, matching calls by global retail investors to boost prices of the precious metal.

FILE PHOTO: Silver bars are stacked on a table in the safe deposit boxes room of the ProAurum gold house in Munich March 3, 2014. REUTERS/Michael Dalder/File Photo

Retail traders on Reddit and other social media who caused a rally in share prices of U.S. video game retailer GameStop Corp have now turned their attention to silver, leading Chinese investors to also jump on the bandwagon.

China’s domestic silver prices rose to their highest since September. Prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 9.27% at 5,939 yuan per kilogram.

Spot prices on the Shanghai Gold Exchange surged to an over four-month high on Monday before ending afternoon trade up 9.4% at 5,890 yuan per kilogram.

Open interest on the Shanghai futures contract also jumped on Monday to 516,568 lots, its highest since the start of the year. Trading volumes reached 2.28 million lots.

“Since last week’s Reddit discussions to buy long, funds have flowed into the silver market,” said Xu Ying, precious metals senior analyst at Orient Securities Research.

“In the short term, silver’s rise has little to do with fundamentals. Sentiment to go long is high, the market rally is not over yet.”

Silver is dubbed the “poor man’s gold”, as it is cheaper to buy and invest in while impacted by the same factors as gold.

Shares of Chinese listed silver mining companies like Shengda Resources Co Ltd and Inner Mongolia Xingye Mining Co Ltd, rallied on Monday, while listed open fund UBS SDIC silver futures fund closed 8.7% up.

Chinese social media was abuzz with silver’s rally, but warned of a possible bubble.

“I thought it will be the victory of retail investors, but if this continues, the market will definitely fall and retail investors will only harm one another,” said a comment on Weibo.

Reporting by Emily Chow in Shanghai, additional reporting by Beijing newsroom, editing by Ed Osmond