JP Morgan’s COMEX Silver Stash at 93 Million Troy Ounces…and Climbing

15 March 2017 — Wednesday


The gold price didn’t do much in Far East and morning trading in London on their Tuesdays — and the rally going into the COMEX open was capped 5 minutes before that — and the rally at, or into, the London p.m. gold fix met the same fate.  It was sold back to a bit below unchanged by the COMEX close — and then a not-for-profit seller peeled a few more dollars off the price in the thinly-traded after-hours market, taking it back below $1,200 spot.

Once again the low and high ticks aren’t worth looking up.

Gold was closed in New York on Tuesday afternoon at $1,198.60 spot, down $5.10 from Tuesday.  Net volume was moderate at around 142,500 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume out of May was fairly decent.

Silver was sold down a bit once trading began in New York at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Monday evening.  It rallied back to a few pennies above unchanged by around 10:20 a.m. CET on their Tuesday morning — and by 7 a.m. GMT it was back down to its earlier low.  Then about 8:30 a.m. GMT the price began to head higher, but once the price broke above $17 spot around 12:40 p.m. GMT, the short buyers and long sellers of last resort showed up — and the price was sold down into the London p.m. gold fix.  After that, it was forced to follow a very similar price path as gold, although the sell-off in after hours trading was nowhere near as severe.  However, silver was closed on its low tick of the day.

The high and lows in this precious metal were recorded by the CME Group as $17.065 and $16.875 in the May contract.

Silver was closed lower on the day, down 11 cents from Monday.  Net volume was  a tiny bit above average at just over 41,000 contracts.

The platinum price traded a few dollars either side of unchanged up until 2 p.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday afternoon.  It was sold down to its low tick [$934 spot] shortly before 9 a.m. in Zurich and then, like gold, until five minutes before the COMEX open.  It was back down to its low tick by 12:45 p.m. EDT — and didn’t do a lot after that.  Platinum was closed down 3 dollars on the day at $935 spot.  Not much to see here.

Palladium traded a few dollars lower through most of Far East trading yesterday and, like platinum, began to sell of in mid-afternoon trading in Shanghai.  The $740 low tick was set at 1 p.m. EDT in New York — and the subsequent rally got beaten lower into the 5 p.m. close of trading.  Palladium finished the Tuesday session at $741 spot, down another 13 dollars.

The dollar index closed very late on Monday afternoon in New York at 101.37 — and then chopped quietly sideways until precisely 2:00 p.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday afternoon.  Then a ‘rally’ of sorts began — and that topped out shortly before 8:30 a.m. GMT.  It began to edge lower starting shortly after 9 a.m. in New York — and someone appeared to catch a bit of a falling knife a few minutes before noon EDT.  It ‘rallied’ to its 101.79 high tick by around 4:25 p.m. — and  crawled lower into the close from there.  The dollar index finished the day at 101.74 — up 37 basis points from Monday.

You’d be have to be smoking some pretty serious stuff to read much correlation between the precious metals and the currency moves yesterday.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart for your entertainment, as usual.

The gold shares opened down a bit, but quickly rallied into positive territory, with their respective high ticks coming minutes after 10:30 a.m. EDT.  From there it was a long, slow slide into their low ticks of the day, which came about twenty minutes before the 4:00 p.m. close of trading.  The HUI closed down 2.62 percent.

It was much the same price path for the silver equities, except their sojourn in positive territory was even more fleeting.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed down a chunky 3.75 percent, taking all of Monday’s and last Friday’s gains with it.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold and 78 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Thursday.  Macquarie Futures issued 71 of those contracts out of its own in-house [proprietary] trading account — and Jamie Dimon & Co. picked up 76 contracts…63 for their own account and 13 for ‘clients’.  The beat goes on.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Tuesday trading session showed that gold open interest in March declined by 5 contracts, leaving 26 still open.  Monday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold contracts were posted for delivery today, so that means that 5 March gold contracts were covered.  Silver o.i. in March dropped by 241 contracts, leaving 876 left, minus the 78 contracts mentioned in the previous paragraph.  Monday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that precisely 241 silver contracts were posted for delivery today, so the drop in open interest actually equaled the total contracts delivered for a change.  This is another anecdotal sign that the March delivery month is tight, as the longs aren’t letting many shorts off the delivery hook.  We’ll see how this continues as the delivery month grinds along.

I would suspect that Ted will have something to say about this in his commentary today as well.

There was another fairly decent deposit into GLD yesterday which, after Monday’s huge deposit, I find more than surprising considering the price action of the last week or so.  This time an authorized participant added 95,216 troy ounces.  And also much to my amazement, there was a deposit in SLV as well, as an a.p. added 1,136,558 troy ounces.  That deposit into SLV may have been made to cover an existing short position, but that certainly doesn’t explain the two large deposits into GLD over the last two business days.  Ted may or may not have something to say about this in his mid-week commentary this afternoon.

Once again there were no sales report from the U.S. Mint.  It’s only a matter of time before they start laying off staff, as bullion sales have virtually vanished during the last six weeks…unless JP Morgan shows up to save the day at the very last minute.

There was a bit of ‘in’ activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Monday.  HSBC USA reported receiving 48,407 troy ounces.  There was no ‘out’ activity.  The link to what action there was, is here.

There was a lot of ‘in’ activity in silver, as 1,797,509 troy ounces were reported received, but only 75,446 troy ounces were shipped out.  JPMorgan got another container load…600,068 troy ounces…bringing their COMEX silver stash up to the 92.95 million troy ounce mark.  There were containers deposited in both CNT and Brink’s, Inc. as well.  The link to all that action is here.

And talking about big ‘in’ days, that’s what they had over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Monday as well.  They reported receiving a whopping 14,339 of them…which is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, deposits since Brink’s, Inc. opened their doors as a COMEX depository in H.K. back in March/April 2015.  There were 2,546 of them shipped out — and all of the ‘out’ activity was at Brink’s, Inc. as well.  The link to that action, in troy ounces, is here.

It was another quiet day for stories once again — and I don’t have a lot.  The thing I find surprising is that the media has been very quiet about this debt ceiling issue, which comes to a head today sometime — and except for what David Stockman has been saying over at The Daily Reckoning during the last week, I’ve seen nary a word about it in the main stream press.


Watch inflation data: Jim Grant

This 4:52 minute CNBC video interview with Jim from Tuesday was picked up by the Internet site — and it’s the first offering of the day from Roy Stephens.

Something Snapped“: U.S. Department Store Sales Crash Most on Record

As we first documented last week in “Mega-Bears Smell Blood As Mall REITs Tumble” and as Bloomberg followed up yesterday, looking at CMBS on the Mall REIT space, many have set their sights on mall REITs as the “next big short.” However, an obvious question that has emerged is whether it is too late to go all in on this particular short, or whether as some have suggested, the bottom is in.  “The short feels crowded to us,” said Matthew Weinstein, principal at Axonic Capital, a hedge fund that specializes in structured products. “If these defaults start happening soon, the short will work, but if the defaults do not occur quickly, the first guy out could drive the market meaningfully higher.

On the other hand, one particular chart revealed in the latest monthly Bank of America debit and credit card spending report shows that things may be about to get a whole lot worse for America’s department stores, as well as malls where they are for the most part the anchor tenants. Of note: while official U.S. retail sales data will be released tomorrow (BofA data always comes several days ahead of the official release), what is especially ominous is that the collapse in department store spending was the biggest on record.

The collapse in department store spending in February took place in the context of broad weakness across the entire retail universe, with BofA reported that retail sales ex auto declined 0.2{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} seasonally adjusted. Since that was not acceptable, BofA decided to smooth out large swings over the prior two months, leaving it with retail sales ex-autos running at an average 3 month pace of 0.1{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} mom SA. As the chart below shows, even that suggests a far weaker than expected retail sales report tomorrow, just hours before the Fed’s rate hike announcement: “Given that the BAC data trends closely with the Census Bureau, we think our data points to a soft report when it is released on Wednesday the 15th.

This Zero Hedge article put in an appearance on their Internet site at 4:44 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon EDT — and I thank Brad Robertson for sharing it with us.  Another link to it is here.

Balance of Student Loans in Default Soars to Over $137 Billion

Last week we noted a survey from LendEDU which found that 31{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} of college co-eds spend at least some portion of their student loan debt proceeds to fund week-long hedonistic, binge drinking trips to Cancun and Daytona Beach for spring break.  And, just to add insult to injury, 24{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} said they spend those taxpayer-subsidized loan dollars on drinking at school and 7{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} even splurge on drugs (see “31{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} Of College Students Spend Their Loans On Spring Break”).

In light of those findings, it probably shouldn’t be terribly surprising that, according to new data published by the U.S. Department of Education, $137 billion of federal student loans were in default as of December 2016, a 14{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} year-over-year increase.

Ironically, these soaring defaults come despite Obama’s executive actions setting up “income-driven repayment” (IDR) plans specifically intended to lower the burden on borrowers and avoid defaults.  As the Wall Street Journal recently pointed out, Obama’s so-called IDR plans set caps on borrowers’ monthly student loan payments at 10{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} of discretionary income, which is defined as earnings above 150{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} of the poverty level.  Then, whatever principal balance is left over on the loans at their maturity date is simply ‘forgiven’ (which is government speak for “repaid by taxpayers”).

This article also appeared on the Zero Hedge website…this one at 7:15 p.m. EDT — and another link to it is here.

Paul Craig Roberts: “It’s Over For Trump. Anti-Russian Neocons Are In Charge. Business As Usual

This rather longish 44:23 minute audio interview with Paul showed up on the Internet site yesterday — and the only reason it’s in today’s column, is because I don’t have much else.  It comes courtesy of Judy Sturgis.

Fallow Ground:  A Dutch City of Workers Turns to Wilders

shortly after 1 p.m. on May 28, 1932, the last gap of the dike was closed and around 1,500 square kilometers of land was reclaimed from the North Sea. With the help of pumping stations, locks, drain channels and dams, a new province was created.

The draining of the Zuiderzee was one of the greatest engineering achievements of the past century. For Dutch national pride, it was the equivalent of the Eiffel Tower or the Apollo space program. But better: It resulted in arable land. The Dutch continued shoveling and, in 1971, completed the construction of an entire city: Almere, a Dutch utopia that is today home to just under 200,000 residents. The city’s motto is “anything goes,” and that’s pretty much what has happened.

If a model railroad enthusiast were hired to design a city, Almere is what the result might look like. There are car-free areas of the city that are named after flowers, fish species or cinematic legends. There are networks of bicycle and bus routes along with small community centers on seemingly every corner, dedicated to gezelligheid, the Dutch take on communal well-being, with billiards, bingo, folk dance and even half-marathons, depending on one’s proclivities. It’s a place where every neighborhood has its own library, church and shopping mall, and where senior citizens buzz around silently on electric scooters. The buses are on-time and cost nothing. Everything seems to work well.

Why, then, is there so much anger? Why are so many people in this ideal city so upset about everything? So upset that they already voted to make Geert Wilders’ Party for Freedom (PVV) the biggest party on the city council? They are likely to do the same on Wednesday, when the the Netherlands holds parliamentary elections – a vote that many in Europe are watching with deep concern.

What is it that the people of Almere want?

This article, filed from Almere in The Netherlands, was posted on the German website at 4:26 p.m. Central European Time [CET] on Tuesday afternoon — and I thank Roy Stephens for sending it our way.  Another link to it is here.

Fillon Formally Charged With Misuse of Public Funds, French Stocks Tumble

Having explored the various ‘-gates’ that are hovering over French presidential candidate Francois Fillon this morning, it appears his vow to keep fighting may just be about to end. France’s Canard Enchaine reports that Fillon has been formally charged today with misuse of public funds (over parliamentary jobs for his family).

Fillon’s lawyer and spokeswoman were not immediately available to comment.

The initial reaction to the news was the French stock market legging to the day’s lows…

Fillon is not alone though, as Bloomberg reports that French tax authorities are auditing the assets of presidential candidate Marine Le Pen’s family on suspicion that they undervalued two mansions near Paris, Le Monde reports, citing unnamed sources.

This is another Zero Hedge article that comes to us via Brad Robertson.  It appeared on their website at 10:33 a.m. on Tuesday morning EDT — and another link to it is here.

German state bans political rallies for foreign officials amid escalating spat with Turkey

The German state of Saarland has introduced a ban on election campaigns on its soil by foreign officials; a move which is likely to fuel the already raging diplomatic row with Turkey.

Saarland, a small south-western state, is the first to introduce a ban on foreign officials holding political rallies on its territory, Suddeutsche Zeitung reported.

Authorities are planning to “take all possible steps to ban such performances on Saarland soil,” the state’s Prime Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer promised.

The first targets of the ban are Turkish officials who have been campaigning in European cities with dense Turkish populations in an effort to drum up votes for the upcoming referendum that may significantly increase presidential powers of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

After the recent debate about campaign appearances of Turkish government officials in Germany, Saarland will ban such appearances,” the region said in a statement.

This news item showed up on the Internet site at 8:49 p.m. Moscow time on their Tuesday evening, which was 1:49 p.m. in Washington — EDT plus 7 hours.  I thank Roy Stephens for sending it — and another link to it is here.

Is Turkey Lost to the West? — Patrick Buchanan

Not long ago, a democratizing Turkey, with the second-largest army in NATO, appeared on track to join the European Union.  That’s not likely now, or perhaps ever.

Last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared Angela Merkel’s Germany to Hitler’s, said the Netherlands was full of “Nazi remnants” and “fascists,” and suggested the Dutch ambassador go home.

What precipitated Erdogan’s outbursts?

City officials in Germany refused to let him campaign in Turkish immigrant communities on behalf of an April 16 referendum proposal to augment his powers.

When the Netherlands denied Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu landing rights, he exploded, saying: “The Netherlands … are reminiscent of the Europe of World War II. The same racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism.”

I must admit that I don’t agree with the Buchanan’s comments on Putin.  Putin has no love for Erdogan, either — and Pat knows that.  Plus the rest of what he says about Putin is purely false narrative, as he provides no proof…just accusations.  He’s no better than the main stream media in that regard.  Keep your eyes and mind open as you read this…if you read it.  I thank Larry Galearis for bringing it to our attention — and another link to it is here.

Why Washington Rushes in to Fight ISIS Without Russia?

It’s been reported that Washington is planning a meeting on the struggle against ISIS, including representatives of at least 68 countries in late March. As it’s been reported by Reuters, with special reference to an unnamed source in the Trump administration, Russia is not going to be invited. It is expected that the meeting will be chaired by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, with no additional details being revealed so far.

At the end of February, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Armed Forces, Joseph Dunford, announced a new plan on combating ISIS, while leaving all answers about the possible role of American military personnel in Iraq and Syria in this operation unanswered. At the same time, he noted that the Pentagon and the Russian Defense Ministry are not cooperating in anti-ISIS operations.

But, despite such a veil of silence, it is not difficult to comprehend the true reasons behind such a large-scale offensive against ISIS, and the goals that the Trump administration pursues in this “intensification of the struggle against the Islamic State”. It won’t be much of a surprise for those closely following geopolitical events that Washington is pursuing regional energy ambitions, seeking to seize the most lucrative and important aspects of the E.U. hydrocarbon market.

Today, Europe has been transformed into a major gas market that shows record numbers in gas consumption. Yet, Russia remains the major gas supplier of this market since it’s capable of delivering hydrocarbons to Europe rapidly, by taking advantage of a wide network of gas pipelines. The U.S. wants a share of this major market now by trying to compete with Russian via liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies.

This commentary was posted on the Internet site yesterday — and it’s another contribution from Roy Stephens.  It’s certainly worth reading if you’re a serious student of the New Great Game — and another link to it is here.

Love of technical analysis blinds fund manager to evidence of market manipulation — Chris Powell

Keith Weiner of gold fund management company Monetary Metals in Scottsdale, Arizona, is scoffing again at complaints of market manipulation, this time involving the silver market particularly.

In his commentary Sunday, “Why Did Silver Fall?” — Weiner writes: “With no need of evidence — indeed, with no evidence — one can assert this” — that is, market manipulation — “and not be questioned in the gold and silver communities. We have recently come across a term normally used to describe leftists and social justice warriors, ‘virtue signaling.’ One piously declares that one supports the cause, one speaks truth to power, one sticks it to The Man — well, you get the idea. The concept of ‘virtue signaling’ seems equally appropriate to those who sing the chorus on every price drop, ‘manipulation.’

GATA may be glad if Weiner finds the gold and silver communities overwhelmingly convinced of its years of work, though of course this convincing does not yet seem to have succeeded with gold and silver mining companies themselves. But we can’t be glad that Weiner himself maintains that there is no evidence of this market manipulation — that, to the contrary, he believes, as other technical analysts do, that gold and silver prices are the products of his technical analysis and mathematical formulas.

Documentation of the longstanding Western government policy of gold price suppression, much of it culled from both public and secret government archives, has been compiled by GATA — and Weiner is welcome to rebut even one item, though he writes as if he has never heard even of Deutsche Bank’s recent confession to gold and silver market manipulation and the bank’s incrimination of other investment banks.

Several readers sent me Weiner’s commentary on the weekend, or on Monday — and I told them in no uncertain terms what I though of it.  It was so horrid that even Chris Powell couldn’t restrain himself.  Bulls hit commentary like this, or by others of the so-called “nut-ball lunatic fringe” will never appear in this column.  You’re paying good money to read what I have to say — and you expect the best analysis available.  All this sort of commentary does is confuse people, as it’s flat-out wrong.  As Ted Butler said, “there are no barriers to writing on the Internet” — and commentaries such as this [and similar to this] are certainly proof of that.  Another link to Powell’s editorial, posted on the Internet site yesterday, is here.

‘Conspiracy’ defines government, and ‘cowardice’ the monetary metals mining industry — Chris Powell

Of course the managers of T.P.’s mining companies are hardly alone. Even the most highly regarded and wealthy managers of companies that mine the monetary metals pretend not to understand this, though one of them, Frank Giustra, indicated in January that he is beginning to suspect that central banks and governments are working against gold prices.

If Giustra, a billionaire and confidant of former President Bill Clinton, ever chose to act on his suspicion, he might change the world.

Then monetary metals mining company investors might urge the managers of their companies to review and try rebutting the extensive documentation of government suppression of monetary metals prices compiled by GATA.

Anyone who reviews those documents will discover that far from being mere “conspiracy theory,” gold price suppression is actually long-established Western government policy, recorded in government archives, both public and secret.

That is, there is no “theory” here, only historical fact.

But as hopeless as the monetary metals mining industry seems, there are reasons for its cowardice.

This commentary by Chris, with lots of embedded links, was posted on the Internet site yesterday afternoon at 2 p.m. EDT — and another link to it is here.

Idaho House Votes Overwhelmingly to End Income Taxation of Precious Metals

By an overwhelming 56-13 margin, the Idaho House of Representatives today voted to end all Idaho taxation on precious metals, e.g. gold and silver coins and bars.

Bill sponsor Representative Mike Moyle (R) and the entire Republican caucus voted for the measure. If the Republican-controlled Idaho Senate follows suit and Governor Butch Otter (R) signs the bill, Idaho citizens will better be able to use gold and silver as a form of savings which protects against ongoing devaluation of America’s currency.

Backed by the Sound Money Defense League, Idaho Freedom Foundation, Money Metals Exchange, and grassroots activists, HB 206 expands Idaho’s existing sales tax exemption to end Idaho income taxation of sales of “precious metals bullion” and “monetized bullion.”

States are taking actions to defend sound money because the monetary system in America, largely run by the Federal Reserve, has dramatically undermined the purchasing power of the currency to the detriment of savers and wage-earners in particular.

Legislators in Utah and Oklahoma have already enacted similar income tax measures and Arizona may enact its own version of HB206 in the new few weeks. Other states such as Tennessee, Maine, and Alabama are working to remove precious metals from the sales tax – just like Idaho and over 20 states have already done.

This Zero Hedge news item put in an appearance on their website at 9:35 p.m. EDT last night — and my thanks go out to Richard Saler for finding it for us.  Another link to it is here.

The only way to stop Indians from buying gold? Take away their cash

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government spent 16 months trying to persuade Indians to deposit their jewelry in the bank to earn interest, in an effort to curb soaring imports of the precious metal. But the program has only lured a tiny fraction of the $900 billion of gold that families and temples are estimated to have stashed away.

On the other hand, Modi’s controversial decision to withdraw all high-value banknotes did the job instead.

Coupled with a higher import tax, the abolition of 86 percent of the nations banknotes in an anti-corruption drive helped push gold imports down 39 percent last year to 558 metric tonnes. Overall consumption in India tumbled to 676 tons, the lowest since 2009, according to the World Gold Council.

That’s bought Modi some breathing space to persuade Indians to recycle their gold in a country where jewelry plays an important role in weddings and festivals and is handed down to daughters for their own weddings.

This Bloomberg story showed up in a GATA dispatch.  It appeared on their Internet site at 5:00 p.m. Denver time on Tuesday afternoon — and another link to it is here.

Solving the secret behind the Chinese gold market

The world is full of golden rules. There is one for every field: ethics, communication, fashion. But there is only one that counts, the golden rule of money: “Who has the gold makes the rules.”

China, it seems, wants to make the rules in the international monetary system, which is why it has been acquiring vast amounts of gold both through private and official channels.

Because of the obscure nature of the Chinese gold market and the reluctance of Chinese officials to show their hand, nobody has been able to accurately calculate how much gold the Chinese have amassed since about 2000, when they began amassing it.

Enter Koos Jansen, an analyst with Singapore bullion dealer Bullion Star. He has studied the Chinese gold market for years and recently came up with an estimate of total Chinese gold holdings: 19,500 metric tonnes, or 21,495 U.S. tons, at the end of January 2017.

This commentary appeared on The Epoch Times on Monday evening EDT — and it’s another gold-related news item that I found on the Internet site yesterday.  Another link to it is here.

Gold holding up well as day of reckoning approaches — Lawrie Williams

Other pointers to precious metals performance are a little mixed at the moment.  There was some (presumably) institutional disinvestment from the world’s largest gold ETF – SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) – last week and on Monday, but these didn’t do much to move the gold price.  Nor did a big inflow yesterday of nearly 7 tonnes seem to have much effect either.  But overall GLD has added around 18 tonnes of gold year to date.

Interestingly the gold price is up around 4.7{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} and silver 6.7{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}.  This compares reasonably favourably with the heavily hyped rise in the DJIA (also up 4.7{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}) and S&P 500 (up 4.5{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} ytd).  If one reads media headlines it would be hard to come to this realisation, although gold and silver are certainly, so far, more volatile.

Of course if the Fed doesn’t raise interest rates at the forthcoming FOMC meeting, precious metals could go through the roof but we now see this as unlikely.  If an aggressive Fed decides to raise rate by 50 basis points (again probably unlikely as the cautious Yellen will probably want to test the water first, the gold and silver could take another nasty knock.  If the consensus happens and rates are raised by 25 basis points it SHOULD have little effect on precious metals prices which have already anticipated such a rise, but on past Fed rate raising decisions, even though they may have been expected, the actuality could see a raid in the futures markets to drive the price downwards, although we would expect such a move to be quickly reversed given interest rate will effectively still remain in negative territory.  But, as we have intimated above, it is the tone of Janet Yellen’s post FOMC meeting statement which could have the biggest impact.  We’ll have to wait and see.

This commentary by Lawrie showed up on the Sharps Pixley website yesterday — and another link to it is here.


Here are two more photos of dogs and kids taken by Andy Seliverstoff from St. Petersburg in Russia.  The click to enlarge feature doesn’t help with these shots.


As I mentioned in yesterday’s Wrap, I didn’t think that the powers-that-be would let either gold or silver rally during the Tuesday trading session — and that turned out to be the right call.  And with all the FOMC/debt ceiling news about to hit the fan later today, none of yesterday’s price action surprised me — and not much should be read into it.

But that all changes today, so we’ll see what happens.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, plus copper — and because most of the precious metal low ticks were set after the COMEX close, they don’t show up on Tuesday’s dojis.  However, taking the after-hours price action into account, it appears that double bottoms were placed in all four precious metals…if that means anything anymore, as ‘da boyz’ can paint any chart pattern in any commodity they wish to.  The click to enlarge feature helps a bit with the first four charts.

The are no market anymore, only interventions.

And here’s the 6-month chart for WTIC once again — and a new low close for this move down was also set.  The price action in this commodity is controlled by the same Managed Money/Commercial trader tango that goes on in the four precious metals.  And with the 50-day moving average well broken to the downside in this commodity, we may have seen the lows for this move down as well, as it’s hugely oversold…although I wouldn’t bet too much money on that, as per my comments above about “painting a chart“.

And as I type this paragraph, the LBMA open is less than ten minutes away I think, as this Daylight Time change has thrown things off for me — and I note that the gold price has been trending quietly higher in Far East trading on their Wednesday — and at the moment it’s up $5.30 an ounce — and back above the $1,200 spot mark.  Silver has been chopping quietly higher as well — and is up 8 cents currently, but off its high tick by a bit.  Platinum and palladium are following suit — and the former is up 6 dollars and the latter by 4.

Net HFT gold volume is just over 29,000 contracts, which isn’t overly heavy — and that number in silver is 6,800 contracts.  But it’s obvious from the price action that the short buyers and long sellers of last resort are out and about currently.

The dollar index traded sideways until 2:00 p.m. China Standard Time — and began to head sharply lower from there.  At the moment it’s down 23 basis points from Tuesday’s close.

Yesterday, at the close of COMEX trading, was the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders report — and as I mentioned just above, no moving averages of any sort were taken out yesterday, so I doubt that yesterday’s price/volume activity will have much bearing on what appears on Friday.

Of course we’ll see big improvements in the commercial net short position in gold, but what it shows in silver is very much open for debate.  I know that what happens with the Managed Money traders in silver will be the second thing that Ted looks at when the data is posted on the CFTC website at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Friday.  Nothing else will matter.

And as I post today’s efforts on the website at 4:03 a.m. EDT, I see that the gold price is up $4.90 an ounce, about unchanged from an hour ago.  Silver is up 7 cents.  Platinum and palladium are also unchanged from an hour ago — and are still up 6 and 4 bucks respectively.

Net HFT gold volume is around 33,500 contracts, which isn’t a big increase — and that number in silver is approaching 7,400 contracts, which isn’t much of an increase from an hour ago, either.

The dollar index is also about unchanged during the last sixty minutes of trading — and down 24 basis points.

Well, here it is, the “Ides of March” — and I hope you’re ready for anything and everything.  It could be a wild day in all the markets…so place your bets.  Then pop the top off a cold one and watch the show, as that’s what I’ll be doing.

See you tomorrow.



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