Silver Closes a Few Pennies Above Its 50-Day Moving Average

28 March 2017 — Tuesday


Once the gold market opened at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday evening in New York, all the losses in the last two hours of trading in the after-hours market in New York on Friday afternoon, were recovered in the space of about ten minutes.  It crawled higher from there until shortly after 9 a.m. Shanghai Standard Time on their Monday morning.  It traded flat until a tiny rally began in the last two hours of trading leading up to the London open.  The price softened a bit from that point until the noon silver fix — and then away it went to the upside.  It ran into the short buyers and long sellers of last resort at 9 a.m. in New York — and by 9:45 a.m., the price was headed lower — and that ended around 10:15 a.m.  The price chopped unsteadily sideways for the rest of the day.

The low and high ticks were recorded by the CME Group as $1,245.50 and $1,261.00 in the April contract.

Gold was closed in New York on Monday at $1,253.80 spot, up $10.90 from Friday’s close — and would have obviously finished a lot higher — and above its 50-day moving average — if ‘da boyz’ hadn’t shown up.  Net volume wasn’t too bad at around 141,000 contracts and, not surprisingly, roll-over/switch volume out of April was heavy.

Here’s the 5-minute gold tick chart courtesy of Brad Robertson — and there’s not much worth pointing out that I haven’t already mentioned.

The vertical gray line is 10:00 p.m. Denver time, midnight in New York — and noon China Standard Time [CST] the following day in Shanghai—and don’t forget to add two hours for EDT.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature is a must.

The silver price jumped up about a dime in the first hour of Sunday evening trading in New York — and then it didn’t do much until, like gold, it began to edge higher starting around 1:30 p.m. CST on their Monday afternoon.  The rally began to develop some real legs about half an hour after the noon London silver fix — and JP Morgan et al put the kibosh on that at 9:45 a.m…just like they did for gold.  The sell-off ended at 10:30 a.m. EST — and it inched quietly higher for the rest of the day…complete with a vicious little down/up spike shortly after 12 o’clock noon in New York.

The low and high ticks in this precious metal were reported as $17.78 and $18.15 in the May contract.

Silver finished the Monday trading session at $18.09 spot, up 35.5 cents on the day — and back above it’s 50-day moving average by a few pennies.  Not surprisingly, volume was on the heavier side at just over 52,000 contracts.

Here’s the 5-minute tick chart for silver, courtesy of Brad as well — and there’s not much to see, except for the fact that most of the volume occurred during New York trading as usual.  That vicious little down/up spike just after noon EDT on the spot chart, is nowhere to be seen in the April contract, which is the chart below.

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 noon China Standard Time [CST] the following day in Shanghai—and don’t forget to add two hours for EDT.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature is a must as well.

The platinum price followed mostly the same price pattern as silver and gold on Monday, but when ‘da boyz’ and their algos showed up at, or shortly before the London p.m. gold fix, they shaved at least ten bucks off the price in about an hour.  After that shellacking, the price chopped quietly sideways for the rest of the day.  Platinum was closed at $966 spot, up 4 dollars from Friday — and 14 bucks off its high of the day.

The palladium price traded sideways a dollar or two either side of unchanged until minutes before the Zurich open.  Then it was sold down a dollar and a bit more from there.  JP Morgan et al finished the job in morning trading in New York, just like they did for platinum — and palladium was closed at $793 spot, down 14 bucks on the day as well.

The dollar index closed very late on Friday afternoon in New York at 99.76 — and had a 20 basis point downward ‘adjustment’ the moment that trading began in New York at 5:00 p.m. EDT Sunday afternoon.  It continued lower from there — and its 99.86 low tick came around 9:15 a.m. in New York on Monday morning.  I would suspect that the usual ‘gentle hands’ appeared at that point — and rallied it sharply to the 99.07 mark by the 10:00 a.m. EDT London p.m. gold fix.  From that juncture, it chopped quietly higher into the close, finishing the day at 99.22…down 54 basis points from its close on Friday.

Here’s the 3-day U.S. dollar index chart — and that shows you Monday’s, Sunday’s — and Friday’s ‘action’ as well.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar chart for entertainment purposes — and it should be noted that the RSI line touched the oversold mark yesterday.  I’d guess we’ll find out pretty quick if it means anything.

The gold stocks opened up about 2.5 percent — and proceeded to chop sideways for the remainder of the Monday trading session.  The HUI closed higher by 2.28 percent.

The silver equities opened up a percent and change — and then sold off to just above unchanged by around 10:20 a.m. EDT.  Then, once the silver price began to rally anew…after getting pounded lower just before the ‘fix’…the shares followed as well, but not in a very convincing manner.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index finished up only 2.24 percent.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 51 gold and 30 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Wednesday.  In gold, the sole short/issuer was Morgan Stanley out of its client account — and the largest long/stopper was Canada’s Scotiabank with 47.  ADM picked up the other 4 contracts for its client account.  In silver, it was Citigroup with all 30 contracts out of its client account — and the only long/stopper was the CME Group.  Those 30 contracts were broken up into their constituent bars for delivery into the 1,000 troy ounce March mini-silver contract.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Monday trading session showed that gold open interest in March increased by 53 contracts, leaving 70 still open — and I would think that those 53 contracts were directly involved in the 51 gold contract issued for delivery on Wednesday that were mentioned in the above Daily Delivery Report.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold contracts were posted for delivery today.  March o.i. in silver declined by 149 contracts, leaving 47 open, minus the 30 mentioned above.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that exactly 149 silver contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so those numbers match.  I expect that to be the case right into the end of the March delivery month in silver.

There was a deposit in GLD to start off the week, as an authorized participant added 85,683 troy ounces.  And as of 6:33 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.

The new short interest report from was posted on their website last Friday — and I must admit that I missed it, because I was expecting it to come out yesterday or today.  It showed up Ted’s Saturday column, so here are the stats.

The short position in SLV increased from 10.95 million shares/troy ounces, to 12.36 million shares/troy ounces as of the close of trading on March 15.  That’s a rather smallish increase of 12.9 percent.  The increase in the short position in GLD was pretty high, as it went from 494,900 troy ounces, all the way up to 855,770 troy ounces — a jump of 72.9 percent!

Ted’s comment on these increases was as follows…”Simply put, I’m not sure what price implications I can draw from this, so I won’t pretend to do so.”

The folks over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank updated their website with the goings-on inside their gold and silver ETFs as of the close of business on Friday, March 24 — and this is what they had to report.  Their gold ETF added 10,409 troy ounces — and their silver ETF increased their holdings by 127,574 troy ounces.

There was a very small sales report from the U.S. Mint on Monday.  They sold 1,000 troy ounces of gold eagles — and 25,000 silver eagles.

It was yet another day where there was little, if any, in/out activity in gold.  Friday’s action showed nothing received at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Friday — and the only ‘out’ activity was 835.900 troy ounces/26 kilobars [U.K./U.S. kilobar weight] that were shipped out of Manfra, Tordella & Brookes, Inc.  I won’t bother linking this.

It was a bit busier in silver, as 778,157 troy ounces were received, but only 30,127 were shipped out.  Of the amount received, JPMorgan picked up another 478,217 troy ounces — and the rest was deposited at HSBC USA.  A link to that activity is here.

JP Morgan’s silver stash is now up to 94.0 million troy ounces.

For a change, it was somewhat quieter over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Friday.  They only received 1,000 — and shipped out 2,194 of them.  All of this action was at Brink’s, Inc. — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.

Since it’s the first column of the week, I have a decent number of stories for you today — and I’ll leave the final edit up to you.


Sharpest Plunge in U.S Credit Since Financial Crisis Could Spell Disaster — Ambrose Evans Pritchard

Credit strategists are increasingly disturbed by a sudden and rare contraction of US bank lending, fearing a synchronised slowdown in the U.S. and China this year that could catch euphoric markets badly off guard.

One key measure of U.S. corporate borrowing is falling at the fastest rate since the onset of the Lehman Brothers crisis. Money supply growth in the US has also slowed markedly. These monetary and credit signals  tend to be leading indicators for the real economy.

Data from the U.S. Federal Reserve shows that the $2 trillion market for commercial and industrial loans peaked in December. The sector has weakened abruptly as lenders tighten credit, especially for non-residential property. Over the last three months it has dropped at a rate of 5.4pc on annual basis, a pace of decline not seen since December 2008.

The deterioration in the broader $9 trillion market for loans and leases has been less dramatic but it too is shrinking, falling at a 1.6pc rate on a three-month basis. “Corporate lending has ground to a halt and I am staggered that the Fed is raising rates. They have made a very big mistake,” said Patrick Perret-Green from AdMacro.

Credit experts at several big U.S. banks have issued warnings over recent days, albeit sotto voce. “We’ve been surprised how little attention the slowdown in US bank lending has garnered,” said Matt King, global credit strategist at Citigroup.

This Ambrose Evans-Pritchard offering, posted in the clear for a change, showed up on the Internet site at 3:56 p.m. British Summer Time [BST] on Sunday afternoon — and it’s certainly worth reading.  The thought police at The Telegraph have changed the headline to read — “Fading Trump rally threatened by rare contraction of U.S. credit“. I thank Richard Saler for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.

Auto Industry Resorts to Biggest Incentives Ever Just to Slow the Decline in Sales

In a few days, automakers are going to report their new vehicle deliveries for March. TrueCar, Kelley Blue Book, and LMC Automotive are predicting total vehicle sales slightly above the flat-line compared to March a year ago, though sales were down year-over-year in both January and February.

TrueCar forecasts an increase of 0.2{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} year-over-year to 1.586 million new cars and light trucks, with retail deliveries (excluding fleet sales) growing 1{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} to 1.276 million units. J.D. Power and LMC Automotive said on Friday that they expect an increase of 1.9{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}, to 1.62 million units, with retails sales up 1{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}, boosted by record incentives.

If sales nevertheless fall, everyone will blame the winter storm that arrived in the winter – “unexpectedly” or something. And it is possible that sales might fall. There was no winter storm in February, which was one of the warmest Februaries on record. Yet, sales in February fell 1.1{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} year-over year. They edged down in January too. And sales in both months combined fell 1.4{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} from the same period a year ago.

It’s not like automakers haven’t been trying. They paid out record incentives to accomplish this feat of slowing down the sales decline. In February, the industry in the US shelled out on average $3,587 per vehicle in incentive spending, per TrueCar. It was the highest ever for a February.

This story was posted on the Internet site on Monday — and I thank Richard Saler for his second contribution in a row — and it’s certainly worth your while as well.  Another link to it is here.

These haunting photos reveal a new normal in America as the country plunges into a retail apocalypse

The retail apocalypse has descended on America.

More than 3,500 stores are expected to close across the U.S. in the next couple of months.

Department stores like Macy’s, Sears, and JCPenney, and retailers including BCBG, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Bebe have all been forced to close up dozens of stores.

Walking through a mall in 2017 is like walking through a graveyard.

Here’s photographic proof that a retail apocalypse is hitting the U.S. hard.

This photo essay is rather disturbing as well — and without doubt, the situation will get far worse in the future.  It put in an appearance on the Internet site last Thursday evening — and it comes to us courtesy of Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl.  The pictures are certainly worth skimming — and another link to it is here.

Pension Crisis Too Big for Markets to Ignore

In late 2006, Aaron Krowne, a computer scientist and mathematician, started a website that documented the real-time destruction of the subprime mortgage lending industry. The Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter caught on like wildfire with financial market voyeurs, regularly reaching 100,000 visitors. West Coast lenders, some may recall, were the first to fall in what eventually totaled 388 casualties.

A year earlier, to much less fanfare, Jack Dean launched another website in anticipation of the different kind of wave washing up on the California coastline. Called the Pension Tsunami, the website was originally conceived to provide Golden State taxpayers with a one-stop resource to track news stories on the state’s mammoth and numerous underfunded public pensions.

Dean came about his inspiration honestly: “I started tracking this issue in 2004 after the Orange County Board of Supervisors gave a retroactive pension formula increase of 62 percent to county employees,” he said. “I was stunned. It’s the main reason Orange County has a $4.5 billion underfunded liability today.

As the years have passed, though, the site has become a font of information for states and municipalities nationwide as well as corporate pensions. In all, over 40,000 headlines have been posted to the website to date. On a recent Friday, Dean posted multiple stories on the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the country’s largest pension program, as well as a budget cliff facing San Francisco, six Los Angeles public safety officers who collected over $1 million apiece last year in pensions, and eight cities that could face bankruptcy when the next recession hits. But the day’s headlines also included the latest on the fiasco unfolding in Dallas, an update on Houston’s less awful situation and features on states that have become the site’s other usual suspects — Connecticut, Illinois and New Jersey. And that was  a slow news day.

This very interesting and right-on-the-money commentary/opinion piece was posted on the Internet site on Friday morning EDT — and it’s the first offering of the day from Roy Stephens.  Another link to it is here.

Austerity bites? Less chocolate for your money as packets shrink

Confectionery firm Mars is shrinking the pack size of favourite sweets including Maltesers, M&M’s and Minstrels by up to 15{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} in the latest example of an industry trend that is shortchanging shoppers.

It is the second time within a year that Mars has reduced the number of Maltesers in its sharing bags, which now weigh in at just 93g. Last autumn packs of Maltesers, billed as the lighter way to enjoy chocolate, shrank from 121g to 103g.

The American food giant appears to have taken action across its bestselling brands: family packs of M&M’s are now 25g lighter at 140g, while bags of Minstrels and Revels are also almost 10{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} lighter. Prices are unchanged.

Mars said: “We have been absorbing rising raw material and operational costs for some time, but the growing pressures mean that we can’t keep things as they are. Reducing the size of our products is not a decision that we take easily.”

This news item put in an appearance on Internet site at 00:05 a.m. GMT on Sunday morning in London — and it’s another offering from Patrik Ekdahl.  Another link to it is here.

A Swedish billionaire just sold his entire stock portfolio – saying there’s a major crash coming

One of Sweden’s most prominent investors, Rune Andersson, has officially quit the stock market as of this January.

I currently own zero stocks”, Andersson tells Dagens Industri.

Andersson, with an estimated net worth of 9 billion SEK ($1bn), cites ever-soaring stock prices as the reason behind his big sell.

The 72-year old financier sees a systemic problem that affects many major stocks today. For instance, in the past year, Sandvik, a Swedish industrial giant, soared 55 percent, while Volvo’s value rose 47 percent. As a whole, since the 2008 crash the OMX Stockholm PI index has surged 210 percent.

Andersson says high price-to-earnings ratios (P/E) – around 20 for many stocks – indicate major problems.

This story, courtesy of Patrik Ekdahl once again, was posted on the Internet site around 3:15 p.m. CEST [Central European Summer Time] on Monday afternoon — which was around 9:15 a.m. EDT in New York.  Another link to it is here.

Merkel turning toward Moscow? Bavaria’s governor leads huge German delegation to Russia

Besides French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen’s surprise meeting with Vladimir Putin today, another important meeting between German leaders and Russia’s president happened last week, but has gone almost unreported outside German media.

Bavarian governor Horst Seehofer, who holds a powerful position in German politics, visited Moscow on March 16th, bringing with him a massive delegation of German political and business leaders.

Seehofer has gone on record many times as a staunch opponent of the EU’s anti-Russian sanctions, saying they are killing German businesses. He’s also said that, “Without Moscow, may of the world’s crises can’t be solved,” and praised Putin as “noble” for not involving himself in Germany’s domestic affairs.

“Putin received Seehofer like none other,” declared the headline from German news channel Welt24. Indeed, the governor was treated, and behaved essentially as if he were, a head-of-state.

This news story, which is definitely worth reading, if you have the interest…showed up on Internet site on Saturday.  I thank Roy Stephens for sharing it with us — and another link to it is here.

We reached our limits“: Greece to stop taking back refugees – migration minister

Greece will cease taking back refugees under the controversial Dublin Regulation, as the country’s limited capacities to host people are already on the brink of collapse, the Greek migration minister announced in an interview.

As the European Commission pressures Athens to re-implement the Dublin Regulation – stipulating that refugees can be returned to the first E.U. state they arrived in – the Greek migration minister told Spiegel his country is not in a position to do so. The agreement was put on hold for Greece back in 2011 over problems in the country’s asylum system.

Greece is already shouldering a heavy burden,” Ioannis Mouzalas, the migration minister, said.

“We accommodate 60,000 refugees… and it would be a mistake to make Greece’s burden heavier by the revival of the Dublin agreement,” he said, also adding that Germany, the primary destination for most refugees, “wants countries where refugees arrive first to bear a large portion of the burden.”

Under the Dublin Regulation, the European state where the asylum-seeker first arrives in the E.U. is responsible for examining an asylum claim. Refugees are fingerprinted in their first country of arrival to ensure irrefutable evidence of their entry.

This story showed up on the Russia Today website at 10:16 a.m. Moscow Time on their Monday morning, which was 3:16 a.m. in Washington — EDT plus 7 hours.  It’s another Roy Stephens offering — and another link to it is here.

Lavrov Gives Landmark Speech: New Centers of Economic Power Will End U.S. ‘Global Domination’

This is perhaps one of Sergei Lavrov’s finest addresses. It needs to be read in its entirety to fully appreciate the scale and depth of Lavrov’s observations — although we’ve provided a very short excerpt for those with short attention spans.

Lavrov’s driving thesis is that the U.S.-led global order has abandoned the concepts of state sovereignty and international law, choosing political expediency over consensus.

Lavrov believes that shifting economic centers will bring this era to an end:

Ironically, the American elite, which emerged as freedom fighters and separatists anxious to cast off the yoke of the British crown, had transformed itself and its state by the 20th century into a power thirsting for global imperialist domination. The world is changing, however, and – who knows – America might yet purify itself and return to its own forgotten sources.

The redistribution of the global balance of power continues. We are witnessing new centres of economic power and associated political influence come into being in the world…The formation of a polycentric international order is an objective process. It is in our common interest to make it more stable and predictable.”

The speech was given to senior officers of the Military Academy of the General Staff in Moscow on March 23.

The entire speech, in English, was posted on the Internet site on Saturday, March 25 — and it’s another offering from Roy Stephens.  If you a serious student of the New Great Game, it’s worth reading — and another link to it is here.

Moscow urges “responsible” U.S. action in Mosul, requests U.N. Security Council briefing on airstrikes

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has criticized the U.S.-led coalition’s Mosul airstrikes, saying the operation is claiming “more and more civilian lives.” Moscow has requested a U.N. Security Council briefing over a recent airstrike at a site where an estimated 200 people died.

“The most recent tragedy happened on March 17, to be precise it is not the latest one as there were numerous incidents that claimed civilian lives after it. However, the March 17 [tragedy], when the bombings lasted for several hours and an estimated 200 civilians were killed, stands out because of its scale,” the Russian foreign minister said at a joint press conference with his Italian counterpart, Angelino Alfano.

If one cannot establish for hours that the airstrikes are hitting the wrong targets, then such actions of the U.S. military startle me, as they possess the necessary [targeting] equipment,” Lavrov said.

Russia’s top diplomat added that Moscow “is interested in liberating Mosul from terrorists” but stressed that the actions of the U.S.-led coalition should be more “cautious and responsible.”

This story was posted on the Russia Today website at 5:33 p.m. Moscow time on their Monday afternoon, which was 10:33 a.m. in New York — EDT plus 7 hours — and was updated about an hour later.  It’s another contribution from Roy Stephens — and another link to it is here.

Gulf Arab states push for U.K. free trade deal after Brexit – officials

Gulf Arab states are pressing for an early deal on free trade with Britain to secure preferential arrangements after Brexit, and could have a draft agreement ready within months, Gulf officials say.

Britain cannot formally sign trade agreements while it remains a member of the European Union, but the British government has said it is keen to start preparatory work so deals can be reached quickly after it leaves.

One of the first agreements could be with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Qatar and the two biggest Arab economies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman, according to the officials. Trade between Britain and the GCC totals about 30 billion pounds annually.

In a meeting in December with Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, Qatari finance minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi discussed a partial draft of a free trade deal, a Qatari official said, declining to be named under briefing rules.

GCC states envisage preparing a “signature-ready” deal that could be signed immediately after Brexit, the Qatari official said.

This brief article, filed from Doha, appeared on the Internet site at 6:28 BST on Sunday evening — and I thank Patrik Ekdahl for his final contribution to today’s column.  Another link to it is here.

Couldn’t Hit an Elephant — Jeff Thomas

They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.”

Those are purported to be the last words of General John Sedgwick, spoken as he observed distant Confederate troops during the 1864 Battle of Spotsylvania in Virginia. (Historians debate as to whether these were his very final words or amongst his final words, but there is no debate as to whether he then received a mortal bullet wound to his face.)

Going back a bit further, British Prime Minister Lord North commented in 1774, with regard to the rebellious American colonies, “Four or five frigates will do the business without any military force.”

Later, in August of 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II (the last German emperor and king of Prussia) stated to German troops, “You will be home before the leaves fall from the trees.” He wasn’t alone. The phrase “The war will be over by Christmas” was a common one in Britain in 1914, often repeated by journalists and politicians.

Recently, U.S. Lieutenant General Ben Hodges ordered over 60 U.S. tanks to fire their guns in Poland. He later announced…”We’re serious—this is not just a training exercise. It’s to demonstrate a strategic message that you cannot violate the sovereignty of members of NATO… Moscow will get the message—I’m confident of it.”

This worthwhile commentary by Jeff was posted on the Internet site on Monday — and I thought I’d save it for this point in the column.  Another link to it is here.

Gold Market Charts: March 2017 — Bullion Star

Bullion Star’s latest gold flow charts report that the Shanghai Gold Exchange seems to be claiming 70 percent of annual world gold mine production, though of course this doesn’t prevent Western central banks from dishoarding gold from their reserves or lending or swapping gold and underwriting gold derivatives so less conscientious investors can content themselves with claims to metal that doesn’t exist.

Well, dear reader, all the charts in this presentation appeared in my column earlier this month…but they’re worth skimming again, as there’s some decent commentary to go with each one.  Bullion Star’s charts are headlined “Gold Market Charts — March 2017” and they were posted on their website yesterday sometime — and I found this article on that Internet site.  Another link to it is here.

Massive 100 Kilogram Gold Coin Worth $4.5 Million Stolen From German Museum

Perhaps even more brazen than the infamous theft of a bucket full of gold worth $1.6 million from an armored truck in broad daylight in Midtown Manhattan last September 29, moments ago local German press has reported that thieves broke into Berlin’s Bode Museum and made off with a massive 100-kilogram (221-pound) gold coin worth millions.

According to German media, the stolen coin is the “Big Maple Leaf”, a commemorative piece issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007. The three-centimeter (1.18-inch) thick coin, with a diameter of 53 centimeters (20.9 inches), has a face value of $1 million. By weight alone, however, it would be worth almost $4.5 million at market prices.

The Bode Museum, located on the German capital’s UNESCO-listed Museum Island, houses one of the world’s biggest coin collections. The holding includes 102,000 coins from ancient Greece and about 50,000 Roman coins.
Spokesman Stefen Petersen said thieves apparently entered through a window about 3:30 a.m. Monday, broke into a cabinet where the “Big Maple Leaf” coin was kept, and escaped with it before police arrived.

I saw this ‘coin’ at a precious metal conference in Vancouver — and it took 2 very strong men to put it in its display position.  But it would take far more than that to move it any great distance, if you didn’t have a dolly.  This story appeared on the Zero Hedge website at 1:26 p.m. EDT on Monday afternoon — and I thank Brad Robertson for sending it along — and another link to it is here.



JP Morgan’s craving for physical silver can’t be denied based upon the current March COMEX silver delivery process. We’re down to very little remaining open interest as the last day for delivery is close. While the delivery month played out as suggested earlier in the month, once the scope of JP Morgan’s intentions became clear; nevertheless, it was a silver delivery month like none other in my experience. Of the 3,795 total silver deliveries issued, JPM stopped (took) 3,428 contracts, or 90{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}, – 2,689 contracts in its own name and another 739 for clients. Combined, JPM and its client(s) took control of another 17 million oz of physical silver this month in COMEX deliveries.

Putting aside the fact that there is a published COMEX delivery limit of no more than 1,500 silver contracts for any one trading entity — and this is the highest amount, either in total contracts or by percentage of total deliveries I can recall, there is something else. Not only did JP Morgan bust down the door and say “Gimme that” loud and clear in terms of physical silver this month, I can’t shake the feeling that the shorts who did deliver the physical silver struggled a bit in doing so, particularly as the month progressed. I base that on a variety of factors, like spread differentials, warehouse movements – both in terms of physical inflows and by category changes from eligible to registered.

Having already fully described the March COMEX silver delivery period as being the tightest I can recall, instead of simply repeating that, let me add this – I don’t think the silver market could handle another delivery month as just witnessed. I am sure JP Morgan could buy and take delivery of another 17 million oz of silver many times over, but I can’t see the shorts coming up with such quantities easily, or even at all. Yeah – I’m thinking about the walking dead.Silver analyst Ted Butler: 25 March 2017

Although I was certainly happy to see the positive price action in both silver an gold, there should be no doubt in your mind that it occurred only because ‘da boyz’ allowed it.  The reason I say that is because if they hadn’t show up in New York to not only save the dollar index, but cap the precious metals in the process, it’s an absolute certainty that their respective prices would have closed materially higher than they did.  Of course ‘da boyz’ laid a special beating on platinum and palladium.

Gold was turned lower and closed just shy of its 200-day moving average — and silver closed above its by a few pennies.  Whether or not these rallies will be allowed to continue is another matter.  We could have another set of price ‘failures’ at these levels — and the dollar index is currently ‘oversold’, which would be icing on the cake.  Let’s fact it, dear reader, the powers-that-be can do whatever they wish, until they decide to step aside — and that didn’t happen again yesterday.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, plus copper — and I’ve already pretty much said my piece on what may or may not happen going forward.  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 note that the gold priced wasn’t allowed to do much of anything in Far East trading on their Tuesday.  It was about unchanged around 12:30 p.m. China Standard Time, but began to head lower from there, as the dollar index caught a bid.  At the moment, gold is down $2.90 an ounce.  Silver was sold down to just over $18 spot by 10 a.m. CST on their Tuesday morning — and it crawled higher from there.  But it also got tagged around 2 p.m. CST — and is sitting right at the $18.00 spot mark at this moment, down 9 cents on the day.  Platinum chopped mostly sideways in Far East trading on their Tuesday — and was up a couple of buck by 2 p.m. CST.  The algos got spun at that juncture — and platinum is now down 4 bucks.  The selling pressure in palladium was even more noticeable — and it’s down 7 dollars currently.

Net HFT gold volume is sitting right at the 20,000 contract mark — and roll-over/switch volume is pretty heavy already.  Net HFT silver volume is 6,800 contracts.

The dollar index was up a handful of basis points in the first hour or so of trading once it began at 6:00 p.m. EDT in New York yesterday evening.  It began to sell off very quietly from there, but appeared to get ‘rescued’ at 1:30 p.m. China Standard Time.  It blasted 16 basis points higher in short order — and is now up 9 basis points as London opens.

Today, at the close of COMEX trading, is the cut-off [once again] for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report — and I’ll wait until my Wednesday column to pass judgement on what it may or may not say.  But after being light years out in my ‘guesses’ last week, saying nothing and just waiting to see what the numbers are, may be the smart move.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:03 a.m. EST, I see that the gold price rose a bit, then fell a bit during the first hour of trading in London — and is down $1.20 the ounce currently.  Silver rallied as well, but has given most of that back in the last few minutes — and is down 8 cents.  Platinum and palladium are up a bit after an hour of trading in Zurich, with the former down 3 bucks — and that latter down 5.

Net HFT gold volume is approaching 26,000 contracts — and that number in silver is sitting at 9,000 contracts, which is pretty healthy.

The dollar index is off its pre-London open high tick — and is up only 5 basis points at the moment.  I certainly wouldn’t read too much into the current price action, although it has turned out to be another day where there was, once again, no upside price follow-through in either Far East or London trading after fairly decent rallies during the previous day in New York.

I have no idea what today, or the rest of the week may bring.  We have options expiry starting today — and then the same in the COMEX futures market starting on Wednesday, with First Day Notice numbers for delivery into the April delivery month in gold to be posted on the CME’s website at 10 p.m. on Thursday evening.

So place your bets — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.


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