(Adds oil, gold settlement prices)
* Retail crowd focus on silver drives it to 8-year high
* Oil up 1%; dollar index, Bund, T-bill yields steady
* Excess Money? https://tmsnrt.rs/2YpThUB
NEW YORK, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Global shares rebounded from
last week's steep sell-off and silver prices surged on Monday as
retail investors expanded their social media-fueled battle with
Wall Street to drive the precious metal to an eight-year high.
A shift in the retail trading frenzy to silver drove up
mining stocks on both sides of the Atlantic, with a 7.2% jump in
the iShares Silver Trust ETF - the largest silver-backed
ETR - put it on track for its best day since 2008.
Data for the ETF showed its silver holdings jumped by a
record 37 million shares from Thursday to Friday alone, each
representing an ounce of silver.
Mining behemoths BHP Group, Glencore Plc
and Anglo American Plc were the top six gainers to the
FTSE 100 in London, with the blue-chip closing up 0.92%.
Miner Fresnillo rose 8.95% to 1,076 to help lead
the pan-European STOXX 600 index gain 1.24%.
On Wall Street, nine of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced,
with technology leading the rally.
Silver prices surged to an eight-year high of just
over $30 an ounce, before paring gains to trade 6.3% higher at
The social media trading frenzy drove huge gains in
companies such as GameStop Corp last week, forcing hedge
funds to cover their short positions and sparking volatility on
Wall Street. The three main stock indexes posted their biggest
weekly declines since October.
GameStop fell 27.31% to $236.23.
"Silver has knock-on effects compared to GameStop because it
has links to miners," said Connor Campbell, a financial analyst
at SpreadEx. "If you start pushing silver higher, that is going
to have effects on other industries and other markets and that
is clearly what happened."
Silver has gained 19% in price since Thursday after posts on
Reddit led small investors to buy silver mining stocks and
exchange-traded funds (ETF) backed by physical silver bars, in a
Spot silver was up 6.33% to $28.71.
MSCI's benchmark for global equity markets
rose 1.6% to 653.19.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose
1.06%, the S&P 500 gained 1.82% and the Nasdaq Composite
The U.S. dollar bounced to a 2-week high on weakness in the
euro, Swiss franc and Japanese yen on the view that the United
States has an advantage in growing its economy and vaccinating
its population against COVID-19.
The euro weakened after Germany reported that retail sales
plunged by an unexpected 9.6% in December after tighter
lockdowns last year to curb the spread of COVID-19 choked
consumer spending in Europe's largest economy.
The dollar index rose 0.393%, with the euro
down 0.59% to $1.2064.
The Japanese yen weakened 0.25% versus the greenback
at 104.92 per dollar.
Oil prices rose, buoyed by shrinking inventories and hopes
of a swifter global economic recovery, although halting vaccine
rollouts and renewed travel restrictions capped gains.
Brent crude futures settled up $1.31 at $56.35 a
barrel. U.S. crude futures rose $1.35 to settle at $53.55
Gold followed silver higher, up 0.70% to $1,859.05 an
ounce. U.S. gold futures settled up 0.7% at $1,863.90.
Data overnight showed Chinese factory activity slowed in
January as restrictions took a toll in some regions. In the euro
zone, manufacturing growth remained resilient at the start of
the year but the pace waned from December.
British data showed an even greater struggle, with
manufacturers facing the twin headwinds of COVID-19 and
Britain's exit from the European Union.
While the coronavirus vaccine rollout globally remains slow,
with concern about whether they will work on new COVID strains,
Europe was also bolstered by news that it would receive a
further 9 million doses from AstraZeneca in the first quarter.
With riskier markets bouncing, Italian government bond
yields fell 2-3 basis points across the curve.
German Bund yields, meanwhile, the benchmark for the euro
zone, remained anchored around -0.51% on Monday, tracking U.S.
Treasury yields.. The 10-year U.S. Treasury
note traded to yield 1.0723%.
(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Richard Chang)