Reddit traders send silver price to eight-year high

The price of silver hit an eight-year high on Monday, amid social media calls to buy the metal and emulate the trading frenzy that surrounded US games retailer GameStop last week.

The precious metal rose by as much as 11% to $30 an ounce, its highest value since 2013.

Shares in a handful of smaller Australian mining firms surged as small-time traders bought en masse.

Argent Minerals jumped 60% while Investigator Resources was up 47%.

Silver is seeing an unprecedented demand and coin-selling websites are facing a delay in delivery.

This is the latest example of apparently small-time traders taking on big Wall Street hedge funds that hope to profit when the price of an asset or stock falls, but could lose heavily if it rises.

Tips posted on social media sites like Reddit say these so called “short sellers” are manipulating the markets.

And so the amateurs buy up the stocks or assets, driving up the price and inflicting losses on the big players.

It began in January when amateurs piled into loss-making retailer GameStop, causing its stock to spike more than 700% in a week.

But now traders have turned their attention to silver a far bigger market that they also allege is being manipulated.

They have clearly been successful so far, with silver prices up 20% since Wednesday, when messages began circulating on Reddit forums such as Wall Street Silver, encouraging users to buy the metal.