JPMorgan Takes Delivery of Even More Silver

02 March 2017 — Thursday


The gold price traded mostly lower in the Far East, with the low tick over there coming at 1 p.m. China Standard Time on their Wednesday afternoon.  From that point it rallied until shortly before 9 a.m. in London — and began to head lower from there.  The absolute low tick of the day was set at 9 a.m. in New York — and it rallied quietly and steadily higher from that point until a few minutes after the COMEX close.  By 2:30 p.m.  it had been sold off  by four dollars, but gained a bit more than half of that back by the 5 p.m. close.

The low and high ticks were reported as $1,237.20 and $1,251.40 in the April contract.

Gold was closed in New York on Wednesday at $1,249.00 spot, up $1.20 from Tuesday.  Net volume was over the moon at 284,000 contracts, with 100,000 contracts of that amount traded before 9 a.m. in London — and I’m still looking for a reason for that huge volume during the Far East trading session yesterday.  Regardless off this monster volume, whatever time of day it occurred, there was no change in open interest to speak of.

Here’s the 5-minute tick chart for gold — and although volume was certainly elevated in morning trading in the Far East, it doesn’t add up to anywhere near the 100,000 contracts that was reported traded by 9 a.m. in London, which is 02:00 Denver time on the chart below.  As usual, the bulk of the volume was during the COMEX trading session — and it never really fell back to background levels after that.

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 silver price was down a few pennies in the first two hours of trading on Tuesday evening in New York — and then got hammered for a bout 15 cents in a vicious down/up move.  At the end of it all, silver was up about 4 cents by 10:30 a.m. in Shanghai.  It was then sold lower until 1 p.m. over there — and then rallied until 11 a.m. GMT in London.  It chopped lower from that point, until the New York low was set around 9 a.m. EST.  Then, like gold, it rallied until a few minutes after the COMEX close — and sold off a bit after that.

The low and high ticks in this precious metal was recorded by the CME Group as $18.27 and $18.51 in the May contract — and that low tick in early Far East trading on their Wednesday morning is not being reported, so it may have only occurred in the spot month.

Silver finished the Wednesday session at $18.39 spot, up 10 cents from Tuesday’s close.  Net volume in this precious metal was sky high as well at around 72,000 contracts.

Here’s the 5-minute tick chart for silver, courtesy of Brad Robertson, for which I thank him.  You’ll notice that the vicious spike lower that appeared at 9 a.m. CST/18:00 p.m. Denver Time on the Kitco spot chart, is nowhere to be seen on this chart, which is the May contract, so that spike lower obviously involved only the spot month.  Like always, the bulk of the volume occurred during the COMEX trading session in New York — and didn’t drop off to background levels until around 13:00 MST/15:00 EST.

Like for the 5-minute tick chart for gold, 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.

Platinum mostly followed the price path set for gold and silver up until the 9 a.m. EST low in New York.  Then it chopped sideways for the remainder of the COMEX session.  Then, like silver and gold, got sold lower in the thinly-traded after-hours market.  Platinum closed on Wednesday at $1,014 spot — and down 8 bucks from Tuesday.

Palladium chopped mostly sideways during Far East trading, but rallied five dollars or so starting once Zurich opened.  The $778 high came shortly before 1 p.m. in New York — and it was sold off a bit from there.  Palladium finished the day at $774 spot, up 6 dollars on the day.

The dollar index closed very late on Tuesday afternoon in New York at 101.36 — and continued to rally when the markets opened at 6:00 p.m. EST a few minutes later.  There was a down/up move of some size in morning trading in the Far East — and then it paused for a couple of hours starting around 1 p.m. China Standard Time.  Then it began to rally anew, with the 101.97 high tick being recorded within an hour of the COMEX open.  It sold off until minutes after the COMEX close — and then rallied until 3 p.m. EST — and from that point, chopped sideways into the close.  The dollar index finished the Wednesday session at 101.77 — up 41 basis points on the day.

Considering the action of the dollar index, the precious metals did well for themselves yesterday.  I must admit that I was expecting far worse.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart for your amusement.

The gold shares opened down about 2 percent, but began to rally starting around 10:20 a.m. in New York trading.  Their respective highs came minutes after the COMEX close, which was the dollar index low — and the gold price high tick.  They fell back to unchanged from there, but managed to rally a hair during the rest of the Wednesday trading session — and the HUI closed higher by 0.47 percent.

The silver equities opened down as well — and their respective low ticks came around 10:20 a.m. EST, also.  They chopped quietly higher until around 12:35 p.m. — and then rallied quickly to their respective high ticks, which came minutes before 1 p.m. in New York.  Then, like the gold stocks, the sold back to about unchanged, before inching higher for the remainder of the day.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed up 0.93 percent.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

The CME Daily Delivery Report for Day 3 of deliveries into the March contract showed that 15 gold and 289 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Friday.  In gold, the short/issuers aren’t worth mentioning — and the only long/stopper that is, was Canada’s Scotiabank, as they picked up 12 contracts.  In silver, the only short/issuer worth noting was, not surprisingly, Scotiabank as well…with 250 contracts.  It was the two “usual suspects” as long/stoppers: JP Morgan with 270 contracts…200 for its own account, plus another 70 for its client account.  Macquarie Futures was in a 3-way tie for third spot with 5 contracts for its own account.  A link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Wednesday trading session showed that gold open interest in March fell by 34 contracts, leaving 88 left, minus the 15 mentioned just above.  Tuesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 23 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that another 34-23=11 contracts were removed from the March delivery month.  Silver o.i. in March dropped by a chunky 901 contracts, leaving 3,370 left open, minus the 289 contracts mentioned in the previous paragraph.  Tuesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 480 silver contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 901-480=421 silver contracts were removed from March delivery.

After two weeks of no activity, there was finally a deposit in GLD, as an authorized participant added 76,184 troy ounces.  There were no reported changes in SLV.

There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint.

There wasn’t much activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Tuesday.  Only 1,200 troy ounces were reported received — and all of that ended up at Brink’s, Inc.  There were no reported withdrawals — and I won’t bother linking this activity.

It was certainly much busier in silver, as 815,013 troy ounces were received — and 717,307 were shipped out.  The surprise of the day was the fact  that JPMorgan picked up another container load — 599,969 troy ounces — of the ‘in’ activity.  The other 189,470 troy ounces went into Scotiabank.  Of the ‘out’ amount, there was 547,424 troy ounces shipped out of HSBC USA, plus another 169,883 troy ounces out of Brink’s, Inc.  There was also a big transfer from the Eligible category to the Registered category over at Canada’s Scotiabank — 1,243,429 troy ounces to be precise — and as Ted pointed out on the phone yesterday, they’re obviously getting ready for deliveries as short/issuers in the March delivery month.  They’ve already delivered into a bunch of contracts during the first three days.  The link to all that action is here.

JP Morgan’s COMEX silver inventory now tops 91.5 million troy ounces…and climbing.

There was a fair amount of activity over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Tuesday.  There were 6,280 kilobars received, but only 311 shipped out.  All this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. as per usual — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.

I have very few stories for you today, so I hope there will be a couple that you find worth your while.


30-Year Yields Tops 3{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} as March Rate Hike Odds Spike Above 80{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}

An avalanche of hawkish Fed speakers appear to have got their way as March rate-hike odds have extended yesterday’s move to 82{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} this morning. As stocks soar after a more presidential Trump, bond yields are also rising, catching up to stocks after diverging for two weeks.

From 24{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} to 82{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} in 3 weeks… did the economic data shift that much?

Ummm no… Stocks are soaring… bonds playing catch up for now.

But while bond yields are higher – 30Y above 3.00{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} – though the move is fading now…2Y Yields are the highest since 2009. The yield curve has collapsed to its flattest since 2008…

That does not look like a market that is buying what The Fed is selling?!

This 5-chart Zero Hedge commentary showed up on their Internet site at 8:19 a.m. EST on Wednesday morning — and I thank Richard Saler for bringing it to our attention.  Another link to it is here.

The Fed Has Now Set the Stage For An ‘Ides of March’ Moment

Whether or not one agrees that the Federal Reserve is preparing to raise rates again at its upcoming meeting this March, one thing is certain: The Fed has done everything shy of setting its hair-on-fire to leave little doubt that they are seriously considering it.

As of this past Friday the consensus (or odds) for such a possibility stood in the high 30’s signaling little to no chance. On Monday those odds started to nudge up ever so slightly, yet, by late Tuesday those odds were pushing past the 70’s and heading for 80. Guess what happened next?

We’re now sitting as of this writing at an 82{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} expectancy rate for the odds of another rate hike in about two weeks time. And the “markets” are setting ever higher records as the day progresses. It would appear the “market” either A: doesn’t believe the Fed. Or, B: no longer cares. I believe it’s A, and that’s a very big problem.

To now not raise? All credibility (no matter how little remained) will be lost. Period, end of story.

So now we’re all to sit back and wait to see who blinks first: The Market? China? Or the Fed?  But so far – the “market” doesn’t believe them, the real problem is: Does China?

This commentary is also from Zero Hedge.  It was posted there at 3:47 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon EST — and I thank Brad Robertson for this one.  Another link to it is here.

U.S. Not Bound by WTO Decisions, Trump Warns in Trade Agenda

The U.S. isn’t bound by decisions made at the World Trade Organization, President Donald Trump’s administration said in outlining a new trade agenda that promises to root out unfair practices by foreign countries.

America plans to defend its “national sovereignty over trade policy,” the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said in an annual document laying out the president’s trade agenda. Under the terms of its entry into the WTO, the U.S. didn’t abandon its trade rights, according to the document, obtained by Bloomberg News and titled “2017 Trade Policy Agenda.”

Given this history, it is important to recall also that Congress had made clear that Americans are not directly subject to WTO decisions,” according to the trade office, which takes the lead in negotiating trade deals. Trump’s pick to lead the USTR, lawyer Robert Lighthizer, hasn’t yet been confirmed.

The Trump administration’s skepticism toward the WTO, the Geneva-based body that referees trade disputes, signals a new willingness by the world’s biggest economy to pursue its interests — even if it means undermining the global order the U.S. has led since World War II.

This Bloomberg news item put in an appearance on their website at 9:16 a.m. Denver time on Wednesday morning — and was updated at 11:22 a.m. MST.  I extracted it from a Zero Hedge story — and it’s the second contribution of the day from Richard Saler.  Another link to it is here.

Q1 GDP Estimates Tumble: Goldman, Atlanta Fed Cut To 1.8{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}, JPM At 1.5{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}, Bank Of America Sees Only 1.3{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}

With the Fed telegraphing an imminent rate hike, one which together with the “tempered” Trump speech has once again unleashed the reflation trade, and sent the Dow Jones soaring above 21,000, it appears the Federal Reserve will be hiking in a quarter in which GDP comes in in the mid 1{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}-range.

The reason: while “soft data” – which is important to animal spirits if not actual economic output – continues to surge as shown most recently by today’s Manufacturing ISM survey, the “hard data”, that which actually matters to the economy, is still disappointing.

On Wednesday morning, this divergence was noticed by the Atlanta Fed, which after forecasting Q1 GDP as high as 3.4{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} one month ago, revised its forecast sharply lower and moments ago reported that its GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth in the first quarter of 2017 is 1.8 percent on March 1, down from 2.5 percent on February 27. The forecast for first-quarter real personal consumption expenditures growth fell from 2.8 percent to 2.1 percent after this morning’s personal income and outlays release from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

What crushed the Atlanta Fed’s recent exuberant optimism? Perhaps it was a similar cut to GDP forecasts unveiled earlier today by Goldman Sachs,  which now likewise expects Q1 GDP of 1.8{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}, down from 2.1{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} previously. The reason: disappointing data in both consumer spending and residential investment.

This longish Zero Hedge piece was posted on their Internet site at 12:37 p.m. EST on Wednesday afternoon — and the first person through the door with it was Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.

JPMorgan’s Trading Desk Lost Money on Just Two Days In the Past 4 Years

Three years ago there was outrage among traders when HFT marketmaker Virtu reported that it had managed to log just one day of trading losses in over 4 years of trading. Many speculated that this was proof that HFTs had managed to effectively rig the market in a way that prevents any trading losses. It now appears that Virtu is not the only one with a near-perfect trading record.

Over the past several years, America’s big banks have been loathe to publicly disclose how effective their trading desks are, and as a result several years ago they changed they way they report their “trading losses”, usually adjusting for VaR and market-risk. A quick look at JPM’s most recent 10-K reveals just that. According to disclosure in JPM MD&A, a reader would be left with the impression that JPM’s trading desk is mediocre at best.

According to the following chart on page 12, not only did JPM not have a single losing day in all of 2016, but JPM’s trading desk also had zero daily losses in 2014 and 2013. It did, however, lose money on two days in 2015. Prior to that one needs to go all the way to 2012 to find 7 days in which the largest US bank by market cap posted any losses.

Meanwhile, in his presentation, Pinto said that the bank spends a lot of time discussing the appropriate level of risk it should run.  Then again, looking at the numbers above, one wonders “what risk?”

As Ted Butler has said on many occasions, JPMorgan has never had a losing trade on their short positions in silver or gold the COMEX futures market…ever.  As you know, they accomplish that by rigging the market — and it’s a reasonable assumption that they’re doing it in other markets as well.  Jim Rickards didn’t call JPM “the biggest criminal enterprise the world has ever known” for no reason.  This Zero Hedge article appeared on their Internet site at 1:59 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon EST — and it comes to us courtesy of Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.

Dramatic Aerial Footage Shows What the Oroville Dam Spillway Looks Like Now

Earlier this month, we all heard the news that the Oroville Dam was damaged, and that thousands of residents living in its shadow would have to be evacuated. Fortunately the dam held, and the residents of Oroville were able to return to their homes. For the most part the story has since faded from the news. However, the damage remains.

When the crisis was at its peak, you may have heard about what specifically went wrong with the dam. The main spillway was damaged when the dam operators attempted to release some water to control the depth of Lake Oroville. Essentially, a crater unexpectedly emerged in the middle of the spillway, and when the water flowed through that hole, it eroded the soil beneath. So the dam operators decided to let the water flow over an emergency spillway instead. But as the emergency spillway began to erode as well, an evacuation order was issued.

But hearing that doesn’t really do it any justice. To really appreciate the magnitude of what occurred that day, you have to see it with your own eyes. And now you can.

On Monday the California Department of Water Resources stopped the flow of water down the spillway so that they could assess the damage. Here’s what they found…

The embedded 1:52 minute video clip is a must watch — as is this video clip linked here, that reader Angus MacLean send our way.  It’s another ZH story that showed up there at 9:35 a.m. yesterday morning EST — and another link to it is here.

Paying for a pint in the U.K. with your finger: The tech that could kill off cards

In a bar called Proud is an unassuming gadget, sitting on the bar and linked to a small screen.

It is a finger-scanner, the sort of thing you might see in a hospital, but here it is not designed to measure your blood, but rather to pay for your drink.

This is the latest frontier in biometric payments, the ongoing battle to rid us of cash, cards, cheque books and other such accoutrements.

Instead, runs the logic, we will use the humble finger to pay for things, quickly and securely.

And that’s where the finger-scanner comes in.

This interesting article was posted on the Internet site last Saturday.  I was saving for this Saturday, but because it’s such a slow news day, I though I’d stick it in today’s column.  It comes to us courtesy of Patrik Ekdahl — and another link to it is here.

Millionaires can’t seem to flee this European country fast enough

There’s been a surge in the number of millionaires around the world who are moving countries.

Some 82,000 high-net-worth individuals, defined as those who have assets over $1 million, left their home countries last year, versus 64,000 in 2015, according to the “Global Health Review: Worldwide Wealth and Wealth Migration Trends.” For the second consecutive year, Australia was the No. 1 country welcoming millionaire migrants, beating even the U.S. There was a 38{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} jump in millionaire migrants to Australia (11,000 last year versus 8,000 in 2015) and a 43{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} increase in those migrants to the U.S. over the same period (10,000 in 2016 versus 7,000).

The movement of millionaire migrants is a key indicator of how wealthy residents feel about the current political and economic climate of the countries that have fallen in and out of favor.

High-net-worth individuals, however, fled France last year in greater numbers than any other country. Some 12,000 millionaires left France last year, versus 10,000 in 2015, a gain of 20{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}, even though economic growth accelerated in the fourth quarter of last year. There have been several terror attacks in France in recent years. And there are winds of political change blowing: Earlier this month, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen launched her presidential campaign with a hardline speech on immigration and globalization, leading some commentators to say Le Pen, if she won, could pull France out of the European Union in a “Frexit.”

This very interesting, but not surprising news item showed up on the Internet site on Tuesday sometime — and I thank Bill Moomau for sharing it with us.  Another link to it is here.

World’s Biggest Banks Fined $321 Billion Since Financial Crisis

Banks globally have paid $321 billion in fines since 2008 for an abundance of regulatory failings from money laundering to market manipulation and terrorist financing, according to data from Boston Consulting Group.

That tally is set to increase in the coming years as European and Asian regulators catch up with their more aggressive U.S. peers, who have levied the majority of charges to date, BCG said in its seventh annual study of the industry published Thursday. Banks paid $42 billion in fines in 2016 alone, a 68 percent rise on the previous year, the data showed.

As conduct-based regulations evolve, fines and penalties, along with related legal and litigation expenses, will remain a cost of doing business,” analysts led by Gerold Grasshoff wrote. “Managing those costs will continue to be a major task for banks.”

The era of ever-increasing regulatory requirements is here to stay, BCG said, despite President Donald Trump’s pledge to roll back the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act that reshaped U.S. banking in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. The number of rule changes that banks must track on a daily basis has tripled since 2011, to an average of 200 revisions a day, according to the report.

Regulation must be considered a permanent rise in sea level — not just a flowing tide that will ebb or even a cresting tsunami that will recede,” the authors wrote. “We expect this theme to hold despite recent political developments in the U.S.”

This Bloomberg news item showed up on their Internet site at 10:01 p.m. Denver time last night — and it comes to us courtesy of Patrik Ekdahl, who dropped it into my in-box just before 2 a.m. EST this morning.  Another link to it is here.

Letter from Tehran: Trump “the bazaari” — Pepe Escobar

The art of the deal, when practiced for 2,500 years, does lead to the palace of wisdom. I had hardly set foot in Tehran when a diplomat broke the news: “Trump? We’re not worried. He’s a bazaari”. It’s a Persian language term meaning he is from the merchants class or, more literally, a worker from the bazaar and its use implies that a political accommodation will eventually be reached.

The Iranian government’s response to the Trump administration boils down to a Sun Tzu variant; silence, especially after the Fall of Flynn, who had “put Iran on notice” after it carried out a ballistic missile test, and had pushed the idea of an anti-Iran military alliance comprising Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Jordan. Tehran says the missile test did not infringe the provisions of the Iran nuclear deal and that naval drills from the Strait of Hormuz to the Indian Ocean, which began on Sunday, had been planned well in advance.

I was in Tehran as one of several hundred foreign guests, including a small group of foreign journalists , guests of the Majlis (Parliament) for an annual conference on the Palestine issue.

Not surprisingly, no one from Trump’s circle was among the gathering of parliamentarians from over 50 nations who attended the impressive opening ceremony in a crowded, round conference hall where the center of power in Iran was on display; Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani and Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani.

This news item/opinion piece by Pepe was posted on the Asia Times website at 4:34 a.m. CST on their Wednesday morning — and another link to it is here.  I thank Ellen Hoyt for pointing it out.

India’s February gold imports surge on pent-up demand – GFMS

India’s February gold imports surged to 50 tonnes, up more than 82 percent from a year ago, on pent-up jeweller demand and as retail consumers ramped up purchases for weddings, provisional data from consultancy GFMS showed on Wednesday.

The rise in imports by the world’s second-biggest consumer of the precious metal will support global prices that are trading near their highest level in 3-1/2 months, but could widen the South Asian country’s trade deficit.

Pent-up demand on the ease of the cash crunch and wedding related demand lifted imports in February,” said Sudheesh Nambiath, a senior analyst at GFMS, a division of Thomson Reuters.

But imports in March could fall as a recent rally in prices has started deterring buyers.

Consumers are struggling to adjust with higher prices. They are postponing purchases expecting a correction in prices,” said Harshad Ajmera, the proprietor of JJ Gold House, a wholesaler based in Kolkata.

Last year was an unusual year. This year consumption and imports will rise as jewellery demand has been recovering,” said Bamalwa, a jeweller based in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata.

This Reuters story, filed from Mumbai, was posted on the Internet site at 1:30 p.m. IST on their Wednesday afternoon — and it’s something I found on the Sharps Pixley website last night.  Another link to it is here.


Here are two more winners from the Underwater Photographer of the Year 2017 contest.  The first photo was taken in the Bay of Naples…the second at Port Saint Johns, South Africa.  The click to enlarge feature is very helpful here.


In addition, it would appear that JP Morgan has not varied from its physical silver acquisition binge and has once again emerged as the largest stopper or acceptor of metal in March futures contracts. This is particularly ironic because in order to stop a delivery, one must be long the delivery month, which JPMorgan clearly was. But at the same time JPMorgan was and is long in the March contract, it is short up the ying yang in other COMEX silver futures months, just as it has been over the past few years of the bank taking delivery of tens of millions of actual ounces. That it is standard procedure for this bank to hold many more short contracts than long, yet still emerge as the leading taker of physical deliveries while short overall is something so breathtakingly manipulative as to leave me shaking my head at its audacity. Yet all this is documented in public data.

After two days, JPMorgan has taken 426 of the 829 total silver deliveries (51{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}) in its own proprietary trading account, plus another 154 contracts for a customer(s).  [Including another 200+70 contracts in last night’s Daily Delivery Report – Ed] Based upon the COMEX’s formula for apportioning deliveries and JPM’s share to date, it would appear that JP Morgan may be in position to stop many more than the supposed 1,500 contract total monthly limit in its own name. JPM has been in this position before and has always “backed down” from pressing too hard to take as many physical COMEX deliveries as it was in position to take. We’ll see soon enough what this crooked bank intends this month.Silver analyst Ted Butler — 01 March 2017

For the most part, gold and silver prices followed what was happening in the U.S. dollar index on Wednesday — and the price activity in the precious metal equities appeared closer to ‘normal’ for the second day running.

The only thing worth noting in the 6-month precious metal charts below is that the RSI indicator in silver is well into overbought territory — and at least up until now, that’s always been a danger sign.  Although, as Ted Butler has been mentioning this last week, with gold still being in bullish territory from a COMEX futures market perspective, things may work out somewhat differently this time.

We’ll see.

The click to enlarge feature helps a bit with the first four charts.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away — and I see that gold was sold down a few bucks the moment that trading began in New York at 6:00 p.m. EST yesterday evening.  The current low tick was set minutes after 3 p.m. China Standard Time on their Thursday afternoon.  It’s off its low by a buck and change — and down $3.30 an ounce at the moment.  It was the same price pattern in silver, for the most part, but it began to ‘rally’ about an hour earlier than gold — and is only down 2 cents the ounce.  Platinum was sold down a bit as well, but is back at unchanged — and palladium was a dollar or so higher during most parts of the Far East trading session, but is down a buck as the Zurich open approaches.

Net HFT gold volume is a far more believable number today, at just over 30,000 contracts — and that number in silver is sitting at 6,300 contracts.

The dollar index rallied about 15 basis points the moment that trading began in New York on Wednesday evening — and it has been chopping sideways since — and is up 11 basis points as London opens.

Tomorrow we get the latest and greatest Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday.  Just eye-balling the gold and silver charts above, I suspect that we’ll certainly see increases in the commercial net short positions in both precious metals, particularly silver, as it broke through its 200-day moving average with some authority during the reporting week.  But just how bad the numbers are going to be is unknown, although I must admit that I’m preparing for the worst.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:01 a.m. EST, I note that the gold price has been edging quietly lower during the first hour of London trading — and is down $4.30 an ounce at the moment.  The silver price hasn’t been doing much, either — and is down 2 cents currently, which is where it was an hour ago.  Platinum has gone from unchanged to down a buck — and palladium is now back at unchanged.

Net HFT gold volume sits at 38,000 contracts — and that number in silver is 7,900 contracts.

The dollar index continues to chop sideways just below the 102.00 mark, at 101.86 — up 9 basis points on the day, which is about where it was at 6:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday evening in New York.

Until the FOMC meeting in March is over on the 15th, I have no idea what will happen with precious metal prices between now and then.  There’s also the U.S. debt ceiling issue to think about as well.  How all this will impact gold and silver prices, or be allowed to impact them, is a big unknown.

So we wait some more.

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



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