Gold & Silver Capped at the FIX, as the Dollar Index Plunges

08 December 2016 — Thursday


The gold price was sold down a couple of bucks in the first two hours after trading began in New York on Tuesday evening.  The price sat there until London opened — and it began to work higher from there.  The price dipped lower by a few dollars starting at the COMEX open, but away it went to the upside [with obvious resistance] starting around 8:45 a.m. in New York.  The price was capped at the afternoon gold fix in London — and it was sold quietly lower for the rest of the Wednesday session.

The low and high ticks were recorded as $1,167.20 and $1,182.30 in the February contract.

Gold was closed in New York on Wednesday at $1,173.30 spot, up an even 4 bucks from Tuesday.  Net volume was fairly decent at just over 130,000 contracts.161208gold

Here’s the 5-minute gold tick chart courtesy of Brad Robertson.  Volume began to increase noticeably once the rally began at the London open, which is 01:00 a.m. Denver time on the chart below.  Of course all the volume that really mattered began at the 06:20 MDT COMEX open — and it was mostly back to background by the COMEX close, which is 11:30 a.m. Denver time on the chart below.

The vertical gray line is 10:00 p.m. Denver time, midnight in New York — and 1:00 p.m. China Standard Time [CST] the following afternoon in Shanghai—and don’t forget to add two hours for EST.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ is a must for this chart.161208-5-minute-gold

Silver was sold off about a nickel in early Far East trading — and sat there until the London open.  It rallied a dime in the first thirty minutes of trading — and then flat-lined until 8:45 a.m. EST in New York.  Then, like gold, away it went to the upside…along with the obvious price resistance.  Then, also like gold, it was capped at the London p.m. gold fix.  It was sold down about 15 cent from there, but rallied to its absolute high price tick at precisely 1:00 p.m. EST — and that’s obviously where ‘da boyz’ showed up for the second time.  Then, also like gold, it was sold quietly lower for the remainder of the Wednesday session.

The low and high ticks in this precious metal were reported by the CME Group as $16.705 and $17.30 in the March contract.

Silver finished the Wednesday session at $17.095 spot, up 40.5 cents from Tuesday’s close.  Net volume was very heavy at a hair under 57,000 contracts so, as I mentioned above, this big rally did not go unopposed — and JPMorgan et al had to throw a whole bunch of COMEX paper silver at the price to make it behave.  Ted mentioned in his mid-week column yesterday that the 20-day moving average was broken — and silver closed above it as well, so that would be part of the explanation for the heavy volume, as some of the technical funds began to pour back onto the long side.161208silver

Here’s the 5-minute tick chart for silver courtesy of Brad once again.  There was no volume worthy of the name until the price blasted higher starting around 6:45 a.m. Denver time on the chart below and, like gold, was back to background once the 11:30 a.m. MDT COMEX close had come and gone.

As per the 5-minute gold chart above, the vertical gray line is 10:00 p.m. Denver time, midnight in New York — and 1:00 p.m. China Standard Time [CST] the following afternoon in Shanghai—and don’t forget to add two hours for EST.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ is a must for this chart as well.161208-5-minute-silver

Platinum traded flat until 1 p.m. China Standard Time on their Wednesday afternoon.  From there it was sold down to its $926 low tick at the Zurich open.  Like gold and silver, it rallied a bit from there…back to unchanged — and then didn’t do much until shortly before 2 p.m. Europe time.  Then it began to rally a bit, but really blasted higher starting at 8:45 a.m. in New York.  The rally was fiercely opposed — and was capped around 10:30 a.m. EST — and was driven lower until 1 p.m.  It chopped quietly sideways from there into the close.  Platinum finished the day at $939 spot, up 7 dollars from Tuesday.  Heaven only knows how high the closing price would have been if it had been allowed to trade freely.  The same can be said of gold and silver as well.161208plati

The palladium price drifted very quietly lower during the Far East trading session, with its $726 low tick coming at noon in Zurich.  The subsequent rally was capped at 9 a.m. EST the moment it broke above unchanged — and was sold off until minutes before noon in New York.  It rallied a few dollars into the COMEX close from there — and traded flat for the rest of the day.  Palladium finished the day at $731 spot, down 4 dollars from Tuesday’s close.161208plad

The dollar index closed very late on Tuesday afternoon in New York at 100.49 — and proceeded to chop sideways less than 10 basis points either side of unchanged until shortly before 11 a.m. in London trading.  It’s 100.59 high tick came around that time — and it began to head lower from there, but really cratered at 10 a.m. in New York, as it fell 25 basis points into the 11 a.m. EST London close.  The 100.13 low tick was painted at that juncture, with ‘gentle hands’ rallying the index until a minute or so before 1 p.m. EST.  It chopped lower from there, finishing the Wednesday session at 100.18 — and down 31 basis points on the day.

As the dollar index cratered at the London p.m. gold fix, the precious metals were brutally capped, so this event was not allowed to impact on their respective prices.  It was just another example of blatant price suppression.

There are no markets anymore, only interventions.161208intraday-gif

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart which, like the precious metals charts, is a work of fiction.161208-6-month-usd

The gold stocks gapped up a bit at the open of trading — and hit their respective high ticks minutes after 12 o’clock noon in New York.  They held in there until shortly before 2 p.m…but a seller of some size appeared at that juncture — and had the shares almost back to unchanged by minutes before 3 p.m. EST.  A bottom feeder showed up at that point and rallied the shares a bit during the next ten minutes — and from there they chopped quietly sideways into the close.  The HUI finished up only 1.30 percent.161208hui

The silver equities hit their highs at the London p.m. gold fix — and up about 4 percent.  They sold off a bit from there and then chopped sideways until the same seller appeared minutes before 3 p.m.  From that point onward, the silver equities followed the same price path as the gold stocks.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed higher by only 1.76 percent.  I was underwhelmed.  Click to enlarge if necessary.161208silver-7

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 19 gold and 1,027 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Friday.  In gold, Morgan Stanley issued 17 contracts out of its client account — and the stoppers were Ted’s “usual suspects” — HSBC USA, Scotiabank and JPMorgan [10 for its clients…and 1 contract for itself].  In silver, the only two short/issuers that mattered were JPMorgan with 683 contracts out of its client account — and 339 from International F.C. Stone’s client account.  The two largest stoppers should come as no surprise…JPMorgan and Macquarie Futures with 535 and 326 contracts for their own accounts.  There goes JPM ripping their client’s faces off once again.  Citigroup was a distant third with 85.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Wednesday trading session showed that gold open interest in December fell by 88 contracts, leaving 1,375 left…minus the 19 contracts mentioned above.  Tuesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that only 16 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today.  So that means that another 88-16=72 short/issuers were let off the delivery hook by those holding the other side of these contracts.  Silver o.i. in December declined by 20 contracts, leaving 1,824 left…minus the chunky 1,027 contracts shown in the previous paragraph.  Tuesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that only 3 silver contracts were posted for delivery today, so that means that 20-3=17 short/issuers in silver were let off the delivery hook as well.

There was another very decent withdrawal from GLD yesterday.  This time an authorized participant took out 200,165 troy ounces — and you have to wonder what entity ended up with that gold.  And as of 7:55 p.m. EST yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.

There was a small sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday. They sold 100,000 silver eagles — and that was all.

There was decent gold movement at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Tuesday — and all of the in/out movement was at Canada’s Scotiabank.  They reported receiving 51,910 troy ounces — and shipped out 34,547 troy ounces.  The link to that activity is here.

There was more big movement in silver as well.  There was 902,363 troy ounces received — and another 434,345 troy ounces shipped out the door for parts unknown.  A lot of the in/out activity was at Canada’s Scotiabank as well, but it should be noted that JPMorgan picked up another 303,061 troy ounces.  The link to that activity is here.

It was another huge day over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Tuesday, as 11,631 kilobars were received — and 2,959 were shipped out.  All this action was at Brink’s, Inc. — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.

I have an average number of stories for you today and, as always, the final edit is yours.


Hyper-Inflation Complete Demise Dollar Coming — Greg Hunter Interviews John Williams

Economist john Williams has a dire warning amidst all the record highs in the markets. Williams predicts, ““Unless the long term solvency of the U.S. Treasury bonds can be addressed, there’s no hope of avoiding a hyper-inflation and the complete demise of the dollar. In that case, gold will be the traditional hedge that keeps you solvent. Gold and silver are a hedge and store of wealth. They maintain the purchasing power of your assets. So, as the dollar becomes worthless, the price rises (for gold and silver). I am not talking about a trade where you get in and make some money. Prices may go up and down, but they are going up a lot as the crisis, which has been brewing for years, finally does break. I think it’s going to hit, unfortunately, before the efforts of Mr. Trump can start to stimulate the economy. This next year is particularly dangerous because whatever the Trump Administration does, they have to work around the problem of the Fed, and the Fed is trying to keep the banking system afloat (and not the economy). You will need to see a drop off in the dollar before you are going to see the inflation.”

Williams adds that if the banks on either side of the Atlantic get into trouble, the “Fed will take action.” That means print money to bail out banks, and that will speed up the inflation that Williams is predicting.

This 34-minute video interview was posted on the Internet site on Tuesday — and the first reader through the door with it yesterday was Jim Gullo.  Another link to it is here.

Donald Trump is Time magazine’s 2016 Person of the Year

“Every year we choose the person of the year who is the individual who has had the most influence on events, for better or worse. It’s hard to argue that anyone had more influence than Donald Trump over the events of this year,” Time Editor-in-Chief Nancy Gibbs said in a video of the announcement. “But there is a profound argument about whether his influence was for the better or for the worse.

Gibbs wrote that, for those who thought “for the better,” Trump’s electoral victoryrepresents a long-overdue rebuke to an entrenched and arrogant governing class.” For those whom his victory is “for the worse,” the “destruction extends to cherished norms of civility and discourse, a politics poisoned by vile streams of racism, sexism, nativism,” Gibbs wrote.

A lot of people think that Person of the Year, just because of the nature of the name, is an honor, and certainly there have been years where we have recognized people whose influence has been altogether unassailably worthy,” Gibbs added. “Normally that’s not the case. I know there are a lot of people who disagree with so much of what Donald Trump said and are very apprehensive about what his presidency means for them and for the country. I think i would challenge them to suggest that someone else this year had more influence and in a way a greater surprise than what he did in 2016.

This UPI story appeared on their website at 8:31 a.m. on Wednesday morning EST — and I thank Roy Stephens for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.

Brazil crisis: Rio police fire on rioters from church

Roman Catholic authorities in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro have promised an inquiry after riot police fired rubber bullets from a church.

Police clashed with anti-austerity demonstrators in the city amid a budget crisis in the state.  Many protesters were public workers who have not been paid in months.

Police used tear gas and stun grenades during the unrest near the state assembly building, where spending cuts were being debated.

Legislators are discussing steps to cover a huge deficit in the city’s state budget.

Hundreds of public sector workers had gathered outside the assembly building to protest against the measures.

This news item was posted on the Internet site on Tuesday — and I thank Swedish subscriber Patrik Ekdahl for pointing it out.  Another link to this story is here.

Britain’s Parliament backs Brexit, votes to trigger Article 50 by March 31, 2017

British MPs have voted in favor of government plans to trigger Article 50 by March 31, 2017, meaning Britain will formally initiate the process of leaving the E.U. before that date.

MPs voted 461 to 89 in favor of the motion on Wednesday.

The vote came following a motion from the Labour party, which stated that it is “parliament’s responsibility to properly scrutinise the Government while respecting the decision of the British people to leave the European Union,” adding that there “should be no disclosure of material that could be reasonably judged to damage the UK in any negotiations to depart from the European Union after Article 50 has been triggered.”

Added to the motion was a government amendment stating that parliament “recognises that this House should respect the wishes of the United Kingdom as expressed in the referendum on 23 June; and further calls on the Government to invoke Article 50 by 31 March 2017.”

51 MPs from the Scottish National Party (SNP), 23 from Labour, five from the Liberal Democrats, three from Plaid Cymru and one Conservative MP are reported to be among those who opposed it.

This news item showed up on the Internet site at 7:52 p.m. GMT on Wednesday evening — and Roy Stephens sent it our way very late last night.  Another link to it is here.

Oops! Experts’ £6 Billion [Gold] Blunder Sends U.K. Trade Deficit Soaring

Britain’s trade deficit with the rest of the world is £6 billion larger than previously thought — and at a record high — because the nation’s bean counters made a mistake in their sums.

The Office for National Statistics yesterday admitted to a big “processing error” that meant it had miscalculated the value of everything that the country exports and imports for almost two years. For the three months to September, the correction catapulted the trade deficit from £11 billion to £17 billion, the worst since records began in 1955.

The error comes at a particularly sensitive time for the ONS and the trade series in particular, which is being watched closely for signs of an export revival after the fall in sterling since Brexit.

The Bank of England and the Office for Budget Responsibility expect an improvement in the U.K.’s trade to cushion the economic blow of voting to leave the European Union. However, the ONS’s mistake appears to have masked a catastrophic collapse since June.

The problem was found in the collection of “non-monetary gold” data, which measures the amount of gold traded privately rather than used in jewellery. For every other quarter from the start of 2015, the corrected numbers improve the trade picture, suggesting that U.K. investors have been net sellers of gold. Since Brexit, the data shows that they have become large importers of the dollar-denominated asset in an apparent flight to safety.

This interesting story put in an appearance on Internet site at 12:01 a.m. on their Thursday morning — and I found it embedded in a GATA release.  Another link to this article is here.

Britain fines Pfizer record $107 million for huge drug price hike

Britain’s competition watchdog has fined Pfizer a record £84.2 million ($107 million) for its role in ramping up the cost of an epilepsy drug by as much as 2,600 percent.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) also fined Flynn Pharma £5.2 million for overcharging for phenytoin sodium capsules, following a dramatic price hike in 2012.

The CMA’s ruling comes amid a growing debate on both sides of the Atlantic about the ethics of price hikes for old off-patent medicines that are only made by a few firms and where there is little competition.

U.S. drugmaker Turing Pharmaceuticals, led at the time by hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli, caused outrage last year by raising the U.S. price of Daraprim, an old anti-infective drug, by more than 5,000 percent to $750 a pill.

This news item, filed from London, showed up on the Internet site at 9:22 a.m. EST on Wednesday morning — and it’s from Zero Hedge via Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.

E.U. fines top banks £410m for rate rigging, including HSBC and JP Morgan

Credit Agricole, HSBC and JP Morgan have been fined for rigging the Euribor interest rate benchmark as European Union antitrust regulators ended a five-year investigation into the scandal.

The European Commission’s competition watchdog fined the banks a total of €485m (£410m) for participating in a cartel in euro interest rate derivatives.

In a statement the European Commission said the banks had colluded on euro interest rate derivative pricing elements, and exchanged sensitive information, in breach of antitrust rules.

JP Morgan was fined €337.2m, HSBC got a €33.6m penalty and Credit Agricole must pay €114.7m.

The fines were set on the time they participated in the cartel and the value of products involved.

Well, JPMorgan with yet another cost of doing business — and nobody goes to jail.  This story appeared on the Internet site around 8 a.m. GMT on their Wednesday morning — and it’s the second offering of the day from Patrik Ekdahl.  Another link to it is here.

Glencore and Qatar buy $11.3bn stake in Russia’s largest oil company

The Kremlin has announced that commodities trader Glencore and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund are together buying a 19.5{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} stake in Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil company.

It is the largest privatisation deal, the largest sale and acquisition in the global oil and gas sector in 2016,” President Vladimir Putin said.

The surprise move sees Glencore and Qatar paying $11.3bn for the stake in Rosneft, where BP already owns 19.75{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}.

Moscow will keep the controlling stake.

The long-planned sale is part of the Russian government’s efforts to sell some state assets to help balance the budget amid a two-year recession caused by a drop in global oil prices and Western sanctions.

This news item showed up on the Internet site early on Wednesday evening in London — and it’s another contribution from Patrik Ekdahl.  Another link to it is here.

China’s Foreign Reserves Drop Most in 10 Months as Yuan Slumps

China’s foreign currency reserves, the world’s largest, fell the most since January after the yuan declined to an eight-year low.

  • Reserves decreased $69.1 billion to $3.05 trillion in November, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement Wednesday
  • That compares with the median forecast of $3.06 trillion in a Bloomberg survey of economists
  • Decline was biggest since reserves tumbled $99.5 billion in January

The fifth-straight monthly decline brings the reduction in the stockpile to almost $1 trillion from a record $4 trillion in June 2014. While authorities have begun tightening capital controls, a $50,000 limit that Chinese citizens are allowed to convert from yuan annually will reset at the start of the new year, potentially adding depreciation pressure on the currency.

I posted a story about this in yesterday’s column, but here’s the Bloomberg spin on it.  It appeared on their Internet site at 3:08 a.m. EST on Wednesday morning — and another link to it is here.  This new item comes to us courtesy of Richard Saler.  There was an article about this on the Internet site yesterday as well.  It comes to us via Patrik Ekdahl — and it’s headlined “If this keeps up, Trump won’t have to do anything to punish China’s economy

U.S. Mint Sells Out of American Eagle Silver Coins, But Demand Down 20{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} From 2015

Silver coin demand remains solid for 2016 even if it isn’t a record-breaking year for the U.S. Mint, which announced late Tuesday that it sold out of 2016 one-ounce American Eagle silver bullion coins.

According to the latest sales data, the U.S. Mint sold a total of 37.6 million coins this year, ending two years of record-breaking demand. Total demand this year was down 20{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} from 2015, which saw 47 million ounces sold.

The biggest month for silver sales was seen in January with nearly 6 million ounces sold. The sharp drop in November did not do much for silver bullion demand as slightly more than3 million ounces were sold last month, down 21{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} from 3.8 million sold in October.

The only reason that silver eagle sales are down is because JPMorgan backed away from the trough.  But they’ve been pigging out at the gold eagle/buffalo trough this year to make up for it — as these bullion coins had their highest sales since 2011.  This precious metal-related news item was posted on the Internet site at 10:48 a.m. on Wednesday morning EST — and it comes to us courtesy of Tolling Jennings.  Another link to it is here.

India’s golden quest to tackle ‘black money’ and the lessons from a century ago

The Indian government has been trying to reduce its citizen’s demand for imported gold through a number of means over the last few years. This is part of a wider crack down on currency used in the black market, that included the withdrawal and replacement of its two largest denomination bank notes in early November. The strategy will likely have some unintended consequences if we take our cues from the events of 1910.

Indians’ famous love for gold has created serious and ongoing economic issues for the nation. In 2011, Australian investment bank Macquarie estimated that 78{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} of India’s household savings were held in gold.

In effect, this means that India has a dual currency system where people choose to save mostly in gold rather than rupees. This is unlike any other major economy and begs the question: how do you wean a population off a precious metal?

This very interesting article put in an appearance on internet site back on November 29 — and was just ‘discovered’ by the precious metal world yesterday.  It’s certainly worth reading — and I thank Roy Stephens for digging it up for us.  Another link to it is here.

Chile rejects attempt to block modified Barrick Gold mine project

Chile has rejected an attempt by local communities to block modifications needed to keep Barrick Gold Corp.’s controversial Pascua Lama project alive, a resolution by the ministerial committee involved showed on Wednesday.

The Pascua Lama gold and silver project, which straddles the border of Argentina and Chile in the Andes Mountains, was put on hold in 2013 due to environmental issues, political opposition, labor unrest, and development costs that ballooned to $8.5 billion.

Barrick, the world’s largest gold miner, said in September it had brought back a former executive to advance a scaled-back development plan for the project that would focus on Argentina.

But the Canadian company faces fierce opposition from people on the Chilean side, who say the project will pollute and crimp already scarce water resources in the country’s arid north.

This rather brief gold-related article was posted on the Reuters website at 1:06 p.m. EST yesterday afternoon — and I found it on the Internet site.  Another link to this news story is here.

Turkey’s president urges people to favor lira and gold to end “tyranny of the dollar

Emerging markets across the globe are already suffering because of an expected rise in US interest rates — and few are feeling the pain more than Turkey. The country’s currency has been plunging in the wake of the election of Donald Trump, who favors fiscal stimulus rather than ultra-low interest rates, and ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting next week that could raise benchmark rates for only the second time since the financial crisis.

In response, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on citizens’ patriotism to foil the effect on the lira. He has exhorted them to break what he describes as the “tyranny of the dollar,” asking people to stock up on the lira and gold instead and so defeat the “economic sabotage” perpetrated by the country’s enemies.

Some businessmen have already responded to the leader’s call by offering free bus rides or haircuts to those who have sold dollars. Turkish officials add that capital controls have been discussed — but up to now rejected — as a means of arresting the slide of the lira, down more than 10 percent against the dollar since Mr. Trump’s election.

This Financial Times story conveniently forgets to mention the word ‘gold’ in the headline, so Chris Powell stuck it in for them.  The above four paragraphs are all of this FT news item that’s posted in the clear in this GATA release from yesterday.  The rest is behind their subscription wall.


Here are two more of the finalists in this ongoing saga for the 2016 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.  The Click to Enlarge feature does NOT help with these photos.161208photo-1



Nearly a decade ago, I came up with the dinosaur analogy to describe the commercial traders in COMEX silver, patterned after the movie, “Jurassic Park”. To me, the 4 and 8 big concentrated shorts were the T. Rexes and the 20 to 30 smaller commercials were the velociraptors, the smaller, but quicker and pack-like dinosaurs which competed with the big guys over the same food supply diet of plant-eating reptiles. Interestingly, even though I wrote the article, “The Raptors” long before JPMorgan emerged as the biggest and baddest silver T. Rex ever, in skimming the article today, I wouldn’t change anything. (However, I did term the commercials as dealers and managed money traders as technical funds, as was my custom back then).

Basically, I contended, back in 2007, that the smaller commercials, the raptors, were increasingly successful at poaching prey from the big T. Rexes because they were quicker to the punch and stepped in front of the big commercial traders when the technical funds came into the market to buy or sell. Thus, the raptors were quite successful in snaring profits away from the big guys as competition grew for a share of the managed money traders’ largesse. By and large, that pattern prevailed until very recently. That it appears to have changed over the past three COT reports may be very big news.Silver analyst Ted Butler: 07 December 2016

Despite a falling U.S. dollar index, which turned into a precipitous decline at London p.m. gold fix, the big rallies in gold and silver were stopped dead in their respective tracks — and then turned lower.  It took a lot of firepower in the COMEX futures market to put out those rallies, especially in silver.  And for the second day in a row, the palladium price was closed down, even though it would have closed materially higher if allowed to trade freely.  JPMorgan et al are still firmly in control of precious metal prices at the moment.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four, plus copper once again.



And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away — and I note that the gold price rallied quietly and steadily until shortly before noon in Shanghai trading on their Thursday morning — and it’s been chopping equally quietly lower since — and is up $2.70 the ounce.  Silver followed the same sort of price pattern — and was up a nickel or so by noon CST — and is now up 2 cents an ounce after dropping below unchanged for a bit.  Platinum’s rally met the same fate at the same time as gold — and is up 7 bucks an ounce, but obviously wants to move higher if allowed.  Palladium hasn’t done much — and its 2 dollar gain has vanished and it’s down a buck on the day.

Net HFT gold volume is currently sitting at a surprisingly high 29,500 contracts — and that number in silver is a hair under 7,000 contracts.  There’s no roll-over/switch volume worth mention in either precious metal.

The dollar index opened lower in New York at 6:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday evening — and continued down until it broke just below the 100.00 mark.  It’s current 99.97 low tick came around 11:45 a.m. China Standard Time.  Of course the usual ‘gentle hands’ appeared — and the index is being coaxed quietly higher as I write this, but is still down 5 basis points as London opens.

With the Fed meeting next week — and an interest rate hike all but baked in the cake, regardless of economic conditions — it will be interesting to see if there will be any price fireworks in the precious metals when the smoke goes up the chimney at the Eccles building next Wednesday.  You’d think that this rate increase would already be priced into the precious metal market, but it’s entirely within the realm of possibility that JPMorgan et al will use the opportunity to lay one final beating on them.  And, as always, I’d love to be proven spectacularly wrong about that.

Tomorrow we get the latest and greatest Commitment of Traders for positions held at the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday, plus we also get the monthly Bank Participation Report.  For this one day a month we get to see what the world’s banks are up to in the precious metal market — and it’s usually quite a bit.  I know that Ted will use that report to recalibrate JPMorgan’s short position in silver in the COMEX futures market

I hope you had a chance to read Ted’s May 22, 2007 commentary, which is also linked in today’s quote, where he first labels the Big 8 as the Tyrannosaurus Rexes/T-Rexes of the precious metal world — and the small commercial traders other than the Big 8 as the veloci[raptors].  It was a trip down memory lane for me, but may be new to you, as the commentary is almost ten years old now.  It’s a must read in my opinion.

And as I post today’s missive on the website at 4:00 a.m. EST, I see that gold was almost back to unchanged in the first hour of trading in London, but has rebounded a bit — and is currently up $2.90 the ounce.  Silver continues to trend lower — and is down 2 cents an ounce. Platinum in now up 9 dollars — and palladium is still down a buck.

Net HFT gold volume is up to 33,500 contracts, which isn’t a lot higher than it was ten minutes before London opened.  That number in silver is 8,200 contracts, little changed as well.  It’s very quiet at the moment.

The dollar index almost made it back to unchanged by shortly before the London/Zurich open, but rolled over shortly after the open — and is now down 19 basis points — and back below the 100.00 level once again.  Will it get ‘rescued’ this time, one wonders?

After yesterday’s price ‘performances’…nothing will surprise me when I check the charts once I’ve rolled out of bed later this morning.

That’s it for today — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.


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