As Expected: JP Morgan et al Smash the Precious Metals on ‘The News’

15 December 2016 — Thursday


The gold price wandered quietly higher in Far East trading — and was up about 5 bucks shortly before the London open on their Wednesday morning.  It didn’t do a lot after that, but took a bit of a dip in the last half-hour before the COMEX open.  The smallish rally that developed at at that point was quietly capped about ten minutes after the equity markets opened in New York yesterday morning — and was up about 7 dollars at that point.  It drifted lower from there before JPMorgan et al showed up at 2:00 p.m. EST.  By the time they were done with it, the low tick had been set shortly before 4 p.m. in after-hours trading.  It rallied a few dollars from there before trading sideways into the close.

The CME Group recorded the high and low ticks as $1,168.00 and $1,140.00 in the February contract.

Gold was closed in New York on Wednesday afternoon at $1,142.60 spot, down $15.40 from Tuesday’s close — and a new low close for this engineered move down.  Not surprisingly, net volume was very heavy at just under 195,500 contracts.

Brad Robertson sent the usual 5-minute gold tick chart but, for whatever reason, there was no volume data…so I decided not to post it.

The silver price didn’t do much of anything until shortly after 1 p.m. China Standard Time on their Wednesday afternoon.  At that point a rally developed which got stepped on just before, and after, the London open.  Once that was out of the way, the price continued to tick higher until a not-for-profit seller showed up thirty minutes before the COMEX open, just like they did in gold.  Silver was back below $17 spot by the COMEX open — and the ensuing rally had to be contained numerous times until the short buyers and long sellers of last resort finally prevailed starting a minute or so after 12:30 p.m. in New York.  The silver price chopped lower from there until it, too, had its lights punched out by ‘da boyz’ on ‘the news’ at 2:00 p.m.  But the sell-off came nowhere near setting a new low tick.

The high and low ticks in this precious metal were reported as $17.29 and $16.805 in the March contract.

Silver was closed in New York yesterday at $16.80 spot, down only 7.5 cents from its close on Tuesday.  Net volume was very chunky at a hair over 59,500 contracts.

And here’s the 5-minute tick chart for silver courtesy of Brad.  There was some volume activity in late afternoon trading in Shanghai — and again around the price capping either side of the London open.  Volume picked up substantially starting with the engineered price decline that began thirty minutes before the COMEX open, which is 06:00 Denver time on the chart below.  It then dropped to almost zero in the last thirty minutes before the Fed news, spiked up on that news, then fell of rapidly from there.  By 2:15 p.m. MST/4:15 p.m. EST…volume was back to fumes and vapours.

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‘ feature is a must.

The platinum price was comatose until around 2:20 p.m. China Standard Time on their Wednesday afternoon.  It began to head quietly higher from there — and its more substantial rally that began at the COMEX open, ran into “all the usual suspects” minutes after 9 a.m. EST.  The high tick came minutes before the Zurich close — and by 1 p.m. began to head lower, helped along by the powers-that-be starting at 2 p.m.  The low tick of the day was at 4 p.m. — and it didn’t do a lot from there.  At its high tick, platinum was up 13 dollars on the day, but by the time ‘da boyz’ and their algos were done with it, it was closed at $922 spot, down 11 bucks from Tuesday.

Palladium didn’t do a whole heck of a lot on Wednesday, but did rally a bit at the COMEX open — and was up a small handful of dollars by 2 p.m. in New York.  And once ‘the beating’ was over with, palladium was closed at $720 spot, down 8 dollars on the day.

The dollar index closed very late on Tuesday afternoon in New York at 100.98 — and barely budged in morning trading in the Far East.  But around 1:30 p.m. in Shanghai, it began to head lower.  It got saved by the usual ‘gentle hands’ about twenty-five minutes before the London open as it hit the 100.75 mark.  An hour it was up to around the 101.10 mark.  It chopped quietly lower from there, hitting its 100.73 low tick just a few minutes after the London close, which was shortly after 11 a.m. in New York.

It rallied back to the 101.00 mark minutes before the smoke went up the chimney at the Eccles building — and the ensuing ramp job ended at its 102.35 high tick, which came shortly before 4 p.m. EST.  In less than an hour it was back to the 102.00 mark, where ‘gentle hands’ appeared once again to close it on its 102.09 high tick — and up 111 basis points from Tuesday’s close.

Let’s call this dollar index ‘rally’ at 2 p.m. EST for what it was — and that was an engineered ramp job/short covering rally from behind which JPMorgan et al could lay a pounding on the precious metals so they could cover as many short positions as they could, especially in gold.

The reason that I say that is simplicity itself.  This rate increase was known months in advance — and already priced into all markets…”baked in the cake” as they say.  The only reason that the dollar index and precious metals reacted the way they did, is because they were forced to act that way — and the Managed Money traders got screwed over again.

Here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index which, as you know, I post mostly for entertainment purposes.

The gold stocks opened unchanged — and rallied a percent and change, hitting their respective high ticks around 10:20 a.m. in New York.  They inched lower until 2:00 p.m. — and followed the gold price lower from there.  I was particularly impressed with the counter-trend rally that occurred between 2:15 and 2:45 p.m. EST.  But the selling pressure returned in force — and by the time the day was done, the gold shares were down a chunky 6.17 percent.

The silver equities followed an almost identical price path — and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed down ‘only’ 4.42 percent, which is a ridiculous amount considering the fact that silver was only down about 8 cents on the day.  Click to enlarge if necessary.


The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 158 gold and 83 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Friday.  In gold, the largest short/issuers were HSBC USA and JPMorgan out of its client account, with 123 and 33 contracts respectively.  Scotiabank was by far the largest long/stopper with 105 contracts.  S.G. Americas picked up 20 — and Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan stopped 10 contracts each…G.S. for its client account — and JPMorgan for its own.  In silver, the largest short/issuer was ABN Amro with 51 contracts…with HSBC USA [20] and Morgan Stanley [11] in second and third spots.  The two biggest long/stoppers were Canada’s Scotiabank with 47 — and JPMorgan once again with 25 contracts for its own account.  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 rose by another 281 contracts, leaving 1,440 still around.  Tuesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold contracts were posted for delivery today, so that means the obvious, that 281 gold contracts were added to the December delivery month.  Silver o.i. for December also rose, this time by 101 contracts, leaving 555 still around.  Tuesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 40 silver contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that another 40+101=141 silver contracts were added to the December delivery month.  These are pretty chunky increases in both precious metals.

There was another big withdrawal/conversion of shares for physical in GLD yesterday, as an authorized participant removed 219,212 troy ounces.  Ted would suspect that JPMorgan, or maybe one of the other ‘Big 3’ bullion banks ended up with that gold.  And as of 7:24 p.m. EST on Wednesday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.

For the third day in a row, there was no sales report from the U.S. Mint.  I’d guess they’re done for the year.  I’ll report on the month-to-date/year-to-date statistics in Saturday’s column — and then drop the reporting on them until there’s something to report when January 2017 sales begin.

Over at the COMEX-approved gold depositories on the U.S. east coast on Tuesday, they reported receiving 49,345 troy ounces — and shipped out 16,396 troy ounces.  With the exception of 321.500 troy ounces/10 kilobars [U.K./U.S. kilobar weight] received at Brink’s, Inc….all the rest of the in/out activity was at Canada’s Scotiabank.  The link to that activity is here.

There was only ‘in’ activity in silver yesterday, as Scotiabank received a partial container load…479,635 troy ounces — and the link to that is here.

Over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Tuesday, they reported receiving 1,385 of them — and shipped out 928.  With the exception of 6 kilobars received at Loomis International, the rest of the in/out activity was at Brink’s, Inc. as per usual — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.

I have even fewer stories today than I did yesterday — and I hope there are a couple in here that interest you.


Fed Raises Key Interest Rate, Citing Strengthening Economy

Citing the steady growth of the American economy, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it would increase its benchmark interest rate for just the second time since the 2008 financial crisis.

The widely expected decision moves the Fed’s benchmark rate to a range between 0.5 percent and 0.75 percent, still a very low level by historical standards.

In announcing the decision, which followed a two-day meeting of the Fed’s policy-making committee, the central bank gave little indication that the election of Donald J. Trump has altered its economic outlook. The Fed said it still expected a slow economic expansion, and it still expected to continue a slow march toward higher rates. Fed officials said they expected to raise rates three times in 2017.

My colleagues and I are recognizing the considerable progress the economy has made,” Janet L. Yellen, the Fed chairwoman, said at a news conference after the announcement. “We expect the economy will continue to perform well.

The Fed dreaming in Technicolor once again.  This story put in an appearance on The New York Times website on Wednesday afternoon sometime — and today’s first news item is courtesy of Roy Stephens.  Another link to it is here.

How Did the American Dream Mall Turn Into a Nightmare?

Rising from the reclaimed swamps of New Jersey is the highest-grossing shopping center in the world.

That’s the dream, anyway, for American Dream Meadowlands: some 2.5 million square feet of retail and entertainment space featuring an aquarium, an amusement park, a wave pool, a baseball stadium, a ski slope, and a skydiving facility, drawing 40 million visitors a year, and creating thousands of jobs.

First it will need to open, and then it will need people, many of whom are quite comfortable shopping, if not skydiving, on their laptops and phones. As malls are torn down across the U.S., American Dream is the only large suburban mall being developed anywhere in the country.

The American part comes from … Canada, where the Ghermezian family, real estate developers worth at least $2.5 billion and the creators of the massive Mall of America, are racing to break the curse of the Meadowlands mall. The project, touted by a previous developer as a $2 billion boon to New Jersey’s economy, instead sucked up $2 billion and twice collapsed under the weight of its own grandeur.

This very interesting story about a white elephant mall under construction that will most likely close the same year it opens, was posted on the Bloomberg website at 11:14 a.m. Denver time on the Tuesday morning — and I thank Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl for pointing it out.  Another link to this article is here.

Top U.S. spy agency has not embraced CIA assessment on Russia hacking – sources

The overseers of the U.S. intelligence community have not embraced a CIA assessment that Russian cyber attacks were aimed at helping Republican President-elect Donald Trump win the 2016 election, three American officials said on Monday.

While the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) does not dispute the CIA’s analysis of Russian hacking operations, it has not endorsed their assessment because of a lack of conclusive evidence that Moscow intended to boost Trump over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, said the officials, who declined to be named.

The position of the ODNI, which oversees the 17 agency-strong U.S. intelligence community, could give Trump fresh ammunition to dispute the CIA assessment, which he rejected as “ridiculous” in weekend remarks, and press his assertion that no evidence implicates Russia in the cyber attacks.

This Reuters news item, filed from Washington, appeared on their Internet site at 9:36 p.m. EST on Tuesday evening — and it’s something I found in yesterday’s edition of the King Report.  Another link to it is here.

Greek Bond Yields Surge After Debt Relief Talks Collapse

Greek bond yields are surging in the latest twist of the nearly seven year old Greek crisis, when on Wednesday Eurozone finance ministers and the ESM, suspended their promise to grant short-term debt relief measures to the Greek government, as a result of pledges made by the Greek PM Tsipras to ease austerity on the country’s pensioners earlier in the week.

In a statement released by Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the finance ministers chided Greece, saying that “the institutions have concluded that the actions of the Greek government appear to not be in line with our agreements“, jeopardizing the recently adopted measures to alleviate the Greek debt burden. As reported previously, last week creditors granted a series of short-term debt concession which would help reduce the country’s debt servicing burden by 20{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} points by 2060.

Some member states see it this way also and thus no unanimity now for implementing short-term debt measures” the statement added and noted that as a result of the Greek non-compliance with the agreement, the finance ministers will “await a full report of the institutions in January.

Today’s latest breakdown in negotiations comes after the Syriza government announced it would spend €600 million to the nation’s 1 million low-income pensioners, to replace a Christmas bonus scrapped by the Greek bailout supervisors.

Following the news, Greek bond yields surged back over 7{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} amid fresh concerns that the Greek crisis may be coming back.

This story was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 10:18 a.m. on Wednesday morning EST — and it comes to us courtesy of Richard Saler.  Another link to it is here.  Patrik Ekdahl sent us a Bloomberg story on this headlined “Greek Short-Term Debt Relief in Jeopardy as Bailout Stalls

Australia’s Criminals prefer $50 notes, not $100s: RBA

Getting rid of $100 notes may be ineffective in disrupting crime, because $50 notes are more commonly used in illegal cash transactions, the Reserve Bank says in a paper.

After an inquiry this week kicked off into the cash economy, including the future of the $100 note, RBA researchers on Thursday said there could be legitimate reasons for the strong lift in demand for cash in recent years.

This suggests that to the extent that the $100 banknote is being used for nefarious purposes, any phase-out may not be particularly disruptive to those engaged in such activities.

The number of $100 notes on issue has surged in recent years even though they are infrequently used in transactions. The number of $100 notes grew by 9 per cent last year, the fastest increase of any denomination, RBA figures show.

This story appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald website at 5:04 p.m. AEDT on their Thursday afternoon — and I thank Australian reader ‘J.W.’ for sliding it into my in-box just as I was wrapping up today’s column.  Another link to this article is here.

Bill Fleckenstein is surprised by gold’s price action but he shouldn’t be

Interviewed by King World News, money manager Bill Fleckenstein of Fleckenstein Capital acknowledges being confused by today’s price action in gold and silver.

As for the metals,” Fleckenstein says, “I’m kind of surprised they were hit as hard as they were. … I don’t really see why gold should act so terribly.

On his company’s internet site Fleckenstein responds this way to a question asking whether there is a “plunge protection team” and whether the stock market is manipulated:  “The Working Group on Financial Markets (a.k.a the ‘PPT’) does exist. But the thesis that it or any other part of government somehow manipulates the stock market on a day-to-day basis is not credible, largely because there are too many adversarial moving parts and keeping such activities a secret with so many people involved over the years would be impossible.”

Yes, keeping market manipulation on such a scale a secret may be impossible. Maybe that’s why it’s not a secret at all. But Fleckenstein sounds as if he hasn’t been following the financial news for a few years, not even for the last few days, during which the already infamous Deutsche Bank transcripts of market rigging were reported. As for rigging of the gold market by government, that hasn’t been a secret for a long time either. Indeed, too many people have been involved for it to stay secret, and many official documents of that rigging have been compiled by GATA.

Bill is strong with the dark side of ‘The Force’.  This commentary by Chris Powell was posted on the Internet site yesterday evening at 10:35 p.m. EST — and another link to it is here.

Finance Titans Face Off Over $5 Trillion London Gold Market

Some of the biggest names in finance are fighting for control of the London gold market — a $5 trillion, three-century-old trading hub that is being forced to adapt to a digital age.

As the London Bullion Market Association revamps over-the-counter trades that are the market’s major pricing benchmark, new ways of buying and selling precious metals are set to start next year from CME Group Inc., Intercontinental Exchange Inc. and the London Metal Exchange. Some big banks have stakes in the outcome, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc and JPMorgan Chase and Co.

There are four weddings, and we have to dance at all of them, because we don’t know which marriage will last,” said Adrien Biondi, the global head of precious metals at Commerzbank AG in Luxembourg. “Only one will win.

Almost half the world’s known gold trading occurs in London. OTC transactions are sealed by virtual handshakes, leaving default risk with buyers and sellers rather than relying on clearinghouses, which use collateral to manage and offset risk. But since the financial crisis, all markets have been reevaluating how they do business and manage risk as regulators step up scrutiny. That’s particularly true for major price-setting exchanges, after it was discovered in 2012 that banks were manipulating a key benchmark for global interest rates.

A push for fewer risks and more disclosure has forced the LBMA to seek changes that would make it more transparent and secure for customers. The association, which counts HSBC and JPMorgan among its members, will introduce trade reporting for its members and a new trading platform in the first half of next year. That’s also when competitors plan to unveil new precious-metals derivatives built around the clearinghouse models.

This Bloomberg story showed up on their Internet site at 4:00 p.m. Denver time on their Tuesday afternoon — and was subsequently updated at 4:05 a.m. Denver time on Wednesday morning.  I found it embedded in a GATA release — and another link to it is here.

All that glitters is gold in Indian city famous for jewellery craftsmanship

Behind the glitzy facade of showrooms at Madurai’s age-old jewellery bazaar, a labyrinth of narrow alleys leads to dingy workshops where traditional goldsmiths sit by a sizzling stove, melting and shaping the yellow metal into enviable ornaments.

The Tamil epic Silpathikaram says how Kannagi and Kovalan reached the temple town from faraway Poompuhar. It was by selling the legendary emerald anklet of Kannagi in the famous jewellery market of Madurai that Kovalan was to fund their new life.

The tragic turn the epic takes is another story, but it’s a vital record that the city’s goldsmiths and the jewellery market were always something illustrious. More than 5,000 small and big showrooms selling gold jewellery line the long stretch of South Avani Moola Street today and the bazaar is said to be one of the biggest in the region. But behind the thriving gold business are the hard work, perseverance, and hopes of thousands of goldsmiths who sweat it out all day inside the numerous “pattarai” that dot the area.

This very interesting gold-related news item appeared on Internet site at 3:02 p.m. IST on their Wednesday afternoon — and it’s another story I found on the GATA website yesterday.  Another link to it is here.

Gold is half of Indians’ physical assets, ahead of real estate, study finds

The total wealth held by individuals in India rose 8.5 percent to Rs.304 lakh crore in the financial year 2015-16 and is expected to further increase to Rs.558 lakh crore over the next five years, according to the India Wealth Report 2016 by Karvy Private Wealth.

According to the study, individual wealth in physical assets stood at Rs.132 lakh crore, having grown 10.32 percent in fiscal 2016 compared to a 2 percent decline in fiscal 2015. Gold accounted for a 49.83 percent share among physical assets, followed by real estate at 41.94 percent and diamonds at 6.07 percent.

Among financial assets, Indian individuals preferred the safe avenues of fixed deposits and bonds with a 21.40 percent share, followed by direct equity (17.23 percent), insurance (14.81 percent), savings deposits (12.55 percent), and cash (9.67 percent).

This news item showed up on Internet site at 11:06 p.m. IST on Wednesday night — and the actual headline reads “Indians still fancy gold, land, says study“.  Another link to it is here.

Dutch court rules Crimean gold treasures must be returned to Kiev

A priceless collection of gold artifacts from Crimea that was on loan to a Dutch museum when Russia seized the peninsula must be returned to Ukraine and not Crimea, a Dutch court ruled on Wednesday in a judgement likely to anger Moscow.

Kiev and the four museums have been wrangling over the fate of the archeological treasures, including gems, helmets and scabbards, which were on loan to Amsterdam’s Allard Pierson Museum when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March, 2014.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, alluding to Ukraine’s ambition to restore Kiev’s rule over the peninsula, tweeted: “The Scythian Gold is coming back home – to Ukraine. I’m sure, it will also return to Ukrainian Crimea.”

In an initial reaction, the Russian Culture Ministry was quoted by RIA news agency as saying “the museum objects should return to Crimea, where they were discovered and where, for decades, they were kept and studied by archaeologists.

This Reuters news story, filed from Amsterdam, put in an appearance on their Internet site at 10:59 a.m. on Wednesday morning EST — and I thank Ellen Hoyt for bringing it to my attention — and now to yours.  The 6-photo slide show below the headline is certainly worth a look.  Another link to it is here.


Here are two more of the finalists in for the 2016 Comedy Wildlife Photography AwardsClick to Enlarge.


There was another big (3.1 million oz) withdrawal from the big silver ETF, SLV [last] week, as well as continued big redemptions from the gold ETF, GLD. The funny thing about the silver redemption is that it followed Wednesday’s sharp and higher trading volume rally, which implies net investor buying, not investor selling. GLD’s redemptions have followed very punk price action in which net investor liquidation would be expected. I have no doubt that the net result in both SLV and GLD is that JPMorgan is accumulating more physical material. It’s just that in the case of SLV, JPMorgan looks to have been the buyer on Wednesday’s rally and quickly converted purchased shares into metal for the purpose of avoiding SEC reporting requirements.
In fact, the big theme, as I see it, is JPMorgan becoming more aggressive in acquiring physical silver and gold, while at the same time reducing its COMEX short positions in each almost as aggressively. It’s hard to imagine a more bullish backdrop for future prices. — Silver analyst Ted Butler: 10 December 2016

I hope that you weren’t surprised by the vicious attack on the precious metals at the 2:00 p.m. EST interest rate ‘news’ from the Fed.  As I said in my comments on the dollar index activity further up, it was camouflaged by an engineered ramp job/short covering rally that was instigated at the same instant.

The interesting thing about it was the fact that although they beat gold down to a new low, they didn’t even come close in silver.  Based on that fact, I would think that silver is pretty much washed out to the downside as far as price is concerned, unless the Managed Money traders are prepared to pour in on the short side in a big way at this juncture.  I would suspect that some shorting did occur, but as Ted has pointed out, once the price gets this far below its 200-day moving average, most experienced traders realize that there is a danger of putting on a short position at that point.

Of course I would also suspect that there was more shorting by the Managed Money traders in gold, but how much is not known — and because the event took place on the day after the cut-off for tomorrow’s Commitment of Traders Report, we won’t know for sure until the COT Report on Friday, December 23.  That’s a lifetime away in these markets.

But as the big increases in December open interest in both silver and gold in yesterday’s Preliminary Report shows, despite this pounding, the rush for physical delivery in December continues unabated.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, but they don’t show yesterday’s post-COMEX lows, because the cut-off for the charts is the 1:30 p.m. EST close of COMEX trading.  Wednesday afternoon’s price action on the interest rate news won’t appear on these charts until after the close of COMEX trading today — and I’ll have them in Friday’s column.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away — and I note that the gold price got hammered to a new low for this move down starting at 10 a.m. China Standard Time on their Thursday morning.  The price recovered back to unchanged relatively quickly, but the selling pressure increased once again starting around 2:30 p.m. in Shanghai — and is down $4.80 the ounce as I write this.  Silver had a real roller coaster ride in morning trading in the Far East — and was actually up a bit for a while, but the bids were pulled about thirty minutes before the London open — and it’s currently down 18 cents.  Platinum was actually up 10 bucks around 12:30 p.m. CST, but that wasn’t allowed to last — and it’s up only 2 dollars now. Palladium was up about 8 dollars at one point, but that all ended when its price got smashed shortly after 3 p.m. in Shanghai — and it’s up only 3 dollars currently.

Net HFT gold volume is way up there already at just under 52,000 contracts, as the Managed Money traders sell what few long positions in gold that they have left — and add to their short positions.  That number in silver is sky high as well at just under 23,000 contracts, with no roll-over/switch volume worthy of the name, so it’s all ‘da boyz’ at work here.

The dollar index began to ‘rally’ shortly before it closed in New York late yesterday afternoon — and made it up to about 102.62 by 6:30 p.m. EST yesterday evening, but fell back to unchanged minutes before 11 a.m. CST.  It began to ‘rally’ anew at that point — and is up 33 basis points as London opens.

Despite everyone’s low spirits at this juncture, everything is in place for a monster rally at some future point, as the internal structure of the COMEX futures market improved substantially after yesterday’s slaughter.  And as Ted pointed out on the phone yesterday for the umpteenth time, we won’t know the bottom is in until we see it in the rear-view mirror.

But comfort should be taken from the fact that JP Morgan continues to pick up silver and gold for its own account at a blistering pace during the December delivery month — and I urge you to reread Ted’s 2-paragraph quote at the beginning of The Wrap section if you’re looking for another ‘soothing balm’ treatment.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:00 a.m. EST, I see that gold continues to crawl lower in the first hour of London trading — and is down $4.50 an ounce, which is a bit off its low.  Silver got pounded some more, but not to a new low for this move down, but getting closer all the time.  At the moment silver is lower by 28 cents.  Platinum is now down a dollar, but off its low tick by a bit as well.  Palladium continues to hang in there, up 4 bucks at the moment.

Net HFT gold volume is just about 60,000 contracts — and that number in silver is now sitting at a hair under 28,000 contracts.

The dollar index has chopped mostly sideways in the first hour of London/Zurich trading — and is up 32 basis points currently, basically unchanged from an hour ago.

It’s now obvious that JPMorgan et al are pulling out all the stops — and using every dirty trick in their collective books to cover as many short positions as they can in both silver and gold.  They have a bit more work to do to get silver to a new low for this move down, but that’s certainly possible if you don’t underestimate their treachery.

Heaven only knows what the landscape will look like by the time COMEX trading ends today, but after watching Thursday’s price action thus far, absolutely nothing will shock me when I check the charts later this morning.

That’s all I have for today, which is more than enough — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.


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