Silver and Natural Gas Scrutinized by CFTC After Price Spikes

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U.S. regulators are closely monitoring derivatives markets after silver surged and the crippling Texas storms prompted a spike in spot prices for natural gas, the acting chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said.

The CFTC is keeping a particularly close eye on social media after bullish commentary on Reddit’s WallStreetBets forum helped drive silver futures to an almost eight-year high last month, Rostin Behnam told the CFTC’s Market Risk Advisory Committee Tuesday.

The regulator is also monitoring the Texas energy markets for any irregularities in the swaps and futures markets following the “tragic loss of life” caused by last week’s storms, Behnam said, adding that “we remain prepared to do whatever is necessary to protect the integrity of our markets.”

The CFTC has been under pressure to to prevent bubbles in the futures market like the one seen last month in the stock market, when the share price of video game retailer GameStop Corp. skyrocketed following widespread discussion on social media.

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