Another Broad Daylight Precious Metal Bear Raid

26 January 2017 — Thursday


The gold price traded flat until 9 a.m. China Standard Time on their Wednesday morning — and began to quietly sell off until its London low, which came shortly after 9 a.m. GMT.  It rallied from that point for three hours and change before being sold off sharply lower, with the final kick in the teeth coming at 9 a.m. in New York.  The low tick came a minute or so after 9:30 a.m. EST — and from there it rallied back to just above the $1,200 spot mark by shortly before noon.  That rally, such as it was, got sold lower for the next for forty minutes or so — and from there it crawled mostly higher until 4:10 p.m. in New York — and back above $1,200 spot, albeit barely.  It traded sideways from that point onward.

The high and low tick in gold yesterday was recorded as $1,209.30 and $1,192.60 in the February contract.

Gold finished the Wednesday session in New York at $1,200.70 spot, down $7.80 from Tuesday’s close.  Net volume was very heavy at around 192,00 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume out of February was huge.

Here’s the 5-minute gold tick chart courtesy of Brad Robertson as usual.  Volume was mostly background until that bit of a sell-off in the first hour of London trading, which shows up around the 02:00 mark Denver time on the chart below.  But the largest volume spikes started showing up on that price smash at 7:00 a.m. MST/9:00 a.m. in New York, with the big volume spike right at the end where a hair under 10,000 contracts changed hands in less than five minutes.  Volume really didn’t back off to what I call ‘background’ levels until after 2 p.m. Denver time.

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.

And as you can tell from the Kitco chart below, silver’s price path was guided by the same forces as gold — and at the exact same times.  For that reason, I’ll pass on the play-by-play, except to note that silver’s attempts to rally back above $17 spot after its price was smashed in New York trading, were all turned aside.

The high and low ticks in silver were recorded by the CME Group as $17.13 and $16.78 in the March contract.

Silver was closed in New York on Wednesday afternoon at $16.98 spot, down 7.5 cents on the day.  Net volume was pretty heavy at a hair under 58,000 contracts.

And here’s the 5-minute tick chart for silver.  Along with the price smash in New York yesterday morning, the price smash just minutes before 9 a.m. in London is also a stand-out feature at the 02:00 MST mark…as was the spike down earlier at 23:00 MST/1:00 a.m. in New York.  By shortly after the 11:30 a.m. Denver time close of COMEX trading in New York, volume was back to fumes and vapours.

Like the 5-minute gold chart, 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 as well.

The platinum price chopped quietly lower — and was down about 7 bucks by shortly after 10 a.m. in Zurich on their Wednesday morning.  It began to crawl steadily higher from there, but ran into the HFT boyz and their algos at 9 a.m. in New York, just like in gold and silver.  Because platinum, like palladium, is such an tiny and illiquid market, it didn’t take much to run the stops — and within ten minutes or so, they had the price down by 25 bucks within fifteen minutes.  Then, also like gold and silver, the price rallied until noon in New York before getting sold down once again — and it chopped sideways from about 1 p.m. EST into the close.  Platinum was closed at $978 spot, down 16 bucks on the day.

But they really pulled out all the stops on palladium, the most of illiquid market of all four precious metals.  It traded flat until 2 p.m. China Standard Time on their Wednesday afternoon — and it began to edge lower from there until the COMEX open.  The price really began to drop sharply at that point — and the bids were pulled and the algos spun at the same 9 a.m. time in New York as the other three precious metals.  Minutes before the 5 p.m. close, they had the price down almost 60 dollars an ounce.  It closed down 57 bucks at $730 spot by the time ‘da boyz’ were done with it.

No matter how egregious and damaging these price moves are, the companies that mine all this stuff won’t say in word in their own defense, or in ours.   Us, the shareholders, just happen to own these companies…but what does that matter?  The executives who run these companies have long ago given up any sense of fiduciary responsibility to their stockholders…large or small.

The dollar index closed very late on Tuesday afternoon in New York at 100.27 — and dipped about 10 basis points in the first few hours of trading in the Far East on their Wednesday morning.  The 100.42 high tick was printed shortly after 3 p.m. China Standard Time — and by 12:25 p.m. in London, it had fallen all the way down to the 99.86 mark.  ‘Gentle hand’s raised it up by 40 basis points by the 9:30 open of the equity markets in New York, but it was back below the 100.00 mark by 11:50 a.m. EST.  It was up to 100.18 by 2:15 p.m. — and then headed south with some authority right into the close.  The dollar index finished the Wednesday session at 99.92 — down 35 basis points from Tuesday.

It should be obvious that yesterday’s price action in the precious metals had little if anything to do with what was happening in the currency market.  JPMorgan et al didn’t even both using the currency markets as cover yesterday in their assault on the precious metals in the COMEX futures market.  They just went in there and did it — and didn’t care who saw what they were doing, as they know that whatever rules there are against this sort of activity will never be enforced by the criminal CME Group.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart…for what it’s worth these days…because even though the dollar index is down heavily lately, ‘da boyz’ are making sure that this decline in the index is not reflected in precious metal prices.

Not surprisingly, the gold stocks gapped down a bit over 2 percent at the open — and chopped quietly lower until the 2:25 p.m. low tick was in.  They rallied sharply for an hour, before trading sideways for the rest of the day.  The HUI closed down 1.69 percent.

It was mostly the same price pattern for the silver equities.  And once their respective low ticks were in around 2:25 p.m. in New York, they rallied sharply as well — as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed down only 0.82 percent.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 3 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Friday.  Morgan Stanley issued all three gold contracts out of its client account — and Canada’s Scotiabank was the sole long/stopper once again.  I won’t bother linking this activity.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Wednesday trading session showed that gold open interest in January rose by 6 contracts, leaving 60 still open.  Tuesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that only 1 gold contract was actually posted for delivery today, so that means that another 1+6=7 gold contracts got added to the January delivery month.  Silver o.i. in January rose by 4 contracts, leaving 34 still around.  Tuesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 1 silver contract was posted for delivery today, so that means that another 1+4=5 silver contracts were added to the January delivery month.

It’s a bit of a surprise to see more contracts being added to the current delivery month this close to the end of it.  Someone appears to be picking up nickels in front of the proverbial steamroller once again.  So far this month, which is not a traditional delivery month for either gold or silver, there have been 1,207 gold contracts — and 711 silver contracts — issued and stopped.

There was another big conversion of shares in GLD yesterday, as an authorized participant ‘removed’ 161,953 troy ounces.  These withdrawals are masking whatever gold has been deposited during the post-Christmas rally, because they’re doing the conversions on the same day as the deposits arrive.  There’s no other explanation for what’s going on in this ETF at the moment.  And as of 8:43 p.m. EST last night, there were no reported changes in SLV.

There was another sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday.  They didn’t sell any gold eagles or buffaloes, but they did sell another 175,000 silver eagles, bringing total January silver eagle sales up to the 4,897,500 mark.

It was another very quiet day for gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on Tuesday.  Nothing was reported received — and only 4,629.600 troy ounces/144 kilobars [U.K./U.S. kilobar weight] were shipped out.  That activity was at Canada’s Scotiabank — and I shan’t bother linking it.

And after many days of blockbuster silver movement, the folks over at the various COMEX silver depositories took time out to charge up the batteries on their fork lifts, as no silver was reported received on Tuesday — and only 80,787 troy ounces were shipped out.  All of that activity was at Scotiabank as well — and I won’t link that, either.

It was pretty quiet over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Tuesday as well.  Nothing was reported received — and only 1,102 kilobars were shipped out.  All of this activity was at Brink’s Inc. — and I’ll pass on linking that as well.

I have very few stories today — and I’m hoping that there might be one or two out of the short list below that pique your interest.


Dow Jones tops 20,000 points for first time amid Trump effect

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, Wall Street’s blue-chip stock market, has smashed through the 20,000 points barrier for the first time.

The milestone was achieved at the start of Wednesday trading – just after the opening bell sounded – and the positive sentiment remained through to the close.

Such a move had been on the cards for some time, given the rally in US stocks since the election of Donald Trump as US President in November – with investors cheering his plans for a major infrastructure investment programme and other business-friendly policies.

Market participants credited Mr Trump’s announcements on Tuesday, to advance two major pipeline projects blocked by former president Barack Obama, for the surge in the Dow’s performance on Wednesday.

This news item put in an appearance on the U.K. website Internet site yesterday at 7:39 p.m. GMT on their Wednesday evening, which was 2:39 p.m. in New York — EST plus 5 hours.  I thank Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl for sending it our way — and another link to it is here.

The New York Sun: The 20,000 Dow

Great!” tweets President Trump in respect of the Dow, which closed above 20,000 for the first time in history. Then again too, his excitement is fair enough. That the Dow has been moving higher since his election has to be, at some hard-to-quantify level, an optimistic bet on the prospects for his own presidency. We don’t mind saying that we share that optimism, particularly as the signals mount that the president intends to follow through on his pro-growth campaign promises.

For the record, though, the Dow, calculated in the classical measure of value, is nowhere near its high, even if it has been moving in the right direction. That was made recently by a point made by the Web site It maintains, among other things, a chart of the Dow measured in gold. Its all-time low was the equivalent of 1.3 ounces of gold, struck at 1980, just as Americans were preparing to step back a bit from Keynesian principles and elevate Ronald Reagan to the White House.

From there the Dow in gold began a steady and historic climb, peaking in August 1999 at a bit over 49 ounces of gold. reckons that on the day Mr. Trump was inaugurated, the Dow was at 18.1 ounces of gold. We understand that the gold value of the Dow is not the world’s greatest indicator. But it serves at least to make the point that Mr. Trump made during the election campaign, which is that it’s been hard to make a mountain out of the molehill of the economy during the Obama years.

This must read, but longish editorial showed up on The New York Sun website yesterday — and I found it in a GATA release last night.  Another link to it is here.

2017’s Real Milestone (Or Why Interest Rates Can Never Go Back to Normal)

Forget about NAFTA or OPEC or TPP or crowd size or hand size or any other acronym or stat or concept that obsesses the financial press these days. Only two numbers actually matter.

The first is $20 trillion, which is the level the U.S. federal debt will exceed sometime around June of this year.

To put $20 trillion into perspective, it’s about $160,000 per U.S. taxpayer, and exists in addition to the mortgage, credit card, auto, and student debt that our hypothetical taxpayer probably carries. It is in short, way too much for the average wage slave to manage without some kind of existential crisis.

It’s also way more than it used to be. During his tenure, president George W. Bush (2000 – 2008) nearly doubled the government’s debt, which is to say his administration borrowed as much as all its predecessors from Washington through Clinton combined. At the time this seemed like a never-to-be-duplicated feat of governmental profligacy. But the very next administration topped it, taking the federal debt from $10 trillion to the soon-to-be-achieved $20 trillion. And the incoming administration apparently sees no problem with continuing the pattern.

This commentary by John Rubino over at the Internet site, was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 8:14 a.m. on Wednesday morning EST — and it comes courtesy of Richard Saler.  Another link to it is here.

Malls Owners Rush For the Exits as Mall-Backed CMBS Defaults Soar

Last week we wrote about the epic collapse of the Galleria Mall at Pittsburgh Mills which sold for $100 after once being appraised for $190 million shortly after being opened in 2005.  Unfortunately for mall owners, while the Pittsburgh Mills Galleria is an extreme example, crashing mall valuations are hardly an anomaly these days.  In fact, just a few weeks ago Commercial Real Estate Direct wrote about the Foothills Mall in Tucson, Arizona which was valued at $115mm in 2006 and backs a $75mm CMBS loan but recently appraised for just $18mm…or just a slight 75{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} loss for lenders.

As pointed out by The Wall Street Journal earlier today, mall CMBS defaults are up all across the country with liquidations up 11{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} YoY.

In the period from January to November 2016, 314 loans secured by retail property were liquidated, up 11{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} from the same period a year earlier, according to data from Morningstar Credit Ratings.

We’re seeing a boatload of these kinds of properties coming to market,” said James Hull, managing principal of Augusta, Ga.-based Hull Property Group, which purchased five malls from foreclosure sales in 2016. “There have been some draconian losses for the enclosed mall business.

I had a story about this in my column earlier this week, but there’s been a few in the main stream media since — and this is the Zero Hedge spin on all of it.  It’s worth reading in my opinion — and it’s the second offering in a row from Richard Saler.  Another link to it is here.

Caterpillar Posts Record 49 Consecutive Months of Declining Retail Sales

As Caterpillar’s stock continues to soar, its operations continue to decline.

While Caterpillar’s CEO may have resigned recently, admitting that he misjudged the business strategy, and even the company issued a press release cautioning the market may have gotten ahead of itself, CAT stock does not appear to be bothered, soaring over 12{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} since the Trump presidential victory, and continues to trade near multi-year highs on hopes a Trump’s infrastructure push would make excavators great again. For now, however, the woes at the heavy industrial manufacturer continue, with yet another month of declining global sales.

To be sure, there was a glimmer of hope for CAT out of Asia, where retail sales continued the rebound after posting positive gains in the prior four month and now rising 19{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} in December, the biggest annual gain since August 2012. This however was offset by continuing declines in North America, the EAME and Latin America regions, which declined by 12{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}, 21{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}, and 34{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}.

But it is on a global blended basis, where the headwinds facing CAT refuse to go away, and after the latest, December, decline in retail sales of -12{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}, we find that the company has not reported a single monthly uptick in sales for record 49 consecutive months, or just over 4 straight years, a period which is now 2.5x longer than the far more acute 19 month drop observed during the post-financial crisis period.

This brief 2-chart Zero Hedge news item was posted on their website at 9:19 a.m. EST on Wednesday morning — and another link to it is here.

Kyle Bass Hints What the “Greatest Trade He Has Ever Encountered” Is

Hayman Capital’s Kyle Bass, who as we reported two weeks ago returned an impressive 25{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} in 2016, spoke to Bloomberg TV’s Erik Schatzker and likened President Donald Trump’s trade and tax policies to gasoline which will accelerate an economic “restructuring” – a polite word for crash – in China.

Discussing a topic he has been particularly focused on since late 2015, Bass said China has “recklessly built a system that’s going to need to restructure and that just so happens to be metastasizing right when Trump becomes elected. This is a fire that’s been smoldering and it’s now starting to burn, and Trump is just more gasoline.” As he put it later “in life cycles, what Trump is going to do, he is going to speed everything up.” That statement is absolutely spot on, on many different levels as we will soon find out.

Bass also said that imposing tariffs on Chinese imports could have “profound consequences” for the nation’s economy, where credit over the last 18 months has grown by $6.5 trillion while deposits have grown by half of that, or just $3 trillion, “so credit is growing exponentially, China has to fund enormous moves in credit growth just to keep in roughly the same place. We call it running to stand still.”

He mocked “the idea that China is now the driving economic power in the world” calling it “illusory or somewhat of a fallacy” and as we reported in early January, confirmed that “it’s safe to say that the Asian theater is where we’ve been focused.

This Zero Hedge piece includes a longish introduction that leads up to a 15:04 minute Bloomberg video interview with Kyle Bass that’s embedded at the very end.  The intro is worth reading, but the video is a must watch — and I thank Richard Saler for his third contribution in a row to today’s column.  Another link to it is here.

BOE Says Corporate-Bond Buying Program May End Ahead of Schedule

The Bank of England said it may finish a 18-month corporate-bond buying program ahead of schedule because investors are more willing to sell than expected.

It seems probable that the bank will be able to complete the purchase program faster than we thought possible,” Chris Salmon, the central bank’s executive director for markets, said in a January 24 speech in London. This may be because BOE buying has boosted secondary-market liquidity “by more than we had allowed for,” he said.

The central bank has already used more than half its £10 billion ($13 billion) bond-buying budget since starting purchases about four months ago to support the U.K. economy following a vote to leave the European Union. It may soon face the challenge of how to cool quantitative easing without sparking a market slump.

We are concerned about who will buy the market post-BOE,” HSBC Holdings Plc credit strategists led by Jamie Stuttard wrote in a note to clients this week. “No central bank has ever tapered corporate bonds.

This Bloomberg news item was something I plucked from yesterday’s edition of the King Report.  It showed up on their Internet site at 6:56 a.m. MST on Wednesday morning — and another link to it is here.

The 2017 “Davos Consensus” — More Welfare and Warfare

It’s a big club and you ain’t in it!

I often think of these words, spoken by the great comedian George Carlin, when I read about the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Every year, global elites descend on Davos to discuss the big issues of the day in a Bilderberg-like conclave. This year, George Soros was there. So was Bill Gates.

The most important world leaders go. As do CEOs of the world’s largest companies, mainstream media bigwigs, and prominent academics. Central bankers attend, too.

In short, it’s a bunch of out-of-touch, self-anointed elites meeting to hand down from above their uniformly bad “solutions” to the world’s problems. Then they pat each other on the back for all the good they’re doing.

This short commentary by senior editor Nick Giambruno showed up on their website yesterday morning sometime — and it’s well worth reading.  Another link to it is here.

Greece’s Tsipras Insists on ‘Not One Euro More’ of Austerity

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras dug in against creditor demands for more pension cuts and tax increases before a meeting of euro-area finance ministers to unblock the country’s bailout review.

There is no way we are going to legislate even one euro more than what was agreed in the bailout,” Tsipras said in an interview with Efimerida ton Syntakton, to mark the two-year anniversary since he was elected on an anti-austerity platform. “The demand to legislate more measures, and contingent ones, no less, is alien not just to the Greek Constitution but to democratic norms.”

Euro-area finance ministers will discuss Greece when they meet in Brussels on Thursday, with Greece and officials representing the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Stability Mechanism and the International Monetary Fund locked in a stand-off over how to complete the country’s second bailout review, now a year behind schedule. The IMF, in particular, views the projections shared by Greece and the European creditors that the country can reach a primary budget surplus of 3.5 percent of gross domestic product by 2018 as too optimistic.

This Bloomberg story showed up on their Internet site at 2:40 a.m. Denver time on Wednesday morning — and I thank Patrik Ekdahl for his second contribution to today’s column.  Another link to it is here.

Chinese 10-Year Bond Yields Set For Biggest Monthly Jump Since 2010

China’s government bond prices and sovereign bond futures fell sharply on Wednesday as benchmark 10-year government bond futures fell 0.8{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} to 94.62, as yields on China 10-year bonds rising 6bps to 3.355{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}, extending January’s climb to 33bps, the biggest monthly increase since October 2010, following a surprise move by the central bank to raise interest rates on a type of special emergency liquidity loans to certain financial institutions.

In a surprise announcement late Tuesday, the People’s Bank of China said it raised the interest rate on loans to 22 financial institutions via the medium-term lending facility, a new liquidity tool in place since 2014. While the central bank effectively injected another 245.5 billion yuan into markets, it also raised the interest rates on the two sets of loans, which are six months and one year in duration, by 10 basis points to 3.1{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} and 2.95{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} respectively.

As the WSJ adds, the move was widely viewed by investors as an effective rate increase intended to aid Beijing’s efforts to rein in debt-fueled speculative investments, and according to Goldman, the modest rate hike was a telegraphing of an implicit form of tightening. Still, as the chart below shows it is not exactly clear how making a liquidity facility, which has a record notional outstanding, fractionally more expensive is tightening.

This news story appeared on the Zero Hedge website at 8:36 a.m. EST yesterday morning — and its the fourth and final offering of the day from Richard Saler — and I thank him on your behalf.  Another link to it is here.

Putin’s sanctioned ally may win mine with a quarter of Russian gold resources

Russia’s auction of its giant Sukhoi Log gold field this week pits a long-time ally of President Vladimir Putin against a rival bidder with little background in mining.

The resource in the isolated Irkutsk region of Siberia is one of the world’s largest untapped gold fields, making up a quarter of Russian reserves. It has held an allure for miners since Soviet geologists surveyed it in the 1970s. Yet BCS Global Markets strategist Kirill Chuyko and Societe Generale SA analyst Sergey Donskoy say one bidder is an overwhelming favorite to win the sale.

Their bets are on state-owned Rostec Corp., run by Sergey Chemezov, 64, whose relationship with Putin dates to the 1980s. The company has tied up with Russia’s biggest miner of the metal, Polyus PJSC. Competition comes from a grouping of state bank VTB and businessman Ibrahim Palankoev.

I had a story about this in my Wednesday column, but here’s another.  This gold deposit is in Siberia — and in the middle of nowhere…literally.  The mind boggles at the infrastructure expense just go get the mine up and running, plus connected to the outside world.  Good luck to the winner, no matter how well connected they may or may not be.  This gold-related story was posted on the Internet site yesterday — and another link to it is here.

GATA chairman notes smashing of gold on eve of options expiration

GATA Chairman Bill Murphy, interviewed by GoldSeek Radio’s Chris Mullen, notes that the gold price today was driven below $1,200 on the eve of futures option expiration, a maneuver undertaken for years by the “gold cartel” without comment from mainstream financial market analysts.

The inauguration of a new president, Murphy adds, has changed nothing about the rigging of the monetary metals market, but he senses that this year still will be a good one for the metals.

Murphy’s audio interview is 12 minutes long and was posted on the Internet site yesterday — and another link to it is here.


The varieties of winter bird life in continental North America at this latitude is pretty tiny.  Besides the chickadees and red squirrel, here’s a white-breasted nuthatch that came looking for the cornucopia of seed offerings left by us humans down at the creek two weekends ago.  Click to enlarge.


“No particular comments on Wednesday’s rotten price action except those couched with unspoken profanity — and the observation that the commercials were buying, not selling.” — Silver analyst Ted Butler: 25 January 2017

With options and futures expiry upon us today and tomorrow, I guess one shouldn’t be surprised that those that wished to influence the precious metal markets to their advantage, did exactly that.  But their attacks are becoming more brazen all the time — and yesterday’s full frontal assault [on $1,200 gold and $17 silver] without the fig leaf cover of a dollar rally was, as I said at the top of today’s column, “particularly egregious“.

I would suspect that tomorrow’s Commitment of Traders Report is, in most respects, “yesterday’s news” once again…especially considering what has happened to gold and silver prices since the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday.  Although the 50-day moving averages in neither gold nor silver were broken to the downside on a intraday or closing basis on Wednesday, it is a given “that the commercial traders were buying, not selling” yesterday, as Ted pointed out in his quote above.

Wednesday was only one day, of course.  There are still four more trading days left in the reporting week for next Friday’s COT Report — and anything can happen between now and then to change everything.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals once again — and as you should carefully note, almost all of January’s gains in palladium vanished in an 8-hour period during the New York trading session yesterday.  Copper closed up again.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away — and I see that starting around 9 a.m. China Standard Time on their Thursday morning, the gold price began to edge lower — and is down $5.00 at the moment.  Silver followed a similar price pattern — and it’s down 12 cents.  Platinum was up about 8 bucks in the first two hours of trading last night, but was sold down in late-morning trading in Shanghai — and is up only 4 dollars at the moment.  Palladium was up about 12 bucks by 9 a.m. CST, but was sold down until shortly after 1 p.m. over there — and has been rallying quietly since.  It’s up 8 bucks currently.

Net HFT gold volume is ‘only’ 26,500 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume is pretty heavy already.  That number in silver is relatively quiet — and sitting at the 7,500 contract mark.

The dollar index made it down to the 99.82 mark in early Far East trading on their Thursday, but began to rally starting a minute or so after 1 p.m. CST — and is back a bit above the 100.00 mark and up 17 basis points as London opens.

Tomorrow we get the latest Commitment of Traders Report — and I’m wide open to what it may show.  Ted has his thoughts about it — and I’ll stick them in tomorrow’s column.  But, like I said above, if there is deterioration in Friday’s report, it has all been mostly reversed since the COMEX cut-off on Tuesday.

According to the CME’s website, options expiry in gold for February is at the end of COMEX trading today.

By the close of COMEX trading on Friday, all the large traders holding February contracts in the futures market that aren’t standing for delivery that month, have to roll or sell before the close of COMEX trading on that day.  That’s for all commodities, not just gold and silver.

The rest of the traders have to be out of February by the close of COMEX trading on Monday.  First Day Notice for delivery in February will be posted on the CME’s website around 10 p.m. EST that evening — and I’ll have the details in Tuesday’s column.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:05 a.m. EST this morning, I note that gold traded mostly flat now that London has been open an hour, but has ticked upwards in the last few minutes — and is only down $3.10 an ounce.  Silver has been crawling higher — and is down only 6 cents currently.  Both platinum and palladium are higher as well, with the former being up 7 bucks — and the latter by 12.

Net HFT gold volume is up to 29,500 contracts, which isn’t a big increase from an hour ago, but roll-over/switch volume continues to rise.  Net HFT volume in silver is sitting at 8,250 contracts — and only up 750 contracts from an hour ago.  Net volumes are pretty subdued in both precious metals.

The dollar index, which rallied up to the 100.12 mark minutes before the London open, has rolled over a bit — and is sitting at 100.01…up only 9 basis points from yesterday’s close.

After yesterday’s price poundings, I’m ready for any eventuality during the COMEX trading session today

I’m all done — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.


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