Silver shines on retail rush, February revives risk trades, stimulus hopes

Starting out February, markets witnessed a choppy Asian session, with last week’s Wall Street retail frenzy weighing on the sentiment in early trades. Subsequently, investors witnessed a major turnaround in the market mood, as risk rebounded on renewed US stimulus hopes and vaccine optimism.

A tweet from the US Republican Senator Susan Collins cited that President Joe Bidden is set to meet with 10 Republican senators on Monday at 2200 GMT to discuss a compromise stimulus package worth $600 million, as proposed by them.

Meanwhile, easing covid vaccine-related tensions between the EU and UK also cheered the markets. The EU Commission Chief Ursula Von der Leyen said Sunday that AstraZeneca will start deliveries of its COVID-19 vaccines one week earlier than expected.

Silver surged nearly 5% to hit five-and-a-month highs of $29.01 after a weekend that saw a retail buying spree on short squeeze chatter. Retail websites such as Money Metals, SD Bullion, JM Bullion and Apmex noted unprecedented demand for silver bars and coins in a sign of recent Reddit-driven short squeeze spilling over to the physical market.

Gold tracked the silver surge, holding up 1% around $1860. The US stimulus optimism also buoyed gold prices. Oil prices posted small gains, with WTI wavering around $52.50.

Across the FX space, EUR/USD is side-lined above 1.2100 ahead of the Euro area final Manufacturing PMI reports. GBP/USD advanced further to briefly regain 1.3750.

AUD/USD advanced through 0.7650, benefiting from a bounce in the S&P 500 futures. The aussie ignored a five-day lockdown announced in Perth, Australia.

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