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Uranium meme-stock traders get help from a whale, triggering a mammoth rally

October 19, 2021, 10:48 AM UTC

Uranium stocks are booming again.

That’s after the world’s largest uranium miner, Kazatomprom, made a strategic $50 million investment on Monday into Anu Energy OEIC, a fund that allows investors the opportunity to trade shares in the radioactive mineral with a billion-year-plus half-life.

That set off a chain-reaction rally of uranium-linked stocks around the world.

Canada-based uranium trader Cameco Energy climbed 2% in premarket trading this morning after rising 5.9% on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday and 22% over the last week. Meanwhile, Denison Mines and NexGen Energy yesterday rose 12% and 4.5%, respectively, amid a 30% price rally over the past five days. Over in Australia, Valor Resources and Argonaut Resources went up by 25% and 15%, respectively, on Monday. And other funds like the North Shore Global Uranium Mining ETF and Global X Uranium ETF both rose yesterday by 5%.

The buying spree in all things uranium has picked up in recent weeks ahead of the COP26 climate summit, as the radioactive metal is a key ingredient used to power nuclear reactors.

The interest in nuclear comes amid an energy crisis that has priced oil above $80 a barrel and has sent natural-gas futures up 300%. Retail investors are betting nuclear will be used alongside renewables to decarbonize the planet.

Uranium stocks have been popular in the markets lately after the element piqued the interest of retail traders on r/WallStreetBets, the Reddit forum behind the price surge in GameStop and other meme stocks. This most recent uranium stock rally mirrors a similar price surge in September that was triggered by a buying spree from Sprott Physical Uranium Trust, a Toronto-listed fund that owns 27.7 million pounds of uranium worth $1.46 billion as of Sept. 16.

The newest uranium darling, Anu Energy, was set up to target investors from Asia, Kazatomprom explained in a statement, differentiating itself from Canada’s Sprott and London’s AIM-listed Yellow Cake.

Mazhit Sharipov, the chief executive of Kazatomprom, the mining giant that supplied 23% of the world’s uranium production last year, said in the statement “the fund will be operating in an environment of tightening supply, driving positive benefits for its stakeholders.”

Meanwhile, boosters on r/UraniumSqueeze—a subreddit with around 18,000 members (and counting) dedicated to investors and traders “passionate about the uranium market”—have been lauding the groundswell of news headlines pointing to a world turning to nuclear. Investors on Twitter have taken up the call, too, pumping the radioactive stuff premarket.

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