JP Morgan Stops 1,506 COMEX Silver Contracts in December So Far

20 December 2016


The gold price had rallied about 4 dollars or so by 9:30 a.m. China Standard Time on their Monday morning.  It made it as high as up 6 bucks or so by minutes before 3 p.m. CST — and was sold down until at, or just after, the morning gold fix in London.  It didn’t do much after that, as it’s smallish rally attempt after the p.m. gold fix wasn’t allowed to get far.

The low and high ticks in gold aren’t worth looking up.

Gold finished the Monday session in New York at $1,137.70 spot, up $3.10 from Friday.  Net volume was pretty light at a bit over 106,000 contracts.

Silver was up a dime or so by 9:30 a.m. CST…and then gave most of that back by shortly after 11 a.m. over there.  The price chopped sideways until 3 p.m. — and the began to quietly sell lower. The tiny rally at the COMEX open was dealt with in short order — and it was down a bit more by the London p.m. gold fix.  It chopped sideways from that point until the 1:30 p.m. EST COMEX close — and then began to head lower in the thinly-traded after-hours market.  That culminated in a rather vicious little down/up spike down around 2:45 p.m. — and the price recovered a bit from there into the close.

The high and low ticks in this precious metal were reported by the CME Group as $16.265 and $16.01 in the March contract.

Silver was close in New York yesterday at $15.95 spot, down 12 cents from Friday.  Net volume was pretty quiet at just under 36,000 contracts.

Here’s the 5-minute silver tick chart courtesy of Brad Robertson — and I’m including only to show that the 12:45 p.m. Denver time down/up price spike in after-hours trading, is very muted on this chart, which is the current front month…March.

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 spiked up at bit at the 6:00 p.m. open in New York on Sunday evening, but was hammered back to unchanged within an hour.  It then chopped sideways until 10 a.m. Zurich time — and was sold off a bit into the COMEX open.  The rally that began at that juncture lasted until a few minutes before 10 a.m. EST as it broke above unchanged on the day.  By noon it was down ten bucks — and traded pretty flat from there, finishing the day at $914 spot, down 11 dollars.

By 10 a.m. in Shanghai on their Monday morning, palladium’s 5 dollar gain had vanished for good — and it didn’t do a lot until 10 a.m. in Zurich.  At that point ‘da boyz’ and their algorithms and spoofing showed up.  The spike low tick was set at precisely 10:00 a.m. in New York — and it chopped sideways for the rest of the day, with the noon EST rally crushed within an hour.  Palladium was closed in New York yesterday at $677 spot, down $18 bucks from Friday.

The dollar index closed very late on Friday afternoon at 102.82 — and was up about 13 basis points the moment that trading began shortly before 3 p.m. EST on Sunday afternoon.  It began to head lower from there, with the 102.52 low tick coming shortly before 3 p.m. China Standard Time on their Monday afternoon.  The subsequent rally to the 103.10 mark ran out of gas minutes after 8:30 a.m. in New York — and three hours later, the index was back around the 102.75 mark.  Minutes before the COMEX close it was blasted higher, with the 103.21 high tick coming minutes before 3 p.m. — which was more or less the same time that silver had that vicious down/up spike.  It didn’t do much after that — and finished the Monday session at 103.13 — up 31 basis points from Friday.

Here’s the 3-day U.S. dollar index chart so you can see all of Sunday and Monday’s ‘action’ with respect to how it did during the Friday session.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar chart, which you can read into whatever you wish.

The gold stocks opened about unchanged — and began to rally with some authority starting shortly before 11 a.m. EST.  Their respective high ticks came around noon in New York — and by shortly after the COMEX close, most of those earlier gains had vanished, as JPMorgan et al tapped the gold price a few dollars lower right at the close.  The shares traded more or less sideways after that — and managed to finish the day in positive territory, up 0.34 percent.

The trading pattern in the silver equities was almost the same, except the the silver shares opened down a bit more than half a percent — and by the time the trading day was done yesterday, that’s where they closed.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 0.48 percent.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 2 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Wednesday.  Scotiabank stopped both of them.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Monday trading session showed that gold open interest in December declined by 147 contracts, leaving 732 still open…minus the 2 contracts mentioned above.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that only 40 gold contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories today, so that means that 147-40=107 short/issuers were let off the December delivery hook by those holding the long side of their contracts.  Silver o.i. in December dropped by 56 contracts, leaving 270 left.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 56 contracts were in actual fact posted for delivery today, so that works out perfectly, right to the contract.

If you’ve been following these preliminary reports for any length of time, you’ll know that it’s a rare occurrence when the change in open interest matches the deliveries exactly, as contracts can be added or cancelled every day.

There was another big withdrawal/conversion of shares in GLD yesterday, as an authorized participant removed 285,911 troy ounces.  And as of 6:23 p.m. EST on Monday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.

The folks over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank updated their website with the goings-on inside their gold and silver ETFs as of the close of business on Friday, December 16 — and this is what they had to report.  Their gold ETF fell by 18,644 troy ounces — and their silver ETF declined by 105,075 troy ounces.

There wasn’t big activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Friday.  Once again, nothing was reported received, but only 32,643 troy ounces were shipped off to parts unknown.  There was 24,605 troy ounces removed from Brink’s, Inc. — and the rest…8,037.500 troy ounces/250 kilobars [U.K./U.S. kilobar weight]…came out of Canada’s Scotiabank.  The link to that activity is here.

In silver, there was 599,836 troy ounces received — and 310,825 troy ounces shipped out.  All of the ‘in’ activity was at CNT — and of the ‘out’ activity…250,600 troy ounces was shipped out of Brink’s, Inc…with the rest coming out of Canada’s Scotiabank.  The link to that is here.

Over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Friday, they only reported receiving 90 kilobars, but shipped out a decent 5,248 of them.  All of this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. as per usual — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.

I have an average number of stories for you today — and I’ll happily leave the final edit up to you.


Car-tastrophe – GM, Fiat Chrysler Idle 7 Plants; Over 10,000 Workers Affected

Just weeks after Ford idled four plants “due to slowing sales”, GM and Fiat Chrysler announced today that they will idle seven plants across Canada and the U.S. as they work to reduce near-record high inventories amid weakening sales.

With an inventories-to-sales ratio above historical peaks (only beaten by huge spike in 2008 when sales stopped), the pain for automakers has only just begun…

If that were not bad enough, Fiat Chrysler said it is adding four off days to the Jan. 2 observation of New Year’s at its minivan assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario, and its large-car facility in Brampton, Ontario.

Worst of all, while the rest of the U.S. manufacturing sector has been in secular decline, the auto industry was perhaps the last shining light for battered U.S. manufacturing during the past several years. However, if demand for cars continues to collapse, forcing supply to follow suit, it is only a matter of time before the U.S. manufacturing recession returns with a vengeance, and at the worst possible time: when not even the U.S. service sector can hinder the realization that the U.S. economy is on the verge of contracting.

This Zero Hedge story put in an appearance on their Internet site at 5:15 p.m. EST on Monday afternoon — and I thank David Caron for passing it around.  Another link to it is here.

Nordstrom Drops Most Since May After JPMorgan Cuts Rating

Nordstrom Inc. fell the most in seven months after JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded the shares, saying the upscale retailer’s management sees no “silver bullets” to revive stagnant sales.

Analyst Matthew Boss cut his recommendation to the equivalent of sell from neutral and trimmed his 12-month target share price to $48 from $55. He cited higher costs to drive customer traffic and a shift from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce that has “yet to find an equilibrium.”

Nordstrom is looking to boost sales by setting itself apart from other department stores and reaching more customers outside the mall. This week, the company said it’s testing an e-gifting option for last-minute shoppers on its website. Nordstrom owns the flash-sale site HauteLook and in 2014 it bought styling service Trunk Club. While e-commerce accounts for more than 20 percent of Nordstrom’s sales, investments into online capabilities have caused expenses to outpace sales, Chief Financial Officer Mike Koppel said on an earnings call earlier this year.

Management sees no silver bullets in the barrel” as it looks to 2017, JPMorgan’s Boss said Friday in a note to clients.

This Bloomberg article showed up on their website last Friday morning — and I found it in yesterday’s edition of the King Report.  Another link to it is here.

CalPERS return cut would be small but notable step

CalPERS may be getting a bit more real. The $300 billion California public employees’ pension manager is considering cutting its investment-return assumption. The move would squeeze the budgets of public authorities and employees but secure funding for retirees. If the U.S. government-pension bellwether can do it, others will follow.

Public-pension funds in the United States have long relied on unrealistic investment assumptions, but the financial crisis and lackluster market performance have exposed that game. CalPERS took a baby step in 2012 by lowering its return assumption by 0.25 percentage point, to 7.5 percent, but the fund generated a return of just 0.61 percent in the 12 months ended June 30. Annualized returns were 5.1 percent over the past 10 years.

Chief Investment Officer Ted Eliopoulos has overhauled the fund’s portfolio since taking over two years ago, slashing the hedge-fund allocation and awarding fewer but bigger mandates to outside managers. Those moves aren’t sufficient to close the gap for a retirement system that has only 76 percent of the assets needed to ensure current retirement benefits to its members.

The CalPERS board will next week consider a plan to reduce the return assumption to as low as 7 percent. The cost to employers would be phased in over five years, with state and local governments seeing their pension contributions rise by as much as $2 billion in the fifth year. For employees, the hit could be another percentage point or more in payroll deductions.

They should try a number something under 1 percent — and I wish them good luck even approaching that kind of return going forward.  This Reuters article, filed from New York, showed up on their website at 5:15 p.m. EST on Friday — and it comes to us courtesy of Richard Saler.  Another link to it is here.

Financial Meltdown Around The Corner? – Jim Rickards’ 2017

Could the next financial crisis be just around the corner? The signs of a looming meltdown are ‘unmistakable,’ this according to best-selling author Jim Rickards. Giving his 2017 outlook to Kitco News, he said the next crisis would be far worse than any previous one markets have experienced. ‘It could be a few years from now [but] it’s unlikely we’ll get 5 years; it’s been 8 years since the last one,’ he told Daniela Cambone.

On gold, Rickards was a little less optimistic over the shorter term, calling for continued strength in the U.S. dollar to weigh on the metal. As for the Fed — his not-so favorite topic – Rickards warned investors to ignore the noise. In his view, the central bank is just sounding a lot more hawkish than it will actually be in 2017.

This 6:55 minute video clip showed up on the Internet site last Friday — and I thank Brad Robertson for bringing it to our attention.  Another link to it is here.

Neocon panic and agony — The Saker

There are clear signs that the Neocons running the AngloZionist Empire and it’s “deep state” are in a state of near panic and their actions are indicating that they are truly terrified.

The home front

On the home front, the Neocons have resorted to every possible dirty trick on the book to try to prevent Donald Trump from ever getting into the White House: they have

  • organized riots and demonstrations (some paid by Soros money)
  • encouraged the supporters of Hillary to reject the outcome of the elections (“not my President”)
  • tried to threaten the Electors and make them either cast a vote for Hillary or not vote at all
  • tried to convince Congress to refuse the decision of the Electoral College and
  • they are now trying to get the elections annulled on the suspicion that the (apparently almighty) Russian hackers have compromised the election outcome (apparently even in states were paper ballots were used) and stolen it in favor of Trump.

That is truly an amazing development, especially considering how Hillary attacked Trump for not promising to recognize the outcome of the elections. She specifically said that Trump’s lack of guarantees to recognize the outcome would threaten the very basis of the stability of the US political system and now she, and her supporters, are doing everything in their power to do just that, to throw the entire electoral process into a major crisis with no clear path towards resolution. Some say that the Democrats are risking a civil war. Considering that several key Republican Congressmen have said they do support the notion of an investigation into the “Russian hackers” fairytale, I submit that the Republicans are doing exactly the same thing, that this is not a Democrat vs Republican issue, but a “deep state vs The People of the USA” issue.

This longish commentary was posted on Internet site on Saturday — and for obvious reasons had to wait for today’s column.  I thank Larry Galearis for sending it our way — and another link to it is here.

Obama ‘Prisoner to Own Baseless Narrative about Russian Meddling in U.S. Election

President Barack Obama held his final end-of-year press conference Friday, accusing Russia and Vladimir Putin of hacking into Democratic Party servers in order to interfere in the U.S. election. Speaking to Radio Sputnik, political analyst Aleksandar Pavic said that he felt kind of sorry for Obama, who has been trapped by his own absurd narrative.

In Friday’s address, Obama formally accused the Kremlin of engaging in cyber-attacks, adding that the U.S. “reserve[s] the right to retaliate at a place and time of our choosing.

Since late July, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party and the Obama administration have engaged in a massive campaign to convince Americans that Russia was responsible for the hack and leak of damaging DNC and Clinton campaign documents to WikiLeaks. After Donald Trump’s unexpected victory, the Democrats only intensified their campaign, citing supposedly classified intelligence analyses to call the results of the election into question. Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement, while the President-elect and his staff have mocked the claim as a ‘conspiracy theory’. Speaking to Radio Sputnik about President Obama’s final year-end presser, independent political commentator Aleksandar Pavic explained that in many ways, Obama has become “a prisoner” of the narrative presented by America’s powerful media and political establishment.

By the way, ever since Kennedy, all presidents have been such prisoners.  This news item, with a 6:30 minute audio interview embedded, appeared on the Internet site on Sunday evening Moscow time — and I thank Roy Stephens for pointing it out.  Another link to this article is here.

Obama warns Trump not to overuse executive orders

With about one month to go before he leaves office, President Barack Obama gave some exit interview-type advice to his successor Donald Trump: Don’t rely too heavily on executive orders.

In an interview with NPR‘s Steve Inskeep on Thursday that aired in its entirety Monday on Morning Edition, Obama said it’s preferable to work with Congress.

Keep in mind, though, that my strong preference has always been to legislate when I can get legislation done,” Obama said from the Cabinet Room in the White House. “In my first two years, I wasn’t relying on executive powers, because I had big majorities in the Congress and we were able to get bills done, get bills passed. And even after we lost the majorities in Congress, I bent over backwards consistently to try to find compromise and a legislative solution to some of the big problems that we’ve got — a classic example being immigration reform, where I held off for years in taking some of the executive actions that I ultimately took in pursuit of a bipartisan solution — one that, by the way, did pass through the Senate on a bipartisan basis with our help.

In 2014, Obama signed executive orders that shielded millions living in the country illegally from deportation.

The 44th president is aware that the executive orders by the 45th president can undo his achievements over eight years in office.  “I think that he is entirely within his lawful power to do so,” Obama said.

Roy Stephen sent us this story — and his covering comment read as follows…”Seriously?? This is the pot calling the kettle black…no pun intended.”  I couldn’t have said it better myself.  This UPI story, filed from Washington, showed up on their website at 12:02 p.m. on Monday afternoon EST — and another link to it is here.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde found guilty of ‘negligence’ over huge payout to business tycoon – but escapes jail

Christine Lagarde looked to be safe in her role as the International Monetary Fund’s managing director on Monday night after its board gave her its backing, just hours after she was convicted of  “negligence” over a huge payout to a business tycoon while she was French finance minister.

The IMF board praised the “wide respect and trust” for Mrs Lagarde’s leadership as it expressed its “full confidence” in her ability to continue in the role at the upper echelons of international finance.

France’s Court of Justice of the Republic, a special tribunal for ministers, earlier chose not to punish Mrs Lagarde or give her a criminal record. She had faced a one-year term and a €15,000 (£13,000) fine, threatening to derail her career.

Mrs Lagarde, who has maintained her innocence throughout the process, said she was “not satisfied” with the verdict but would not appeal against the decision. “There is a point in time when one has to just stop, turn the page and move on, and continue to work with those who have put their trust in me,” she said.

The ruling came after a week-long trial in which she received a rough ride. Ms Lagarde had maintained her innocence, and the prosecutor had asked for an acquittal over the “very weak” case after advising against bringing it to court in the first place.

I hope you’re not surprised, dear reader, because I certainly wasn’t.  This story from the Internet site is datelined 16 minutes after midnight GMT this morning in London — and not only sports a new headline…”IMF backs chief Christine Lagarde despite guilty verdict over ‘negligence’“…but has been completely rewritten as well.  Roy Stephens sent it our way at 11:27 a.m. EST yesterday morning — and another link to it is here.

Ukraine’s largest bank rescued by state, Poroshenko urges depositors to stay calm

Ukraine took over its largest bank on Monday in a move backed by Kiev’s international donors to protect the country’s financial system and accompanied by an appeal from President Petro Poroshenko for calm and assurances to depositors.

In one of the biggest shake-ups of the war-torn country’s banking system since Ukraine plunged into economic and political turmoil more than two years ago, the central bank said PrivatBank had not fulfilled its recapitalization program.

Risky lending practices had left a capital shortfall of around $5.65 billion on PrivatBank’s balance sheet as of Dec. 1, while 97 percent of its corporate loans had gone to companies linked to its shareholders, it said in a statement.

PrivatBank is the jewel in the crown of the business empire of Ihor Kolomoisky, a powerful tycoon who was locked in a protracted tussle with Poroshenko last year.

Rescuing it — which the finance minister said would require a minimum of $4.5 billion from the budget — could help unlock more aid from the International Monetary Fund next year but could also threaten more instability. Opposition parties have repeatedly called for snap elections to unseat the pro-Western leadership that took power after the 2014 Maidan protests.

This Reuters story, filed from Kiev, put in an appearance on their Internet site at 11:55 a.m. EST on Monday morning — and it’s an article from Zero Hedge via Brad Robertson — and another link to it is here.

A Voice in the Wilderness — Jeff Thomas

In 2007, Vladimir Putin spoke at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy. Far from being a diatribe, Mister Putin spoke eloquently and without the bluster that we tend to expect from political leaders.

He began by stressing the need for all countries to benefit within the global economy, overcoming poverty, maintaining economic security and developing an ongoing dialogue. He then addressed the increasing threat of warfare in the world, quoting American President Franklin Roosevelt as having said, “When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries everywhere is in danger.”

He warned against a “unipolar” world and aspirations of world supremacy by a single über-government, saying,

However one might embellish this term, at the end of the day it refers to…one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making… And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within. And this certainly has nothing in common with democracy. Because, as you know, democracy is the power of the majority in light of the interests and opinions of the minority.

Incidentally, Russia—we—are constantly being taught about democracy. But for some reason those who teach us do not want to learn themselves. I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today’s…world…the model itself is flawed because at its basis there is and can be no moral foundations for modern civilisation… Unilateral and frequently illegitimate actions have not resolved any problems. Moreover, they have caused new human tragedies and created new centres of tension. Judge for yourselves: wars as well as local and regional conflicts have not diminished…even more are dying than before.

He goes on to describe the growing U.S. disdain for the basic principles of international law, stating pointedly that,

One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this?

This commentary by Jeff Thomas is a must read in my opinion — and it showed up on the Internet site yesterday — and another link to it is here.

High Hopes: Russia-Turkey Political, Economic Ties to Be ‘Further Strengthened

Politically, Moscow and Ankara can have some differences but they cannot be at odds over the issues related to maintaining peace and stability in the region, Turkish Trade and Customs Minister Bulent Tufenkci said in an exclusive interview with Sputnik Turkey.

In an exclusive interview with Sputnik Turkey, Turkish Trade and Customs Minister Bulent Tufenkci touched upon the current level of relations between Moscow and Ankara, remaining upbeat about the future of bilateral ties.

According to Tufenkci, both countries have taken an array of important steps towards the normalization of bilateral relations since August 2016. In particular, “sanctions have been lifted for Turkey supplying oranges, mandarins, apricots, peaches and plums to Russia. A spate of deals was clinched in the energy field. So we see the two countries’ political accommodation adding to the development of their economic relations. In line with these developments we expect a significant increase in bilateral trade turnover,” he said.

I’m sure that Putin doesn’t trust Erdogan anymore now than he did before — and will be keeping one eye on him at all times.  This news item appeared on the Internet site very early on Saturday evening Moscow time — and I thank Roy Stephens for this story as well.  Another link to it is here.

China Suffers Failed Treasury Bill Auction

One day after China’s regulator halted trading in bond futures for the first time ever, Beijing suffered another catalytic bond-market event overnight when it failed to sell all the Treasury Bills on auction Friday, for the first time in almost 18 months, as bids fell short of minimum requirements, according to traders required to bid at the auction.

As BBG reported overnight, the Ministry of Finance sold only 9.57 billion yuan ($1.38 billion) of 182-day bills in a planned 10 billion yuan sale, and 10.85 billion yuan of 91-day notes in a planned 12 billion yuan sale, according to a statement from the bond clearing house. What is notable, is that the Bills on offer paid a hefty yield: the 182-day bills sold for 2.9565{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}, while the 91-day bills sold for 2.8991{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}.

In other words mainland bond traders are concerned that short-term China rates could spike substantially in the next 3-6 months.

The failed auction comes despite the December 2014 adoption of a “primary dealer” system which includes 50 banks and which are required to bid at debt sales. On Friday, more than one of China’s dealers did not do as mandated, leading to the unexpected outcome.

In an amusing comment shared yesterday by the WSJ, Hao Hong, co-head of research at Bocom International said that “People woke up to the fact that the bond bubble is too large. The bond market in China is under severe pressure, across the board.”  Today’s event confirmed his observation.

This news story was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 8:19 a.m. on Monday morning EST — and I thank Brad Robertson for bringing it to our attention.  Another link to it is here.

Soaring vegetable prices weighing heavily on family budgets in Japan

Soaring vegetable prices have become a burden on family budgets.

Prices of leafy vegetables indispensable for nabe hotpot dishes are hovering at particularly high levels — with Chinese cabbage costing 1.8 times more than a year earlier.

Consumers are refraining from buying vegetables, and this is affecting the whole Japanese economy.
Hiromichi Akiba, president of the Akidai supermarket chain based in Nerima Ward, Tokyo, pointed out that consumers are noticeably avoiding vegetables due to high prices. “We usually sell Chinese cabbages in half portions. This year, however, consumers wouldn’t pick them up unless we cut them into quarters,” said Akiba, 48.

Wholesale prices of vegetables from Dec. 9 through Dec. 15 remained high, according to Ota Market — a metropolitan central wholesale market dealing with farm produce in Ota Ward, Tokyo.

This story, filed from Tokyo, was posted on Internet site at 8:35 p.m. JST on their Saturday morning — and it’s another news item that I lifted from yesterday’s edition of the King Report.  Another link to it is here.

Turks seek gold more than liras in response to Erdogan’s call

Asked by their President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to shun the dollar, Turks are favoring gold over liras.

On the face of it, the appeal to defend the Turkish currency worked. It arrested the biggest three-week surge in foreign-currency deposits since August as Turks drew down a net $450 million from these accounts in the week ended Dec. 9. But residents also boosted their precious metal holdings, traditionally denominated in dollars, by $700 million, a hint that confidence in their currency remains tenuous, according to Nomura Inc.

The data is the first glimpse into the response to the president’s call to embrace Turkey’s national tender or gold as a means of fighting back against what he describes as the “economic sabotage.” The lira plunged to a record low this month and has dropped 14 percent this quarter, more than any other currency in emerging markets.

The greater change in gold holdings shows “deposit holders seemed to be on the defensive side against the prospect of further lira depreciation,” Inan Demir a London-based economist at Nomura, said by e-mail.

This gold-related news item showed up on the Bloomberg Internet site last Friday morning — and I found it embedded in a GATA release.  Another link to it is here.

U.S. treasure hunter kept in jail until he tells police where he hid 3 tonnes of gold

One of the most famous treasure hunters in the U.S. is not going to be let out of prison until he reveals to authorities where he hid his stash.

Tommy G. Thompson moved a trove of gold from the Atlantic Ocean in 1988, but years later was accused by his investors of cheating them out of their cut of the loot, leading FBI agents on a large manhunt with the treasure hunter eventually being caught.

Thompson went from living in a Florida mansion with his partner to staying in expensive hotels under a fake name.

Home for the treasure hunter is now an Ohio jail cell until he owns up to where he stashed the gold.

The gold in question came from the S.S. Central America, which sank to the bottom of the sea during a hurricane in 1857, where it remained for 130 years. Along with at least three tons of California gold it took with it to the sea floor, 425 people also died.

This very interesting gold-related news item showed up on the Internet site last Friday — and I thank Swedish subscriber Patrik Ekdahl for sharing it with us.  Another link to it is here.


Here are two more winners in National Geographic’s 2016 Nature Photographer of the Year contest.  Click to enlarge on both.


With the COMEX December delivery period past the half way mark — and with less than a thousand contracts remaining open in gold — and only a few hundred in silver, a customer(s) of JPMorgan was the largest single gold stopper (taker) this month with 2,449 contracts and with the JPM house account taking another 829 contracts. In silver, not only did JP Morgan take the full 1,500 contracts (7.5 million oz) allowed as expected, it took a few more than that – 1,506 to be precise.
You may remember that JP Morgan on a few occasions this year, took more than the 3,000 maximum number of gold contracts (300,000 oz), both for itself and on behalf of a client(s); so there is precedent for JP Morgan taking more physical material than is said to be allowed by exchange rules. It doesn’t look like JPM will take many more silver deliveries this month, but as the data show – it has been the largest COMEX silver delivery taker of all this year — and for the previous year and a half before then.  This is the most compelling proof behind JPMorgan’s massive physical silver accumulation, yet few comment on it, which is perplexing.Silver analyst Ted Butler: 17 December 2016

A new low close in palladium was set on Monday.  But the jury is still out on a new intraday low for silver, as the spike low came after the COMEX close — and for that reason doesn’t show up on Monday’s silver doji on the 6-month silver chart below.  And considering silver’s low volume yesterday, JPMorgan et al wouldn’t have picked up much in the way of contracts for their effort on that engineered down/up spike.  Ted says that unless the Managed Money traders are prepared to go massively short the silver market at this price, the bottom is pretty much in.  As for gold, Ted will know more once he sees Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away — and I note that the gold price chopped more or less sideways until around 12:30 p.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday afternoon.  Then ‘da boyz’ and their algos, spoofing — and everything else in their bag of dirty trick, showed up and dropped gold down about 5 bucks by 3 p.m. over there.   At the moment, the gold price has recovered off its low tick by a bit — and is down $3.20 the ounce.  And as bad it was in gold, it’s obvious that they were far more interested in silver, as they hammered it to a new low for this move down — and at the same time as gold as well.  Silver is down 11 cents.  Platinum was up 6 bucks until shortly before noon in Shanghai trading — and it has been sold lower too, but is still up 2 dollars at the moment.  Palladium has been chopping lower since early morning trading in the Far East — and ‘da boyz’ have it down 7 buck currently.

Net HFT gold volume is just over 31,000 contracts — and that number in silver is just under 13,000 contracts.  Both volumes are pretty decent for this time of day.  Gold has not set a new low for this move down, so I doubt if the Managed Money traders did much during this 5 dollar price decline, but it’s hard to tell in silver.  I would suspect there was some new shorting by these traders, but we won’t know for sure until Friday — and hopefully the volume from this early morning price action will make it into that report.

The dollar index began to chop lower once trading began at 6:00 p.m. EST on Monday evening in New York, but began to rally at precisely noon China Standard Time — and by around 2:45 p.m. over there, it was up 28 basis points.  It has backed off a bit since — and is up 19 as London opens.

Today, at the close of COMEX trading, is the cut-off for this Friday’s COT Report — and unless there’s some untoward and unexpected price blow-out today, there should be fairly decent improvements in the Commercial net short positions in both silver and gold.  But as Ted mentioned in his column a week or so ago, a big improvement in either may not be in the cards, because the food supply for the Big 8…the shorting by the Managed Money traders…is either missing in action, or not anywhere near the amounts that it used to be in the past.  And if the Managed Money traders don’t go short, JPMorgan et al can’t cover their short positions, because there’s no long side of those trades to buy.  That’s all there is to it.  It’s that simple.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:01 a.m. EST this morning, I see that the powers-that-be have continued to work the gold price lower in the first hour of London trading.  At the moment, they have it down $5.20 an ounce — and just off its current low.  Silver hasn’t done much in the last sixty minutes or so — and is down 14 cents.  But platinum is now down a dollar.  They had palladium down 10 bucks in the first hour of Zurich trading, but it’s off its lows by a bit — and down 8.

Net HFT volume in gold is around 36,500 contracts at the moment — and only up about 5,500 contracts in the last hour.  That number in silver is just under 14,500 contract, up only 1,500 contracts or so since the London open.

The dollar index has rallied a bit from an hour ago — and is up 26 basis points — and just off its current high tick.

With Christmas less than a week away now, one would expect volumes to drop off rather substantially as the work week progresses.  But after the current price action this morning, it may be different this time.  We’ll see what the rest of Tuesday session brings our way.

That’s all I have for this column — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.


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