‘Da Boyz’ Show Up to Cap the Rallies In the Far East on Monday

17 January 2017 — Tuesday


Being Canadian, I’d forgotten about Martin Luther King Day, which was a holiday in the U.S yesterday — and didn’t discover that fact until after I’d powered up my computer yesterday morning to find the stock markets in New York closed.

The price action in Far East trading on their Monday turned out about the same as it always does on the first trading day of the week — and that’s with the powers-that-be having to step in to prevent prices from running away to the upside.  They had to do that with gold, silver and platinum twice.  The first time was within thirty minutes of the start of trading in New York at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday evening — and the second time at their respective high ticks around 2:40 p.m. China Standard Time in Shanghai on their Monday afternoon.  They were all sold down shortly after the London/Zurich open — and then did virtually nothing for the rest of the day.

Gold finished the Monday session at $1,202.60 spot, up $5.70 spot — and the high and low aren’t worth looking up.  I was surprised at the volume however, as even with the New York bullion banks closed, their proxies were busy, as net volume was still pretty beefy at around 93,000 contracts.

As I just mentioned, it was the same price pattern for silver, with all the ‘action’ coming in Far East trading.  It traded a few pennies above unchanged for most of the London session, but someone couldn’t resist selling it off for a loss going into the 1:00 p.m EST close yesterday afternoon.

Silver finished the holiday-shortened Monday trading session at $16.775 spot, down 3 cents from Friday.  Unlike gold, net volume was pretty quiet at around 19,000 contracts.

The platinum price action was very much a mini version of what happened with silver and gold — and it too was sold off into negative territory shortly before the Zurich close.  It traded flat from there — and down a buck on the day at $981 spot.

The palladium price chopped sideways until the Zurich open — and then got hit for around 11 bucks during the next couple of hours.  It rallied back to unchanged by the Zurich close, but also got sold down for a loss after that as well.  Palladium finished the day down 6 dollars at $743 spot.

The dollar index closed very late on Friday afternoon in New York at 101.20 — and then had about a 40 basis points upwards ‘adjustment’ at 2:00 p.m. EST on Sunday afternoon.  By 2:35 p.m. the index was back down to the 101.18 level — and at that juncture the usual ‘gentle hands’ appeared to not only save the index, but to cap the precious metal prices as well.  It ‘rallied’ under what appeared to be duress until its 101.73 high tick, which came around 10:15 a.m. GMT in London on their Monday morning.  By shortly before 3 p.m. GMT it was back around the 101.47 mark before chopping quietly higher for the rest of the day.  The chart at ino.com says that the index closed up 5 basis points at 101.57.  But if you do the math from last Friday’s close — and include the 40 basis points ‘adjustment’ on Sunday afternoon EST, the gains works out to 39 basis points.

Here’s the 3-day U.S. dollar index chart so you can see all of Sunday’s, Monday’s — and part of last Friday’s move as well.

And here’s the Monday intraday dollar index chart right up until shortly before midnight EDT last night — which is almost 1 p.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday afternoon.

I shan’t bother posting the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart, because New York was closed yesterday — so the charts only show the data up until the close of trading on Friday — and I posted that in my Saturday column.

With the U.S. shut tight for M.L.K. Day, there were no reports from anywhere yesterday.

But it should be noted that the Toronto Stock Exchange Gold Index [TSX Gold] closed higher by 1.42 percent.

But Europe wasn’t closed yesterday.  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 trading on Friday, January 13 — and this is what they had to report.  They added 6,397 troy ounces to their gold ETF, but took 130,597 troy ounces out of their silver ETF, which was more than they added the prior week.

Ted Butler and I received a question from one of my subscribers, James Crooks — and I thought both the question and Ted’s answer were worth sharing, so here they are.  The question about Saturday’s column was based on my comments in the CME’s Preliminary Report.

Hi Ed and Ted,

For gold or silver markets, what is the mechanism for the log/stopper letting the short/issuer off the hook if no metal is traded? Is it a pure cash transaction at that point?

The CME Preliminary Report for the Friday trading session showed that gold open interest in January decreased by 49 contracts, leaving 186 still open.  Thursday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold contracts were posted for delivery on Monday, so that means that 49 short/issuers in gold didn’t have any physical gold behind them — and the long/stopper[s] holding the other side of these contracts decided to let them off the delivery hook, rather than insist they go into the spot market and buy physical to cover.  Silver o.i. in January was reported as unchanged at 229 contracts.  Thursday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that zero silver contracts were posted for delivery on Monday, so the numbers match for a change.

I’d really appreciate it if you could clarify this for me.

I really enjoy the insights the two of you bring to the gold and silver market worlds!

Best regards,


* * * * * * *

Hi James,

Thanks for your note and kind words.

Every future contract has a long and short component which can [be] closed out at any time by an offsetting trade. Come first delivery day, all open contracts can also be closed out by making or taking delivery until the end of the month. If a long is determined to take delivery, he will get that delivery, at least by the last day of trading. If a long so determined doesn’t get delivery by last trading day, then that would constitute a contract delivery default (which, in my opinion, would lead to the closing of the exchange). More often than not, those who stay long into the delivery month (and those who stay short) have no real intention of taking (or making) delivery and close out their open contracts by offsetting futures transactions, as is done prior to first delivery day.

Sometimes, but not always, if there develops a “congestion” meaning too many long contracts looking to take delivery compared to current available physical supplies.  Behind the scenes, exchange officials will work to convince determined longs to back off and defer actual delivery demands. In this case, there may exist some “letting of the shorts off the hook“.

It’s hard to say definitively how often this occurs or even if it is occurring at all. I have seen occasions where JPMorgan, for instance, has been in position to take more silver deliveries than appear to be available for delivery and then JPM will close out those long futures contracts before the last trading day. To me, that would qualify as JPM letting the shorts off the hook, but those occasions have been somewhat rare. I’m not sure it is always a case of longs letting shorts off the hook in every delivery month when they close out long positions by selling futures contracts, because both longs and shorts engage in bluffing, namely, maintaining open futures contracts into the delivery month when neither side intends to make or take delivery. Not enough is known to form concrete conclusions.

By the way, this voluntary close out of open contracts during the delivery month is what many refer to as cash settlement, but that’s not really the case. It’s more a matter of either side utilizing the offsetting close out feature which is always available before first delivery day as well. If it ever comes down to a determined long not getting delivery where that long has met all the responsibilities (basically, having enough money) and we do experience a true delivery default, it would lead to the exchange going out of business, as the only thing that gives a COMEX silver futures contract legitimacy is the conversion of paper to physical mechanism. For the COMEX to allow a such a delivery default would be like the Mafia volunteering to cease all illegal activities and to go on the straight and narrow. It just isn’t going to happen.

Let me know if I answered you question.


Here are two charts from Nick Laird that will be in my Power Point presentation at the precious metals conference in Vancouver next Sunday and Monday.  These are the long-term charts for both GLD and SLV — and the fact that SLV has mostly maintained a much higher physical silver inventory level despite what the price is doing, should indicate to you that at some point in the future we are going to see dramatically higher silver prices.  It’s a given that the largest holders in this ETF are big financial institutions — and high net-worth individuals who know what the real silver story is — and own it in copious amounts.  Click to enlarge for both charts.

I have an average number of stories today — and it’s one of the only reasons that I have a column today, because I don’t want to overload you tomorrow.


Is Trump Already Finished? — Paul Craig Roberts

It did not take long before we knew there was no hope of change from President Obama. But at least he went into his inauguration with an unprecedented number of Americans on the Mall showing their support for the President of Change. Hope was abundant.

But with Trump, we are already losing faith, if not yet with him, at least with his choice of those who comprise his government even before Trump is inaugurated.

Trump’s choice for Secretary of State not only sounds like the neoconservatives in declaring Russia to be a threat to the United States and all of Europe, but also sounds like Hillary Clinton in declaring the South China Sea to be an area of U.S. dominance. One would think that the chairman of Exxon was not an idiot, but I am no longer sure. In his confirmation hearing, Rex Tillerson said that China’s access to its own South China Sea is “not going to be allowed.

This short commentary by Paul was posted on his website last Friday — and it comes to us courtesy of Larry Galearis.  Another link to it is here.

USA: Under New Management — Jeff Thomas

Mister Obama did not put an end to Guantanamo as he promised. And, although he did remove troops from Iraq (only to send them back a few years later), he expanded America’s military adventures overall, invading numerous sovereign nations.

As for his promise to come down hard on the sworn enemies of democrats—the evil usurpers on Wall Street—he instead dug in deeper. His Treasury secretaries were banking insiders, not the “reformers” that had been anticipated.

Many who had voted for Mister Obama were deeply disappointed. Under him, government had grown, warfare had expanded, the economy worsened and Wall Street became even fatter than before.

In 2016, Americans, in large part, sought the selfsame changes—less central government control, less overseas aggression and a reigning-in of Wall Street and banks. But to achieve these ends, voters switched sides once again and voted for a Republican, one who boldly committed to “drain the swamp.”

So, what are the odds that they’ll receive those changes? Let’s have a look.

This commentary by Jeff put in an appearance on the internationalman.com Internet site yesterday and, like the Paul Craig Roberts piece on the same issue posted above, is certainly worth reading.  Another link to it is here.

Dr. Dave Janda Interviews Your Humble Scribe

The good doctor and I spent twenty-five minutes discussing the ills of the world during my interview on Sunday afternoon EST — and if you thing I might have something say that’s worth listening to, you know what to do.  If not, please move along.

Theresa May to set out 12-point plan for Brexit as she vows a clean break that does not leave the U.K. ‘half-in, half-out’

Theresa May will set out a 12-point plan for Brexit as she vows that the U.K. will not have “partial” membership of the E.U. “that leaves us half-in, half-out”.

Mrs May will make her most significant speech since becoming Prime Minister in July last year and confirm that Britain will leave the single market and customs union after Brexit.

In remarks that will delight Conservative  Eurosceptics, Mrs May will pledge that Britain outside the European Union will be a “great, global trading nation” that is “respected around the world and strong, confident and united at home”.

The Prime Minister will make regaining control of Britain’s borders one of the central themes of her Brexit strategy and will also make clear that the rights of U.K. expats will be protected.

She will make clear for the first time that Britain will not seek a watered down version of Brexit, something that Remain campaigners are still pushing for.

The story showed up on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site at 10:03 p.m. GMT on Monday evening, which was 5:03 p.m. in Washington — EST plus 5 hours.  It’s the first of two stories that I ‘borrowed’ from today’s edition of the King Report — and another link to it is here.

Sterling Options Signal More Turmoil as May Speech, Ruling Loom

A measure of anticipated swings for the pound climbed to the highest in three months before U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech on Brexit plans Tuesday and a court ruling this month on whether the British leader or Parliament carries the power to invoke the exit.

The pound slid below $1.20 for the first time since October’s flash crash after the Sunday Times reported May will prepare to withdraw from tariff-free trade with the European Union in return for freedom to curb immigration and strike commercial deals with other countries. While hedge funds started to boost bets against sterling from the end of last year, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. said the Supreme Court ruling may spur investors to unwind these short positions.

Even if the pound recovers somewhat in London, it seems as though the realities of a hard Brexit are still not fully priced in,” said Sean Callow, senior strategist at Westpac Banking Corp. in Sydney. “It is difficult to make the case for the pound to avoid testing, probably breaking, the ‘flash crash’ lows in coming weeks.

The pound fell as much as 1.6 percent on Monday to $1.1986, the weakest level since Oct. 7 when it slid to $1.1841, the least since 1985. Sterling was 1 percent down at $1.2065 as of 11:14 a.m. in London.

This Bloomberg article was posted on their website at 11:08 a.m. Denver time on Sunday morning — and was subsequently updated at 4:20 a.m. MST.  It also sports a new headline as well.  The old one read “Pound Drops Below $1.20 as May Reported to Seek Hard Brexit“.  I thank Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl for sending it along on Sunday afternoon — and another link to it is here.

Trump Slams NATO, Floats Russia Nuke Deal in European Interview

Donald Trump called NATO obsolete, predicted that other European Union members would follow the U.K. in leaving the bloc, and threatened BMW with import duties over a planned plant in Mexico, according to two European newspapers which conducted a joint interview with the president-elect.

Trump, in an hour-long discussion with Germany’s Bild and the Times of London published on Sunday, signaled a major shift in trans-Atlantic relations, including an interest in lifting U.S. sanctions on Russia as part of a nuclear weapons reduction deal.

Quoted in German by Bild from a conversation held in English, Trump predicted that Britain’s exit from the EU will be a success and portrayed the EU as an instrument of German domination designed with the purpose of beating the U.S. in international trade. For that reason, Trump said, he’s fairly indifferent to whether the E.U. stays together, according to Bild.

The Times quoted Trump as saying he was interested in making “good deals with Russia,” floating the idea of lifting sanctions that were imposed as the U.S. has sought to punish the Kremlin for its annexation of Crimea in 2014 and military support of the Syrian government.

This very worthwhile article showed up on the Bloomberg website at 3:00 p.m. MST on Sunday afternoon — and was updated about two hours later.  It comes to us courtesy of Roy Stephens — and another link to it is here.  There was an article about his over at Zero Hedge — and it’s headlined “In Stunning Pair Of Interviews, Trump Slams NATO And EU, Threatens BMW With Tax; Prepared To “Cut TiesWith Merkel“.  I thank ‘aurora’ for passing this one around.

German Journalist Who Blew Whistle on CIA Media Control Drops Dead at 56

Udo Ulfkotte, a German journalist and former editor of Germany’s prestigious newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung who spoke out in recent years about the control of his profession by the CIA and U.S. government, has died of a heart attack. He was 56.

In November 2014 he said the following in an interview with Oriental Review:

I didn’t get money – I got gifts. Things like gold watches, diving equipment, and trips with accommodations in five-star hotels. I know many German journalists who at some point were able to take advantage of this to buy themselves a vacation home abroad. But much more important than the money and gifts is the fact that you’re offered support if you write pieces that are pro-American or pro-NATO. If you don’t do it, your career won’t go anywhere – you’ll find yourself assigned to sit in the office and sort through letters to the editor.

When you fly to the U.S. again and again and never have to pay for anything there, and you’re invited to interview American politicians, you’re moving closer and closer to the circles of power. And you want to remain within this circle of the elite, so you write to please them. Everyone wants to be a celebrity journalist who gets exclusive access to famous politicians. But one wrong sentence and your career as a celebrity journalist is over. Everyone knows it. And everyone’s in on it.

No surprises here.  He probably died of ‘natural causes’ as well.  This item appeared on the russia-insider.com Internet site around 8 a.m. EST on Monday morning — and I thank ‘aurora’ for this story as well.  Another link to it is here.

Davos elites struggle for answers as Trump era dawns

The global economy is in better shape than it’s been in years. Stock markets are booming, oil prices are on the rise again and the risks of a rapid economic slowdown in China, a major source of concern a year ago, have eased.

And yet, as political leaders, CEOs and top bankers make their annual trek up the Swiss Alps to the World Economic Forum in Davos, the mood is anything but celebratory.

Beneath the veneer of optimism over the economic outlook lurks acute anxiety about an increasingly toxic political climate and a deep sense of uncertainty surrounding the U.S. presidency of Donald Trump, who will be inaugurated on the final day of the forum.

Last year, the consensus here was that Trump had no chance of being elected. His victory, less than half a year after Britain voted to leave the European Union, was a slap at the principles that elites in Davos have long held dear, from globalization and free trade to multilateralism.

Trump is the poster child for a new strain of populism that is spreading across the developed world and threatening the post-war liberal democratic order. With elections looming in the Netherlands, France, Germany, and possibly Italy, this year, the nervousness among Davos attendees is palpable.

This Reuters article, filed from Davos was posted on their Internet site at 5:06 p.m. EST on Sunday evening — and it’s something I plucked from today’s edition of the King Report.  Another link to this news item is here.  It’s definitely worth reading.

High-Speed Traders Are Taking Over Bitcoin

Zhou Shuoji is not a bitcoin believer. He says the cryptocurrency will never replace its traditional forebears, and he calls most of its proponents fanatics.

But for Zhou, a 35-year-old high-speed trader in Beijing, bitcoin is also too good to resist. His computers trade it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Using lightning quick orders, they profit from tiny price discrepancies on the myriad venues where it changes hands.

“It’s the golden age to be in the bitcoin market, because it’s imperfect,” said Zhou, a former IBM technology consultant whose firm, Fintech Blockchain Group, runs a bitcoin hedge fund and venture capital fund.

Forget libertarians, speculative individual investors and Chinese savers trying to spirit money overseas. The reality is that professionals armed with cutting-edge technology now drive as much as 80 percent of bitcoin trading, mimicking strategies honed by some of the biggest players on Wall Street. To them, bitcoin is just the latest asset class ripe for conquering with machines.

The cryptocurrency’s market structure ticks all the right boxes: arbitrage opportunities across multiple exchanges, zero transaction costs on Chinese venues that host most of the world’s turnover, round-the-clock trading, and co-location services allowing participants to place their servers right next to those of the exchange. With volumes tracked by Bitcoinity.org surging to a record this month, there’s been no shortage of chances for high-speed traders to turn a profit.

Once the HFT boyz show up, especially if they belong to JPMorgan et al, you can throw supply/demand fundamentals out the window on any traded commodity.  This news item was posted on the bloomberg.com Internet site at 9:00 a.m. Denver time on Monday morning — and another link to it is here.  I thank George Hamilton for passing it along late Monday afternoon MST.

The Further Decline in International Reserves — Hugo Salinas Price

Over the past 29 months, the decline in Reserves took place at a rate of about $42 billion dollars a month. At this rate, by the end of 2017 International Reserves will likely decline by another $504 billion dollars, to $10.31 Trillion, which will increase the decline from the peak in 2014 to 14.31{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}.

However, the rate of decline is almost certainly going to increase, because the spring that has fed International Reserves since 1971 – the U.S. Trade Deficit – is the object of the attention of Mr. Donald Trump, and he has expressed the intention of stopping up this spring by reducing or eliminating the U.S. Trade Deficit, which feeds International Reserves to central banks of the rest of the world.

The decline in the total of International Reserves is a clear sign of world credit contraction. The economic consequence to a world that has been built upon the premise of ever-expanding credit will be the increasingly desperate liquidation of investments by businesses and individuals around the rest of the world, in order to pay off previously incurred dollar-denominated debts. The liquidation will be a huge struggle against the opposing current of increasing scarcity of dollars.

Ludwig von Mises pointed out many years ago, that once a central bank indulges in expansion of credit by lowering the rate of interest it charges on loans, it cannot stop expanding credit: it has to go on expanding credit by lowering even more, the interest rate it has set. If the central bank decides to let the market once again set the interest rate, then the previous expansion will turn into a general a liquidation, to clear out the malinvestments created by the artificially induced expansion. If the central bank does not allow the market to set the interest rate, then the expansion of credit will continue until it produces the crack-up boom, which is followed by a massive debt liquidation.

This short piece by Hugo is definitely worth reading.  It was posted on the plata.com.mx Internet site on Monday sometime — and I found it embedded in a GATA release.  Another link to it is here.

GATA secretary to speak at Singapore and Hong Kong conferences in March and April

Chris Powell will speak at the end of March at the Mining Investment Asia conference in Singapore — and at the beginning of April at the Mines and Money Asia conference in Hong Kong, Asia being more sympathetic to gold’s monetary functions than North America is.

The Mining Investment Asia conference will be held from Tuesday-Friday, March 28-31, at the Marina Bay Sands conference center in downtown Singapore.

The Mines and Money Asia conference will be held Wednesday-Friday, April 5-7, 2017, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in the Wan Chai section of the city. Participants in the conference can obtain discount lodging rates at the two adjacent hotels, the Grand Hyatt and Renaissance Harbour View.

Of course both cities are spectacular and, being former British colonies, are easily navigable for those who speak only English. So your secretary/treasurer would be delighted to see some of GATA’s friends there.

All the conference details and registration information can be found embedded in this article that was posted on the gata.org Internet site yesterday.  Another link to this is here.

The World’s Largest Gold Fund Is Going Through Its Longest Dry Spell On Record

The last time the SPDR Gold Shares exchange-traded fund (GLD) received an inflow was the day after President-elect Donald Trump won the presidential election.

The fund, which goes by the symbol GLD and is far and away the world’s largest commodity ETF with more than $31 billion in assets, has seen nearly $5.7 billion in outflows since receiving a net inflow of $220 million on Nov. 9.

This 43-session streak is the longest stretch without an inflow for GLD since its inception in 2004, surpassing previous record spans of 42 from October to December 2015 and June to August 2013.

GLD is primarily used by institutional investors as much as a trading vehicle as a long-term investment strategy, so when it’s in favor it can really be in favor, and when it’s not demand can dry up quickly,” said Todd Rosenbluth, director of ETF research at CFRA. “I do think it’s surprising because we’ve started 2017 with investors being more concerned about equities, and rates have pulled back, which should be more favorable to commodities and alternatives-based strategies.

This is very selective and shallow reporting.  As silver analyst Ted Butler has been saying for a long time now, the latest being on Saturday…”This conversion of shares to metal seems to have been behind the recent big redemptions of metal from the big gold ETF, GLD.  On gold’s sharp plunge in price from Election Day into year end, it should be considered normal that the metal holdings in GLD would and did decline sharply, as investors sold on balance. But the gold redemptions continued even as prices rose in the New Year, puzzling many. Once again, the most plausible answer seems obvious – deliberate conversions of GLD shares to metal to avoid reporting requirements. And guess who is most likely behind the conversions in both GLD and SLV?”  More proof that you can’t believe all the bulls hit you read about precious metals in the main stream media.  This Bloomberg story showed up on their Internet site at 7:28 a.m. MST on Friday morning — and it’s the final offering of the day from Patrick Ekdahl.  Another link to it is here.

How do jewellers capture every last particle of gold dust?

In a basement on London’s Hatton Garden, a small production team is heating a furnace to 2,000C — a temperature that will obliterate most materials placed within it. Each day, here at precious metals refiner Mastermelt, the furnace is fed a diet of objects collected from jewellers’ workshops — full bags from vacuum cleaners, used wet wipes, blunted sandpaper and even old carpets — in the hope that when the ashes are processed, thousands of pounds’ worth of gold, platinum and more will remain.

But the precious metal they cannot see may bring in surprising amounts of money too. The grinding, filing and buffing required to create jewels by hand or machine send microscopic clouds of precious dust into the air; the dust can land anywhere and be easily transported as it sticks to shoes and clothing. “We went to a workshop in Birmingham and right at the front of the building was a big 4ft sq coconut mat,” says Mr Williams. “Every single person coming in and out of the building walked over that mat, and had been doing so for seven or eight years. They didn’t think it was worth anything as it wasn’t in the workshop, but they let me take it away. We swept up the dirt and processed it and it came to quite a few thousand pounds.” Another surprise source was a pair of chair covers from a shop in Hatton Garden which were so choked with platinum dust that Mastermelt paid out £3,000 after processing them.

This fascinating and amazing news item is posted in the clear over at the Financial Times website.  It’s not datelined, but it is from this year — and I thank U.K. reader Tariq Khan for bringing it to our attention.  Another link to it is here.

Gold: $1,200 breakthrough but not held – but next week? — Lawrie Williams

The gold price broke upwards through the $1,200 psychological level on Thursday in New York, but was unable to maintain this ending the day at $1,195.  It made another tilt at the $1,200 level on Friday, but fell short and ended the week in New York at $1,196.90 – up around $20 on the week.  The overall trend is upwards and if there are any more lurid disclosures on Donald Trump’s private life and/or financial irregularities from his past – whether true or fabricated – in the week he is due to be inaugurated as the USA’s 45th president, there has to be a good chance that the $1,200 level will be breached again, and held, during the forthcoming week.

With Shanghai pushing the gold price ever higher, the price difference with London and New York came down to not far short of the price premium due to the higher gold purity of the Shanghai contracts (0.999{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} Au content) vis-à-vis London Good Delivery gold (0.995{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}), which amounts currently to around $6 an ounce.  Thus Shanghai prices are coming down to London and New York levels – or perhaps London and New York coming up to Shanghai levels depending on how one looks at this – after around two months of big premiums in Shanghai.

Sales out of the big gold ETFs also seem to have halted – GLD for example actually added 2.96 tonnes at the end of the week after remaining static the previous four days, following almost six months of mostly continuing falls (holdings peaked on July 5th at 982.72 tonnes; since then they had fallen by almost 133 tonnes until Friday’s small increase).  Whether this indicates a change of sentiment in gold’s favour is probably too early to say, but one suspects uncertainties surrounding the Trump Presidency and his policies, and whether even his Presidency will run full term given the political antagonism it has generated, some of which is coming from within the Republican Party which he is representing as well as from the Democratic opposition, mean that gold’s safe haven reputation may be coming into play.

This commentary by Lawrie put in an appearance on the Sharps Pixley website on Saturday — and another link to it is here.


Sunday was the first day since November where the temperatures made it above the freezing mark by any significant amount.  Edmontonians were out in droves walking in the parks and ravines around the North Saskatchewan River valley.  I got this red squirrel close in by offering it a half a walnut — and as you can tell, it worked like a charm.  I had to use fill flash because he was in the shade — and that just brought out his rich colours.   I’ll have two more shots of him tomorrow.  Click to enlarge to view full size.


America’s enemies will not attack by land or sea, but with gold and data processors” — Jim Rickards — The Road to Ruin: The Global Elites’ Secret Plan For The Next Financial Crisis

With the markets closed in New York yesterday, there isn’t much to talk about, although I must admit that I was happy to see gold finally close above $1,200 spot.  Silver is being kept well back from its 50-day moving average — and the $17 spot mark as well.

You should note, of course, that the powers-that-be were at the ready during Far East trading on their Monday — and were there as short buyers and long sellers of last resort like they always are.

Any rallies such as these could be Ted’s “big ones”…as the only thing standing between the current price — and true free-market prices, is JPMorgan et al as short buyers and long sellers of last resort.  The et al may matter at this stage of the game, but if JPMorgan puts its hands in its pockets at some point and just walks away, it will most likely matter not what the et al do from that point going forward.  This is particularly true in silver, where JP Morgan has enough of that precious metal in its COMEX warehouses to cover its short its corresponding short position in the COMEX futures market, plus a bit more.

With New York closed, there are no 6-month charts from stockcharts.com.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away — and I see that the gold price rallied quietly in morning trading in the Far East as the dollar index headed south.  Then shortly after 1 p.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday afternoon, the price really began to sail — and minutes after 2 p.m. CST, the powers-that-be hit the ‘buy the dollar index/sell the precious metals’ button — and the prices of three of them were capped — and then turned lower in unison.  At the moment, gold is up $8.10 an ounce.  Silver appeared to go ‘no ask’ in the few minutes leading up to 2 p.m. CST –and the moment it touched the $16.95 spot mark it was capped and turned lower as well.  It’s up 14 cents currently.  The same with platinum — and it’s up 5 bucks.  Palladium hasn’t done much in Far East trading — and it’s up two dollars.

Net HFT gold volume is already north of 52,000 contracts — and that’s net of Monday’s volume.  Silver’s net HFT volume is around the 10,500 contract mark — and that’s net of Monday’s volume as well.  It’s obvious that these rallies are not going unopposed.

The dollar index began to head south just minutes before the late afternoon close in New York yesterday — and continued lower as the Tuesday session unfolded in the Far East.  The usual ‘gentle hands’ appeared around 2:10 p.m. CST as the index dipped below the 101.00 mark.  It’s low at that time was 100.97 — down 60 basis points from its close on Monday afternoon.  ‘Da boyz’ have rallied it a bit, but it’s still down 48 basis points as London opens.

Today, at the close of trading on the COMEX, is the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report — and after guessing wrong in spades in last week’s report, I’ll reserve judgement on what this report will say.  Ted may have a comment or two about it in his mid-week column to his paying subscribers on Wednesday — and if he does, I’ll most likely share it with you in my Friday missive.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:05 a.m. EST, I see that all four precious metals rallied the moment that London and Zurich opened.  They were met by JPMorgan et al almost right away…especially silver, which went vertical.  Gold is currently up $10.00 an ounce — and a few dollars off its high tick.  Silver is up 20 cents — and if the short buyers and long sellers of last resort hadn’t appeared at the London open, it could have easily been up $20 the ounce.  Platinum is up 5 — and palladium is up 4 bucks.

Net HFT gold volume is now a very chunky 68,000 contracts — and that number in silver is 14,500 contracts.  Both numbers are net of Monday’s volume.  ‘Da boyz’ are obviously at battle stations at the moment.

The ‘rally’ in the dollar index didn’t last long — and it carved out its new current low of 100.88 shortly after the London open.  It’s off that low by a bit now, but still down a chunky 60 basis points.

Between now and the close of trading on Friday, it would be a mug’s game trying to handicap the precious metal market, as there are just too many black swans out there at the moment.  But it’s obvious that the powers-that-be are currently moving heaven and earth to ensure that the precious metals don’t blow sky high, as all things paper begin to turn to dust.

That’s all I have for today — and I’ll be ready for any eventuality when I power up my computer later this morning.

Enjoy your day, or what’s left of it — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.


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