Pic credit: abc.net.au
Silver costs have risen as Reddit dealers take a shine to the elegant metal, while the local share market claws background after starting sharply more economical.
By 12:10 pm (AEDT), the ASX 200 was falling by just 0.1 per cent to 6,660 points, when earlier falling more than 1 per cent.
Energy is the worst-performing sector, with huge Worley losses (-15.2pc) and more modest falls for Beach Energy (-2.4pc), Oil Search (-1pc), and Santos (-1.2pc).
The main banks were too drag on the market, driven by a 0.9 per cent fall for NAB shares.
But, the huge mining stocks were on the rise, BHP (+0.7pc), South 32 (+3.4pc), and Rio Tinto (+1pc).
Online retailer Kogan’s shares were down by 2.4 per cent, adding an 8.5 per cent fall on Friday.
Kogan recorded a substantial sales increase over the Christmas and Black Friday sales terms but confessed to having to catch “important difficulties created by excessive growth.”
Other retail stocks decreased, with Mosaic (-1.9pc), JB Hi-Fi (-2pc), and Super Retail (-2.7pc)
The Australian dollar fell from 0.1 per cent to 76.35 US cents.
Silver prices have surged to a five-month high, amid the spread of buying frenzy that has seen shares in US gaming retailer GameStop soar 1,500 per cent in two weeks.
Spot silver rose as much as 6.4 per cent to $US28.72 an ounce, the highest since early September.
Silver miners were with the best performers in early trade, including Argent Minerals Boab Metals, Investigator Resources, and Adriatic Metals.
Since mid-last week Silver prices rose by around 15 per cent. At a similar time, messages started advertising on Reddit forums, encouraging citizens to buy the metal and push up prices.
Investors also put into exchange-traded funds (ETFs) supported by real silver.
“The important part here is that silver is massively shorted, the paper market is significant, enough higher than the underlying stock can explain.”
On Friday, global stock markets ended below in the red, including the Dow Jones and Nasdaq falling 2 per cent on Wall Street.