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GameStop surges almost 50% as 'Roaring Kitty' teases livestream

FILE PHOTO: Traders work under signage for GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City

(Reuters) -Shares of GameStop surged nearly 50% on Thursday after the online stock influencer known as "Roaring Kitty" posted on YouTube that he would host a livestream on Friday.

Thursday's surge was the latest in a bout of volatile trading in the struggling videogame seller's shares that kicked off last month after the influencer, whose real name is Keith Gill, returned to after a three-year hiatus.

The "Roaring Kitty" channel on YouTube on Thursday showed an upcoming livestream scheduled for 12 p.m. ET (1600 GMT) on Friday.

On Monday, GameStop shares closed over 20% higher after Gill's Reddit profile returned with a post showing a $116 million bet on the stock after a three-year gap.

Gill was a key player in the 2021 rally in GameStop and other so-called meme stocks that was fueled by individual investors on Reddit's wallstreetbets forum.

His recent return to social media rekindled rallies in GameStop, as well as other shares popular with individual traders on social media.

AMC Entertainment jumped 12% on Thursday, while headphone maker Koss rallied 15%.

Gill developed a cult following of traders who fueled sharp gains in GameStop, which scalded hedge funds that had bet against the shopping mall retailer that was struggling with shrinking sales as videogame fans shifted to online purchases.

Ending Thursday at $46.55 per share, GameStop has surged over 160% in 2024. In 2021, the stock reached an intra-day peak of nearly $121 before tumbling nearly 90% in the following five sessions.

Gill did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the upcoming livestream.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigated the meme stock craze of 2021, ultimately finding that marketplace systems worked well.

(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Lisa Shumaker)