Ted Butler: Dead Men Walking?

24 March 2017 — Friday


There certainly wasn’t much upside price activity allowed in gold on Thursday.  The price crawled lower in Thursday morning trading in the Far East, with their low tick coming shortly before 11 a.m. China Standard Time.  It then it crawled equally slowly higher until around 9 a.m. GMT in London.  The price didn’t do much after that until about five minutes before the COMEX open — and the rally that developed at that juncture go summarily dealt with a minute or so after 9 a.m. in New York.  The low tick was set at precisely 11:30 a.m. EDT — and from there it chopped quietly higher into the 1:30 p.m. COMEX close.  It was sold down a bit after that — and the tiny rally that developed in the thinly-traded after-hours market got sold down as well.

I will dispense with the high and low ticks in gold again today.

Gold was closed in New York yesterday at $1,244.60 spot, down $3.60 from Wednesday.  Net volume was pretty heavy at just over 180,000 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume out of April was pretty chunky as well.

Silver traded flat until around noon in Shanghai — and then tacked on a few pennies before trading mostly flat again until a rally of some substance started around 10 a.m. in London.  That rally also lasted until 9 a.m. in New York — and at that point ‘da boyz’ and their algos appeared.  It was sold off until the London p.m. gold fix — and then spiked up a bit until minutes after the London close.  The traders in New York took over at that juncture — and the price back on stick by shortly after 11:30 a.m. EDT.  It rallied a penny or so after that, before trading mostly ruler flat into the 5:00 p.m. close.

The low and high ticks in this precious metal are barely worth looking up, but the CME Groups reported them as $17.525 and $17.71 in the May contract.

‘Da boyz’ closed the silver price at $17.555 spot, up 4.5 cents on the day.  Net volume was pretty healthy at just over 50,000 contracts.

The platinum price traded a dollar or two either side of unchanged all through Far East and most of Zurich trading on Thursday, but began to rally the moment that trading began at the 8:20 a.m. EDT COMEX open in New York.  It’s price path was very similar to what happened in both silver and gold, except that once it hit its interim high shortly after 11 a.m., it was hammered for 10 bucks.  The low tick, around 11:40 a.m. EDT, was printed at $954 spot.  It recovered most of that by shortly before the COMEX close — and managed to finish unchanged on the day at $961 spot.

The palladium price traded a dollar or so below unchanged until just before 11 a.m. China Standard Time [CST] on their Thursday morning.  It began to stair-step higher in price…a dollar at a time until just before 10 a.m. in Zurich.  Then the stair-steps became larger, with the big one at the COMEX open running into the short buyers and long sellers of last resort just before 9 a.m. in New York.  Its high tick came around 11 a.m. EDT — and it was sold off in a similar manner as the other three precious metals.  It traded in similar fashion to gold for the rest of the New York session.   Palladium finished the day at $800 spot, up 13 dollars from Wednesday, but obviously would have closed at some fantastic new high price if allowed to trade freely.

The dollar index closed very late on Wednesday afternoon in New York at 99.72 — and then proceeded to chop sideways in a fairly narrow range, just like it did on Wednesday.  The 99.63 low tick came just minutes after 2:30 p.m. CST — and the 99.87 high was printed around 9:10 a.m. GMT in London about two and a half hours later.  The dollar index finished the Thursday session at 99.76 — up 4 whole basis points on the day.

Just looking at the 3-day dollar index chart, the index has been doing mostly nothing since shortly before noon on Tuesday.  I thought I’d post that chart in lieu of the 1-day chart, as there’s not much to see in it.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar chart and, as always, you can read whatever you want into it.

The gold shares opened about unchanged — and their respective high ticks, such as they were, came around 9:45 a.m. in New York trading.  They were in negative territory a few minutes later — and that’s where they stayed for the rest of the Thursday session.  Their respective lows came a minute or so after 11:30 a.m. EDT, as that’s when JP Morgan et al set the low price ticks in all four precious metals.  They rallied a bit until the 1:30 p.m. COMEX close and then chopped sideways for the rest of the day.  The HUI closed down 0.86 percent.

The silver equities traded with a very similar price pattern, so I’ll spare you the play-by-play on them.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed down another 0.84 percent — and that’s despite the fact that the silver price closed in the green again.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 10 gold and 137 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Monday.  In gold, Morgan Stanley was the short/issuer on all 10 contracts out of its client account — and Canada’s Scotiabank stopped all 10 for its own account.  Please don’t forget that Scotiabank doesn’t have a client account.  In silver, it was Scotiabank as sole short/issuer — and JPMorgan stopped 111 contracts for itself, plus another 23 for its ‘client’ account.  I would suspect that the transfer from the Eligible to Registered in today’s COMEX warehouse stock commentary below, is directly related to this 137 contract delivery.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Thursday trading session showed that gold open interest in March rose by 6 contracts, leaving 27 still around, minus the 10 mentioned just above.  Wednesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold contracts were posted for delivery today, so that means that a net 6 contracts were added to the March delivery month.  Silver o.i. in March declined by 88 contracts, leaving 335 left, minus the 137 mentioned in the previous paragraph.  Wednesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that exactly 88 silver contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so those numbers match.

JPMorgan isn’t letting too many short/issuers off the delivery hook this month — and I expect that to continue right until the last delivery day, which is next Friday.

JPM has now stopped a bit more than 90 percent of all silver contracts issued so far this month…3,299 out of a possible 3,646.  They’ve stopped 2,582 contracts for their own account…more than 1,000 contracts over the allowed COMEX limit…plus another 717 contracts for their ‘client’ account.

There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday — and as of 6:39 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either.

There was the smallest of sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday, as they sold 1,000 troy ounces of gold eagles — and nothing else.

It was another day of no ‘in’ activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Wednesday.  But there was 64,046 troy ounces shipped out of Canada’s Scotiabank — and the link to that smallish activity is here.

It was considerably busier in silver, as 1,176,032 troy ounces were received…173,493 troy ounces shipped out — and 753,481 troy ounces were transferred from the Eligible to the Registered category.  There was one container load each into CNT and Scotiabank — and all the ‘out’ activity was at HSBC USA.  The transfer from Eligible to Registered, which was certainly done in preparation for delivery in the March contract, was transacted at Canada’s Scotiabank. [Note my comments on this in The Daily Delivery Report just above. – Ed] The link to this action is here.

The heavy in/out activity at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong continued unabated on Wednesday.  There were 2,015 received — and 5,227 were shipped out the door for parts unknown.  All of this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.

I have a very decent number of stories for you today, including a 25-minute video interview with Doug Casey that was hosted by Greg Hunter.


Initial Jobless Claims Surge Most in 10 Months

This trend does not appear to be your friend. Initial Jobless Claims are unchanged since February 2016 after today’s 18k spike to 258k. The last 3 weeks have seen a 15{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} surge in claims – the biggest spike since May 2016 (and before that since Dec 2013).

One wonders how this is possible in an economy that is set for rate-hikes-a-palooza…

This tiny 1-chart Zero Hedge news item put in an appearance on their Internet site at 8:37 a.m. on Thursday morning EDT — and it’s the first of several contributions from Brad Robertson.  The chart is worth a quick look.

Ford Stock Slumps to Post-Election Lows After Slashing Guidance

And after admitting that “auto sales have reached a plateau,” — Below are some of the key comments from Ford executives describing the current conditions in the auto market:

For the remainder of the year, we continue to see retail in the industry provide incentives still running at historically high levels, but down versus the record that we experienced in 2015.  Looking ahead to 2017, we continue to see industry sales are strong, but at a lower level than this year.”

Sales have reached a plateau.”

It’s just that we’re no longer in a period where we have a lot of pent-up demand coming out of the financial crisis. So that’s why, I think we use the term plateau.”

Comparisons for the rest of the year are going to be really tough.”

Ford has finally faced the music and taken an ax to its earnings guidance.

This is another Zero Hedge story from Brad.  This one was posted on their website at 9:11 a.m. EDT yesterday morning — and another link to it is here.

Sears Enters Death Spiral: Vendors Halt Shipments, Insurers Bail

When we commented yesterday morning on the unexpected “going concern” notice in Sears’ just filed 10-K which sent the stock crashing, we pointed out the immediate spin provided by Eddie Lampert’s distressed retailer which promised that its comeback plan may help alleviate the concerns, “satisfying our estimated liquidity needs 12 months from the issuance of the financial statements”, to which however we added the footnote that “the question is what happens when vendors start demanding cash on delivery as concerns about SHLD.’s liquidity concerns continue to grow.”

As it turned out, we wouldn’t have long to wait, because overnight Reuters reported that the worst case Sears scenario we envisioned for Sears is now taking shape and that suppliers to Sears have told Reuters they are doubling down on defensive measures, such as reducing shipments and asking for better payment terms, to protect against the risk of nonpayment as the company warned about its finances.

Quoted by Reuters, the managing director of a Bangladesh-based textile firm said his company is using only a handful of its production lines to manufacture products for Sears’ 2017 holiday sales. Last year, nearly half of the company’s lines in its four factories were producing for Sears. “We have to protect ourselves from the risk of nonpayment,” said the managing director, who declined to be identified for fear of disrupting his company’s relationship with Sears.

Furthermore, precisely as we predicted, Mark Cohen, the former CEO of Sears Canada and director of retail studies at Columbia Business School said vendors will keep a close eye on Sears’ finances. “Whatever vendors continue to support them are now going to put them on even more of a short string. That means they’ll ship them smaller quantities and demand payment either in advance or immediately upon delivery.

He added: “Sears stores are pathetically badly inventoried today and they will become worse.”

This is another Brad Robertson-supplied Zero Hedge article.  This one was posted on their Internet site at 1:26 p.m. on Thursday afternoon EDT — and another link to it is here.

Greg Hunter Interviews Doug Casey: High Unemployment and High Inflation Coming — Buy Gold

What is this going to look like to the man on the street when the economy melts down again? Financial expert Doug Casey says, “The country has been living way above its means. The U.S. runs about a trillion dollar trade deficit with the rest of the world, but it’s a great deal for us. The U.S. prints up dollars and we ship them dollars, and they send us Sonys and Mercedes and coffee and all sorts of things imported into this country, but that can’t go on forever. So, what’s it going to look like? It will be very high levels of inflation. In 2007 to 2009, people lost their jobs. When a society is living above its means, people like waiters and bartenders . . . they’re fired because people are going to have to do those things for themselves. So, you are going to see lots of unemployment. There could be a lot of social upsets in this country.”

What about gold and silver? Casey says, “A number of governments around the world, not the U.S. but the Russians and the Chinese, are buying a lot of gold. Why? Because it’s the only financial asset that is not simultaneously somebody else’s liability. It doesn’t matter whether we have runaway inflation or catastrophic deflation, the gold is there. It’s an actual asset unlike the paper governments’ print up. There is no point in owning paper today because interest rates are so low. Interest rates are below the level of actual inflation at this point. People should buy gold and they should buy silver. . . . They’re going to both go up. I’ll say this again, gold and silver are the only assets that are not simultaneously someone else’s liability. So, there is going to be a panic into them at some point, and some point soon I think.”

This 25:09 minute video interview was posted on the youtube.com on Tuesday — and I thank Brad Robertson for sending this along.   It’s definitely worth watching — and another link to it is here.

Global Art Sales Fall 11{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} to Lowest Point Since Recession

The global art market contracted for the second straight year in 2016, falling to the lowest level since the financial crisis as economic and political volatility weighed on auction sales.

Sales of art and antiques dropped 11 percent to $56.6 billion, according to a report released on Wednesday by UBS Group AG and Art Basel. The decline, on top of a 7 percent slide in 2015, wipes out the gains seen in 2013 and 2014, when sales reached an all-time high of $68.2 billion.

It was quite a challenging year for the art market,” Clare McAndrew, founder of Arts Economics that prepared the report, said in a telephone interview.

It’s a really supply-driven marketplace and it’s vendors holding back,” McAndrew said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Wednesday. “We saw it especially at the top end of the market. The private sector did fairly well, but the auction sector declined quite dramatically and that brought the numbers down.”

This very interesting Bloomberg article showed up on their Internet site at 12:00 a.m. Denver time on Wednesday — and was updated about ten hours later.  I extracted it from a Zero Hedge article that Brad Robertson passed along — and another link to it is here.

Banks Scramble For Free ECB Money: €233.5 Billion Allotted to 464 Banks in Final TLTRO Operation

As previewed last night ahead of today’s fourth and final ECB TLTRO-II operation [Targeted Longer-Term Refinancing Operations] which took place earlier this morning, a big take up was expected with market consensus expecting €115bn, and some forecasts as high as €300BN. The final number came almost in the middle, with the ECB reporting it had allotted €233.5 billion among 474 bidders, more than double the amount expected.

Following the news, European stocks climbed, led by mining and bank shares, as lenders borrowed more than double what was forecast under the European Central Bank’s TLTRO program.

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced 0.3 percent to 375.21 as of 11:31 a.m. London time, set to end three days of losses. European miners extended their gains to 0.9 percent, following metals prices higher, and the banks sector rose 0.6 percent. Lenders were allotted €233.5 billion in final round of Targeted Longer-Term Refinancing Operations, the ECB said.

While it remains to be seen if this latest TLTRO will spur further risk on trades, the initial reaction to the far greater than expected take up favorable, sending both risk assets, U.S. equity futures and European bond markets higher.

This news item appeared on the Zero Hedge website at 8:07 a.m. EDT yesterday morning — and it’s also courtesy of Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.

Credit Suisse Shares Tumble on Report It May Sell $3 Billion In Stock

First Deutsche Bank, now Credit Suisse: according to Bloomberg, the second largest Swiss bank, is also preparing to take advantage of euphoric markets and is considering selling stock valued at more than 3 billion Swiss francs ($3 billion) as it seeks to boost capital levels. The news sent the stock sliding.

Bloomberg adds that Credit Suisse could seek to raise 10 percent of its market value, or about 3.1 billion francs, through an accelerated stock sale to institutions, which wouldn’t need investors to sign off. The lender is also speaking with advisers about raising as much as 5 billion francs, subject to shareholder approval, the people said.

While we don’t know how much TLTRO Credit Suisse was allotted in today’s final ECB “free money” operation, we wonder why the bank doesn’t simply use the zero-cost proceeds to buy its own stock.

This is the last offering of the day from Brad Robertson,  It is, of course, another story from Zero Hedge from Thursday morning — and another link to it is here.

Former CIA officer Ray McGovern Interviewed by rt.com

This 7:12 minute video interview regarding how “Putin did everything” showed up on the youtube.com Internet site on Tuesday — and it’s definitely worth watching if you have the interest.  I thank Larry Galearis for bringing it to my attention — and now to yours.

The Western media is running out of ways to blame Russia:  Peter Lavalle, The Duran

This 2:28 minute video clip appeared on the youtube.com Internet site on Wednesday — and it’s also worth your while if you have the interest.   I thank Roy Stephens for pointing it out.

Balakleya, Ukraine munitions depot disaster Ukraine — SITREP

On the night of March 23, a fire broke out on the territory of the military munitions depot of the Ministry of Defense, which is located near the city of Balakleya, Kharkov region, which led to the detonation of ammunition. The explosions are still ongoing.  An entire area has been evacuated, involving from 20,000 to 45,000 people.

President Poroshenko has announced on his Twitter  that he ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to the Ministry of Defense and Emergency Department to invite NATO to deal with the aftermath of this disaster, or how he phrased it to do “humanitarian demining.”

Ukro experts are doing their best to explain an unexplainable. What had happened at the 65th Arsenal of the Ministry of defense of Ukraine?

They came up with two major theories of what had caused this fire:  Russian drone dropped a bomb, and Russian military satellite used a powerful laser beam to blow up the depot from space.

When all else fails, dear reader, blame those pesky Russians!  There are two embedded much watch [full screen] video clips embedded in this unfolding news story — and as The Saker said “I will write here more in a few hours,” so the story may have changed a bit by the time you click on the link.  This was posted on thesaker.is Internet site late yesterday sometime — and I thank Roy Stephens for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.

David Rockefeller: Good Riddance — Jeff Berwick

I would never celebrate the death of any person.

But, the closest I have ever gotten was when I heard that, finally, David Rockefeller, had shed his mortal coil and left this plane of existence.

Rockefeller was a “new world order” globalist.

In his memoir he stated, “Some even believe we [the Rockefeller family] are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”

After all, David’s father John Davison Rockefeller Jr. was married to the daughter of Senator Nelson Aldrich who was intimately involved in the founding of the Federal Reserve Bank which infamously took place on Jekyll Island in Georgia. The Federal Reserve act, in 1913, was effectively a stealth takeover of the U.S. government that still lasts to this day.

It is no surprise that nearly every action taken and organization supported by Rockefeller was a part of, or in some way connected to, his family’s financial interests or their end goal of a one world, fasco-communist style government.

This article was in my Wednesday column, but the link was corrupt, so I’m posting it again in today’s missive.  I’m not often found on the same page as Jeff, but this is one of those rare occasions where are thoughts meet.  Jeff’s commentary only scratches the surface of the criminal mind that was David Rockefeller — and this commentary of his from late Tuesday evening is definitely worth reading.  Another link to it is here.

Oregon Teens Make $50,000 Selling Fake Gold Bars on Craigslist

Two 17-year-old boys were arrested in Bend, Oregon, for selling fake gold bars to customers on Craigslist, according to police.

The teen boys bought knockoffs of Perth Mint and Royal Canadian Mint gold bars online and then re-sold them as real ones.  The pair managed to earn a total of $50,000 in eight months.

The juveniles were sophisticated and used multiple ways to conceal their identity and scheme,” local media quoted Bend police Lt. Clint Burleigh as saying.

The two are being charged with aggravated theft by deception and conspiracy, and felony computer crime, police stated. And only one of the suspects is being charged with money laundering.

This gold-related news item showed up on the kitco.com Internet site at 9:13 p.m. EDT last night — and I thank Jim Rodgers for sharing it with us.  Another link to it is here.

Swiss gold exports to India top the table in February — Lawrie Williams

Switzerland is very much a conduit for gold flows from West to East, largely because of it being the location for four of the world’s largest independent gold refineries.  (Swiss refineries are reported by www.bullionstar.com to account for 65-70{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} of world refined gold output).  These refineries specialise in re-refining 0.995 London good delivery gold bars in 350-430 troy ounce sizes, and refining gold scrap, and producing the higher [0.9999] purity and much smaller gold bars and wafers in demand in the East, as well as producing high purity gold coins for some nations.  Upwards of 1,600 tonnes a year of gold passes through these Swiss refineries, which is around half global gold production.  Indeed in 2013, when Chinese demand was booming and there were big liquidations out of the gold ETFs, it is reported that Swiss gold exports exceeded 2,500 tonnes (equivalent to nearly 80{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} of global new mined gold output that year).

So the importance of the Swiss gold import and export figures cannot be emphasised enough in terms of global gold flows and where they are coming from and going to.  In the latest month’s figures almost 85{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} of the Swiss gold exports were headed for Asia.

The West to East gold flows continue unabated.

This commentary by Lawrie, complete with two charts that showed up in my own column on Wednesday, was posted on the Sharps Pixley Internet site on Thursday sometime — and another link to it is here.

Reviving King of Gold Means Getting Mine Workers Off Their Knees

During his early years as a miner in South Africa, Joas Mahanuque spent six hours a day on his knees drilling for Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. The dust-filled tunnels half a mile underground were too low for him to stand, and temperatures reached 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).

Today, he has essentially the same job 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) beneath the surface for Gold Fields Ltd. But unlike most of the precious-metals miners in the country, Mahanuque sits comfortably atop a new 7-ton vehicle, using a joystick to control an 8-foot drill as ventilated air blows behind him.

It’s not hard,” the 37-year-old said while taking a break under the bright tunnel lights of South Deep, the country’s only fully mechanized underground gold mine. “You just sit and operate and make money.”

If only it was that easy for the rest of the once dominant South African gold industry. After more than a century as the world’s top producer, the country has slipped to No. 7 over the past decade. Mines are deep, labor intensive and are being developed with mostly drill-and-blast methods little changed since the 1950s, which means costs have soared and output has dropped.

Of course it would be a lot easier for all these miners if the world’s largest bullion banks weren’t sitting on the gold price.  This longish, but very interesting Bloomberg news item put in an appearance on their Internet site at 4:00 p.m. Denver time yesterday afternoon — and I found it in a GATA dispatch.  Another link to it is here.

Ted Butler: Dead Men Walking?

So extreme has become the size of the derivatives trade in silver compared to actual metal in the world and the fact that it has lasted so long (decades) that perhaps it’s no great surprise that, if the managed money traders were ever going to wake up to the realization they were being gamed; then they would likely first see it in silver. Should the managed money traders come to such a realization and radically alter their behavior, then there should be strong signs indicating such a change. Those strong signs abound and have been discussed on these pages.

First came the start of a buildup in core non-technical fund managed money long positions in COMEX silver, starting around three years ago. I define these positions as not being governed by price change, meaning such longs are not sold on price selloffs and, therefore, are not technical in nature. In simple terms, the core long position is the amount of long positions remaining after significant price declines. From the time the COT data started tracking managed money traders around 2009 until the fall of 2013, the long position of managed money traders in COMEX silver rarely fell below the 20,000 contract level at the depths of price declines. Again, what’s remaining long in the managed money category at the end of significant silver price declines is the core non-technical fund long position.

But starting in 2014, the core non-technical fund managed money long position began a years-long climb, first to 30,000 contracts, then 40,000 and finally this past December to nearly 60,000 contracts (56,000 contracts on Dec 6). This meant many more managed money longs remained long after selloffs. Then, on the $3 rally early this year, some 40,000 new managed money longs were added, as technical funds joined with their non-technical fund fellow managed money traders on the long side of COMEX silver futures, creating a combined managed money long position of 96,000 contracts on Feb 28. Part of me wants to apologize for throwing so many numbers at you, but I’m talking about the only numbers that matter. Every 10,000 contracts of COMEX silver is equal to 50 million oz of metal, so I am talking about the many hundreds of millions of oz that is setting the price of silver, so please bear with me.

I ‘borrowed’ three paragraphs from Ted’s mid-week commentary to his paying subscribers on Wednesday, as the  quote for my Thursday column — and was amazed to find the whole article posted in the clear on the silverseek.com Internet site when I got up yesterday morning.  Needless to say, it’s an absolute must read — and another link to it is here.



Nations are not ruined by one act of violence, but gradually — and in an almost imperceptible manner by the depreciation of their circulating currency, through excessive quantity.” ~ Nicolaus Copernicus, 1525

[Copernicus was born and died in Royal Prussia, a region that had been part of the Kingdom of Poland since 1466. A polyglot and polymath, he obtained a doctorate in canon law and was also a mathematician, astronomer, physician, classics scholar, translator, governor, diplomat, and economist. In 1517 he derived a quantity theory of money – a key concept in economics – and in 1519 he formulated an economics principle that later came to be called Gresham’s law.  Source: Wikipedia]

It certainly appeared that the powers-that-be had the precious metals on ‘care and maintenance’ again yesterday — and nothing much was allowed to happen, particularly in silver and gold.

Here are the 6-month chart for all four precious metals, plus copper — and there’s not a lot to see.  The click to enlarge feature helps a bit with the first four charts.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is about an hour away — and I note that gold was up a bit in the first couple of hours of trading once it began at 6:00 p.m. EDT in New York yesterday evening.  But at 8 a.m. China Standard Time on their Friday morning it began to chop unsteadily lower — and is currently down $2.60 an ounce.  Silver traded a few pennies either side of unchanged — and was up a couple of pennies until around 1:30 p.m. CST, then it to began to sell off — and it’s now down 2 cents.  Platinum was sold lower the moment that trading began in New York yesterday evening — and it’s down 6 dollars currently.  Palladium has been trading mostly sideways in the Far East — and it’s up a buck at the moment.

Net HFT volume is a bit over 25,000 contracts, which certainly isn’t heavy — but roll-over/switch volume out of April is pretty healthy.  Net HFT silver volume is just over 4,200 contracts, which is ultra-light — and there’s no roll-over volume to speak of.  That’s not surprising, since April is not a traditional delivery month for silver.

The dollar index did nothing in the first couple of hours of trading in New York on Thursday evening, but right at 8 p.m. EDT/8 a.m. CST it began to head higher with some authority.  It has made several attempts to break above the 100.00 mark during the Far East trading session, but so far it hasn’t made it.  As of 7:00 a.m. GMT in London, it’s up 21 basis points.

The next six trading days, including today, could prove interesting.  We have the final days of deliveries in March silver — and overlaid on top of that is options and futures expiry in gold for April…all of which starts next Tuesday, I believe.  Next Friday is First Day Notice for April gold deliveries — and I’ll be more than interested in not only how many contracts are left open at the end of the month, but also on who the issuers and stoppers might be as the delivery month gets under way.  But whether or not it will have the same drama as silver deliveries in March, which are still ongoing, remains to be seen.

I saw Ted’s estimated numbers for tomorrow’s Commitment of Traders Report — and I certainly hope he’s wrong.  I’ve been saying they’ll be bad, but I won’t be happy if Ted’s highest projections turn out to be true.  And as he pointed out in his Wednesday missive…”More than ever, I’ll be tuned in to how the biggest shorts behave.”  Between those numbers — and the long contract holders in the Managed Money/Other Reportables and Nonreportable/small trader category — it could prove to be a very interesting report.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:03 a.m. EDT, I see that gold began to rally right at 7:00 a.m. GMT in London, which may or may not have been the LBMA open, as this Daylight Saving Times thingy is still in play.  But this will be the last day I have to deal with it, as they go on British Summer Time [BST] on Sunday — and all will be right with the world, as London will be 5 hours ahead of New York once again.  Right now gold is down $1.10 an ounce, silver is now up a penny — and platinum is down only 4 bucks currently.  Palladium is still up the same dollar an ounce it was an hour ago.

Net HFT gold volume is approaching 31,000 contracts, which is still very much on the lighter side, all things considered.  Roll-over/switch volume continues to creep higher.  Net HFT silver volume is sitting at 5,500 contracts, which is very light.

The dollar index’s current attempt to break above the 100.00 mark ended at exactly 3 p.m. CST/7:00 a.m. GMT — and it began to head lower from there — and I would surmise that the dollar index drop/precious metal ‘rallies’ are directly related.  The dollar index is up only up 13 basis points as the equity markets open in London.

That’s it for another day.

Enjoy your weekend — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.


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