Silver futures opened lower after the CME Group announced that it was raising margins for Comex contracts following a rally to an eight-year high that was inspired by an army of retail investors.

Most-active prices declined as much as 2.4% in early Asian trading on Tuesday. Margins will rise to US$16,500 ($21,961.80) per contract from US$14,000, effective Feb 2, the exchange said in a statement, describing its decision as based on “the normal review of market volatility to ensure adequate collateral coverage.”

The global silver market has emerged as the latest focus for an army of retail investors who share tips and views on Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum after they drove up the prices of some out-of-favour US stocks. Still, it remains unclear who authored the initial posts that ignited the staggering run-up in prices. In addition, many commodity analysts have cautioned that chasing up silver would be a much tougher proposition than squeezing stocks higher.

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