JP Morgan Picks Up More Silver Via Share Conversion in SLV

30 March 2017 — Thursday


The gold price fell by a few dollars in Far East trading on their Wednesday — but gained that all back by early morning trading in London.  It spent the rest of the day in positive territory by a bit.  The low and high ticks certainly aren’t worth looking up.

Gold finished the Wednesday session in New York at $1,253.40 spot, up $2.10 on the day.  Net volume was a piddling 19,500 contracts, but roll-over/switch volume out of April and into future months was off the charts.  Because of that, not a thing should be read into yesterday’s price action.

Silver traded lower until around 11:30 a.m. China Standard Time on their Wednesday morning, but not below $18 spot — and after trading sideways until around 2 p.m. CST, began to head higher in rather choppy fashion for the rest of the Wednesday session.

The low and high ticks in this precious metal aren’t worth looking up, either.

Silver closed in New York yesterday at $18.21 spot, up 4.5 cents on the day.  Net volume was pretty heavy at just over 51,000 contracts.

The platinum price barely had a pulse yesterday, trading a dollar or two either side of unchanged.  It finished the day at $952 spot, down a buck from Tuesday.

Palladium also traded pretty flat, but was sold lower in the early going in COMEX trading in New York.  It recovered all of that as the Wednesday session rolled along — and it finished unchanged on the day at $790 spot.

The dollar index closed very late on Tuesday afternoon in New York at 99.68 — and didn’t do much until around noon in Shanghai on their Wednesday.  At that point it began to creep towards the 100.00 level, but that attempt ended short of the mark in the first half-hour of London trading.  It crawled lower from there until 11:45 a.m. GMT and — within thirty minutes…and fifteen minutes before the COMEX open, the 100.13 high tick was set.  And it’s blatantly transparent from the saw-tooth chart pattern from that point, that it was being held above the 100.00 mark.  If finally fell below it to stay just minutes before 3 p.m. EDT — and it traded quietly sideways from there into the close.  The index finished the Wednesday session at 99.94 — and up 26 basis points on the day.

Here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index which, as always, is presented for mostly entertainment purposes.  And that’s because the currency markets are just as managed as all the rest, with yesterday’s activity in very early afternoon trading in London, being another case in point…if another one was actually needed.

The gold stocks opened unchanged, dipped briefly into negative territory, before rallying with little enthusiasm until shortly before 3:30 p.m. in New York.  They sold off a bit into the close, as the HUI finished in the plus column [finally] to the tune of 1.18 percent.

The silver equities opened down a bit, but by 10 a.m. EDT were back in the green to stay.  Their respective highs came around 10:35 a.m. in New York.  From there they chopped very quietly lower for the rest of the Wednesday trading session.  What else is new?  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed higher by 0.47 percent.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 44 gold and 17 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Friday.  In gold, the only short/issuer worth mentioning was ABN Amro with 41 contracts out of its client account.  Scotiabank stopped 43 contracts for its own account.  In silver, Scotiabank issued 13 contracts — and ADM the other 4.  The CME Group picked up all 17 — and those were destined for the 1,000 oz. mini-silver futures contract for March.  There were 320 of those this past month, which is 64 COMEX contracts worth in total.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Wednesday trading session showed that gold open interest in March actually rose by 31 contracts, leaving 44 still left…minus the 44 mentioned in the previous paragraph.  March’s deliveries in gold will be complete as of tomorrow.  Silver o.i. in March declined by 30 contracts leaving just 17 left — and those are out for delivery tomorrow as well.  The March delivery month in silver is also complete.

For the month of March, there were 187 gold contracts issued and stopped.  In silver, that number was 3,872 COMEX contracts.  Of that amount, JP Morgan stopped 2,689 for its own account, plus another 739 for its ‘client’ account…for a total of 3,428 contracts.  Unprecedented!

Ted pointed out on the phone on Monday that silver open interest for April, which certainly isn’t a traditional delivery month, was reasonably high — and as of yesterday’s Preliminary Report, it stood at 737 contracts.  It will be interesting to see who the issuers and stoppers will be on whatever portion of that open interest that is finally delivered.  First Day Notice numbers will be on the CME’s website around 10 p.m. EDT this evening, so we get some idea right away — and I’ll have them for you in tomorrow’s column.

There was no reported changes in GLD yesterday, but that certainly wasn’t the case in SLV, as an authorized participant took out 2,746,161 troy ounces.  In light of the current price activity in silver, I would suspect that is was most likely JP Morgan exchanging SLV shares for the physical metal itself.

What do they know that we don’t…at least not yet?

Another day with no sales report from the U.S. Mint.

It was another day of quiet activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved gold depositories on the U.S. east coast on Tuesday.  They reported receiving only 2,636.300 troy ounces/ 82 kilobars [U.K./U.S. kilobar weight] — and all that went into Canada’s Scotiabank.  There was nothing shipped out.

It was equally quiet in silver, as only 4,196 troy ounces were received, but 90,859 troy ounces were shipped out.  All of the ‘in’ activity was at Delaware — and all of the ‘out’ activity was at Scotiabank.

It was another big day for Brink’s, Inc. over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Tuesday.  Although nothing was reported received, there were 10,158 shipped out.  The link to that action, in troy ounces, is here.

I have a lot of stories today — and I hope you can find the time to spend on the ones that interest you.


Wells Fargo Reaches $110 Million Fake Accounts Settlement

Wells Fargo & Co. reached a $110 million settlement with customers nationwide over claims its employees set up fraudulent accounts to boost their own pay, a deal that moves the bank another step toward closing the books on last year’s scandal.

Revelations that Wells Fargo employees may have opened more than 2 million deposit and credit-card accounts without customers’ permission has prompted sweeping changes at the San Francisco-based lender. The bank eliminated a system of sales targets that regulators said encouraged workers to create fake accounts. It also fired or demoted five people who had served as senior managers in the consumer business.

Wells Fargo agreed six months ago to pay $185 million in fines and penalties as part of a settlement with federal regulators and the Los Angeles city attorney’s office. The San Francisco-based bank didn’t admit or deny wrongdoing as part of that agreement.

The deal, announced Tuesday by the bank and in a court filing, covers dozens of lawsuits filed across the country, including 10 in San Francisco federal court. The agreement must still be approved by a judge.

This Bloomberg story appeared on their Internet site at 3:13 p.m. Denver time on Tuesday afternoon — and was updated about two and half hours later.  It’s the first of two in a row from Jim Gullo — and another link to this article is here.

Shadow Banking Is Getting Bigger Without Getting Better

Taxi companies that compete with Uber and media companies that are up against Facebook know it: In a rivalry between regulated and unregulated firms, the latter have an unfair advantage. It also applies to banks, which spent the past ten years losing market share to companies that regulators ignored.

In a fresh working paper, Greg Buchak and Gregor Matvos of the University of Chicago, Tomasz Piskorski of Columbia Business School and Stanford’s Amit Seru calculated that between 2007 and 2015, so-called shadow banks have increased their share of the U.S. Federal Housing Administration mortgage market sevenfold to 75 percent. That’s the market where the less creditworthy borrowers get their loans. In the U.S. mortgage market as a whole, shadow banks held a 38 percent share in 2015, compared with 14 percent in 2007.

In other markets, financial organizations that are not subject to bank regulation have flourished, too. According to the Financial Stability Board, the august body that makes recommendations to the global financial system from Basel, Switzerland, “other financial intermediaries” — the category that includes non-bank lenders but not insurance companies and pension funds — increased their assets to $80 trillion, or 23 percent of total financial assets, in 2014. Their average growth reached 5.6 percent in 2011 through 2014, while the global banking system’s assets stopped growing during that time.

This right-on-the-money opinion piece by Bloomberg columnist Leonid Bershidsky was posted on their website at 11:55 a.m. EDT on Tuesday morning — and it’s the second offering in a row from Jim Gullo.  It’s worth reading if you have the interest — and another link to it is here.

Is George Soros Behind This Plot to Topple Trump? — Nick Giambruno

The Establishment is setting up Donald Trump.

The mainstream media hates him. Hollywood hates him. The “Intellectual…Yet Idiot” academia class hates him.

Most critically, the CIA hates him. So does the rest of the Deep State, or the permanently entrenched “national security” bureaucracy. They did everything possible to stop Trump from taking office. None of it worked.

I think the CIA hates Trump for a very simple reason: he’s threatening to take away their livelihood.

Trump wants to make nice with Putin and the Russians. But countering the so-called “Russian threat” is how many thousands of Deep State bureaucrats make a living.

These people feed off the trough of the $1 trillion-plus military/security budget. Playing nice with the Russians would kill their jobs—and end their way of life.

This must read commentary by Nick showed up on the Internet site yesterday sometime — and I thank Scott Otey for pointing it out.  Another link to this article is here.

The Surveillance State Behind Russiagate — Ray McGovern/Bill Binney

Although many details are still hazy because of secrecy – and further befogged by politics – it appears House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was informed last week about invasive electronic surveillance of senior U.S. government officials and, in turn, passed that information onto President Trump.

This news presents Trump with an unwelcome but unavoidable choice: confront those who have kept him in the dark about such rogue activities or live fearfully in their shadow. (The latter was the path chosen by President Obama. Will Trump choose the road less traveled?)

What President Trump decides will largely determine the freedom of action he enjoys as president on many key security and other issues. But even more so, his choice may decide whether there is a future for this constitutional republic. Either he can acquiesce to or fight against a Deep State of intelligence officials who have a myriad of ways to spy on politicians (and other citizens) and thus amass derogatory material that can be easily transformed into blackmail.

This crisis (yes, “crisis” is an overused word, but in this highly unusual set of circumstances we believe it is appropriate) came to light mostly by accident after President Trump tweeted on March 4 that his team in New York City’s Trump Towers had been “wiretapped” by President Obama.

This commentary by Ray and Bill — two former U.S. intelligence veterans — was posted on the Internet site on Tuesday — and I thank Larry Galearis for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.

The New York Times’ ongoing dishonesty only helps Trump — John Crudele

Six months ago, I canceled my subscription to The New York Times because I felt the paper had become ethically challenged in its coverage of the presidential election.

And, it turns out, I was right.

Soon after the election — one in which the Times’ favorite candidate, Hillary Clinton, lost — the paper admitted its mistakes.

After the shocking defeat of the Democrats’ candidate, Times Publisher Arthur (Pinch) Sulzberger begged for his readers’ forgiveness, although he did seem to choke a little on the apology.

We aim to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism. That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor…,” Sulzberger said in a letter to the paper’s readers.

So the Times was “rededicating” itself to honesty. And that means it was admitting that it had strayed from being honest during the campaign.

This longish, hard-hitting, but right-on-target commentary by John showed up on The New York Post‘s website at 11:35 p.m. EST on Monday night — and I found it in yesterday’s edition of the King Report.  It’s certainly worth reading — and another link to it is here.

POLLS: Brits don’t regret Brexit — and just want Theresa May to get on with it

Britain’s ambassador to the European Union Sir Tim Barrow is set to deliver the Article 50 letter of notification to European Council President Donald Tusk shortly after lunch time on Wednesday.

The letter, which Prime Minister Theresa May officially signed on Tuesday evening, will inform the E.U. of Britain’s formal departure and as a result, trigger a two-year period of negotiations that will end by the end of March 2019.

Ahead of this historic moment, YouGov has published up-to-date research on how the British public feels about a number of key issues to do with Brexit: including they regret voting Leave and the prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

It has been around 10 months since the June 23 referendum and despite warnings of political upheaval and economic ruin, Brits have no regrets about voting Brexit. As the chart below illustrates, the majority of Brits believed Brexit was the right decision when quizzed in the weeks following the vote, and that still has not changed.

British opinion has swung in favour of May’s government getting on with Brexit, even among those who voted Remain in June. 69{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} of respondents told YouGov that government should ensure Britain does leave the 28-nation bloc when asked last week, with a majority of Remain voters believing the referendum result should be carried out.

This news item showed up on the Internet site during Europe’s lunch hour on Wednesday and, not surprisingly, it comes to us courtesy of Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl — and another link to it is here.

Marine Le Pen blasts the BBC for wanting to start WW3 with Russia

Just weeks ahead of the French presidential elections, Front National candidate Marine Le Pen sat down with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis to discuss Brexit, Putin and NATO.

Le Pen did not hold back, dishing out realpolitik answers to the BBC’s neo-liberal propaganda…
On U.S. policy toward Russia…

The previous American administration put the Berlin Wall on wheels and pushed it back to Russia’s borders.”

On whether France would defend the Baltic states or the Ukraine against a fantasy invasion from Russia…

You want war at all costs! What is your problem? You want to go to war! Do you like war? You want conflicts – you want us to start World War Three!

At the moment no one wants to go to war with anyone.

If you read that Nick Giambruno piece further up, this falls into the same must read category, too.  There’s a brief embedded video clip as well.  It showed up on Internet site very early on Wednesday morning EDT — and I thank Roy Stephens for sharing it with us.  Another link to it is here.

Russia wins Judgment against Ukraine in London High Court

The High Court in London this morning granted Russia’s request for an expedited hearing (i.e. summary Judgment) of its claim against Ukraine arising from Ukraine’s non-payment of the $3 billion loan Ukraine owes Russia.

This is not the final Judgment in the case.  That is however probably no more than a few weeks away.  Reports say the High Court rejected all of Ukraine’s arguments that it should not be required to pay the loan for political reasons, and this together with the High Court’s decision to grant Russia an expedited hearing makes it now a virtual certainty that the High Court will shortly decide the case in Russia’s favour, and declare Ukraine in default on its loan.

As those who have followed my writings on this question will know, this is what I have argued was likely to happen from the start.  Indeed on strict legal principles it is difficult to see what other possible Judgment the High Court could have made.

Ukraine is saying it will appeal today’s Judgment, presumably to the Court of Appeal and, if it loses there, presumably ultimately to the British Supreme Court.  In English law an appeal does not however automatically delay implementation of a Judgment, and since today’s decision is procedural I cannot see what grounds for appeal there are, and I expect Ukraine’s appeal to be refused.

This means that a final Judgment in the case may now be no more than weeks away.

This worthwhile news item appeared on Internet site early Wednesday morning EDT — and it’s the second contribution in a row from Roy Stephens.  Another link to it is here.  There was also a Reuters article on this as well.  It was headlined “Ukraine ruled to have no court-ready defence in $3 billion Russia bond case” — and that comes courtesy of Doug Milne.

Ukraine turns on its ‘friends’ — Belarus and Poland

As the situation within Ukraine itself deteriorates, Ukraine’s relations with the two neighbouring countries with which it has struggled to remain on good terms – Belarus and Poland – have also taken a sharp turn for the worse.

That post-Maidan Ukraine has been able to maintain reasonably good relations with Russia’s close ally Belarus might seem surprising.  However Belarus President Lukashenko is far from being a client’s Moscow and his relations with the Russians have often been prickly.  Since the Maidan coup he has strived to maintain at least a civil relationship with Ukraine, in part no doubt in order to assert his independence from Moscow.

In recent weeks that attempt has been showing signs of unravelling.  In November Belarus angered Ukraine by voting against a Ukrainian sponsored U.N. Resolution condemning alleged Russian human rights violations in Crimea.  Ukrainian politicians loudly called this a ‘stab in the back’, though it ought to have been obvious to them that in any situation where Belarus was forced to choose between Ukraine and Russia, it would choose Russia.

Since then there have been a succession of incidents involving Ukrainian activists in Belarus whom the Belarus authorities accuse of participation in anti-Lukashenko protests, and who have been deported from Belarus to Ukraine.  There has even been talk of an attempt to stage a Maidan type ‘revolution’ in Minsk.  Unsurprisingly this has provoked the Belarus authorities, notwithstanding that Belarus has been going to a difficult patch in its relations with Russia, to become more critical of Ukraine and to distance Belarus from Kiev.

If relations between Ukraine and Belarus have become more strained, of much greater concern to Kiev is the steady deterioration in relations between Ukraine and Poland.

This story from the Internet site on Wednesday morning EDT is certainly worth reading, especially if you’re a serious student of the New Great Game.  It’s another offering from Roy Stephens — and another link to it is here.

Under the Hood: What’s in Your Gold Index?

The Irony of Indexation and ETFs Disrupting the Market Efficiency and Pricing or, if You’re Buying a Gold Miner ETF as a Hedge, Do You Know What’s Really Going On?

There are securities that actually are solid citizens of the indexation sphere of activity, and which might even be undervalued, yet which are subject to dramatic price volatility precisely because they are prime ETF constituents. Volatility in these cases is unrelated to the economics of the companies in question, and illustrates how market clearing prices have been distorted by the structure of many ETFs and the impact of investor fund flows into and out of them. One such security, also a holding in some of our strategies, is Silver Wheaton Corp. (“Silver Wheaton”), the silver and gold royalty company.

This Silver Wheaton business model has been reviewed before and won’t be repeated here, save to recall that it is not a mining company, and does not, therefore, have any mining equipment or capital expenditure needs. It buys long-term future gold and silver production at deep discounts in exchange for assisting mining companies to fund new or existing mine development. The established royalty companies have extremely high free cash flow margins, generate high returns on equity and, because they actually have reinvestable free cash flow, very substantially outperform the commodities themselves and the mining companies over the long term. Their business, which can also be described as un- or underleveraged factoring, is not cyclical.

We bring up the precious metals companies because they have become a very popular area of investment interest, for obvious reasons. It’s important to understand how the investment objectives or expectations behind those reasons are satisfied or, perhaps, obstructed by the indexation vortex.

This very interesting — and very worthwhile commentary put in an appearance on the Internet site yesterday.  On a personal note, Todd Anthony, First Majestic Silver’s ace I.R. guy, told me that about 16 percent of their stock float has been sold short…which is obscene — and the reason why it hasn’t been doing well.  It’s the same story in McEwen Mining.  The first person through the door with this report was Richard Saler — and we both agreed that the above was probably the reason why the precious metal shares have been acting so terribly since February 9th.  Richard’s comment that…”some entity or entities are aggressively shorting to create pessimism in the precious metals” is probably pretty close to the mark.  Another link to this must read commentary is here.

El Salvador bans all metals mining, marking first

El Salvador’s congress has approved a total ban on the mining of metals in the country, one of the first to enact such a broad ban.

Environmentalists have noted that some other countries have enacted bans on strip mining, open-pit or heap-leaching techniques. But the bill passed Wednesday in El Salvador would not allow any underground, above-ground or artisanal[?] mining for metals. That includes exploration, extraction or processing ore with techniques that often involve cyanide or mercury.

Proponents say the measure is needed to protect the water supply.

Mining for non-metallic substances like salt, stone or sand would still be allowed.

Exploration has revealed deposits of gold and silver, but El Salvador has no large-scale metal mining.

This AP story, filed from San Salvador, was picked up by the Internet site at 7:05 p.m. EDT yesterday evening — and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for bringing it to my attention — and now to yours.  Another link to it is here.

World’s First Deep-Sea Mining Venture Set to Launch in 2019

Remote-controlled robots will journey to the bottom of the ocean in search of copper, nickel, cobalt, gold, and platinum as global demand for minerals surges.

The world’s first deep-sea mining operation will kick off in early 2019 when a Canadian firm, Nautilus Minerals Inc., lowers a trio of massive remote-controlled mining robots to the floor of the Bismarck Sea off the coast of Papua New Guinea in pursuit of rich copper and gold reserves.

The machines, each the size of a small house, are equipped with rock-crushing teeth resembling the large incisors of a dinosaur. The robots will lumber across the ocean floor on mammoth treads, grinding and chewing the encrusted seabed, sending plumes of sediment into the surrounding waters and killing marine life that gets in their way. The smallest of the robots weighs 200 tons.

A lot of people don’t realize that there are more mineral resources on the seafloor than on land,” said Michael Johnston, CEO of Nautilus, by phone from the company’s field office in Brisbane, Australia. “Technology has allowed us to go there.

If Nautilus succeeds, an undersea gold rush could be at hand.

This very interesting news story showed up on the Internet site at 8:00 a.m. EDT last Friday — and the machines look they’re right out of the Terminator II movie set.  The story is worth a few minutes of your time — and I thank Patrik Ekdahl for sharing it with us.  Another link to it is here.

Shandong Gold Says It May Have Found China’s Biggest Gold Mine

Shandong Gold Group Co., China’s No. 2 producer by output, said it discovered deposits in eastern China that could be the nation’s largest discovery as it pushes to add reserves.

The Xiling mine in Shandong province told local authorities it had found 382.58 tons of gold reserves and that the volume could reach more than 550 tons once exploration is completed in two years, which would make it China’s largest mine, according to a statement Tuesday that cited the company on, a website supervised by the provincial government. Operating at full capacity, the mine would have a life of 40 years, according to the statement.

Chinese gold companies have been stepping up their search for domestic deposits and eyeing acquisitions as the nation seeks to increase reserves by 3,000 tons to as much as 14,000 tons by 2020, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said last month.

This gold-related news item showed up on the Bloomberg Internet site at 8:04 p.m. on Tuesday evening MDT — and I found it embedded in a GATA dispatch in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.  However, it was a bit too late to make Wednesday’s column.  Another link to it is here.

Chinese Gold demand remains subdued during February

Chinese physical gold demand remained subdued during February this year,said Commerzbank

Analysts cited a data from the Census and Statistics Department of the Hong Kong government showing that China imported a mere net 47.9 tons of gold from Hong Kong in February.

Admittedly, this was more than in the very weak previous month, which some market participants attribute to stocks being replenished after the Chinese New Year festival at the end of January.

“Nonetheless, year-on-year imports were down. And after the first two months of the year, net Chinese gold imports from Hong Kong are a good 8{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} below the equivalent figure from last year,” Commerzbank added.

The Swiss gold export figures published last week had already hinted at muted Chinese gold demand in February.

The above five paragraphs are all there is to this short gold-related news item, filed from Shanghai, that appeared on the Internet site yesterday.  Like most other commentators out there, they still equate total Chinese gold demand to imports through Hong Kong.  That particular dog hasn’t hunted for years now.  I found it on the Sharps Pixley website — and a link to the hard copy is here.

In broadcast to India, GATA secretary says free market in gold would enrich the country

In a broadcast from Singapore yesterday, CNBC‘s news channel affiliate in India, CNBC-TV18, gave GATA‘s secretary/treasurer Chris Powell six minutes to assert that for the time being the gold price will be determined largely by surreptitious trading by central banks and that India’s government should stop fighting the desire of its people for golden money.

Powell argued that while India is a developing country, with an estimated 24,000 tonnes of the monetary metal in private and temple possession, it might become the richest country if gold was allowed to trade without central bank interference.

I stuck this story in my column shortly after I posted it on my website at 4 a.m. EDT yesterday morning — and it didn’t make the e-mail version at all, so I’m posting it one more time in case you were one of those that didn’t see it.  CNBC-TV18 has posted video of the interview at its internet site, — and another link to it is here.


The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature only works for the cartoon.


What has got me contemplating the silence of crashing trees in the forest is that we just ended the tightest and, therefore, closest to an outright physical squeeze in a COMEX silver delivery than ever before — and I have yet to read one independent word of it anywhere. How can this be? How can it be that every single close observer of silver not be focused and commenting on what just transpired in the just-completed COMEX March silver delivery period?

For the record, the data show that one entity, JP Morgan took (stopped) 3,428 silver deliveries this month or more than 17 million physical ounces for both itself (2,689 contracts) and on behalf of a client(s) (739 contracts), out of the total 3,855 contracts issued this month. This is the most silver taken by one entity in memory and happens to be way larger than the 1,500 contracts permitted by COMEX regulations. Most importantly, and as I have mentioned previously, I also got the distinct impression that the shorts which did make delivery, struggled in doing so.

Adding to the silence is the fact that JP Morgan has been the primary stopper of COMEX silver deliveries for years in its own name, so this month’s deliveries is only a continuation of a pattern that should have been widely recognized and commented on long before now. I’ll be frank with you – whether considering the stark lopsided differences in the market capitalizations in silver versus gold or the unmistakable signs of physical tightness in the March silver deliveries – I don’t understand the widespread lack of recognition. I just don’t get it. Silver analyst Ted Butler: 29 March 2017

Like I said at the top of today’s column, nothing much should be read into Wednesday’s price action as the April contract goes off the board.  All the large traders had to be out by the close of COMEX trading yesterday — and gold volume was very heavy…about the same as Tuesday’s…and over 90 percent of it was roll-over/switch volume into June and beyond.

The rest of the traders have to be out by the close of COMEX trading today, but I don’t expect volumes to be anywhere near what they were on Wednesday.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, plus copper, as usual.  It should be noted that the Wednesday dojis for both gold and silver shows the low price ticks after the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday afternoon.  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 once again the gold price was sold lower the moment that trading began at 6:00 p.m. EDT in New York yesterday evening.  The current low tick came shortly after 10 a.m. China Standard Time [CST] on their Thursday morning — and it has been rallying quietly ever since, but is still down $2.70 the ounce at the moment.  It was mostly same price pattern for silver — and since its low in mid-morning trading in Shanghai, it has only rallied a couple of pennies — and is down 7 cents.  Platinum had about a six dollar up/down move in morning trading in the Far East — and is currently up 2 dollars as the Zurich open approaches.  Palladium has been sold off in fits and starts so far in Thursday trading — and is down 4 bucks.

Net HFT gold volume is around 21,000 contracts, with most of the volume now in the new front month, which is June.  Net HFT volume in silver is already pretty healthy at 8,300 contracts.

The dollar index ‘rallied’ back above the 100.00 mark to around 100.12 by around 11 a.m. CST, but has begun to shed that gain a little bit — and has slid back below the 100.00 mark to 99.98 — and up only 5 basis points since its close in New York late on Wednesday afternoon.

I’m not prepared to read too much into the current price action, as it’s just too early in the day.

You’ll excuse me for thinking this, but the set-ups in both gold and silver as of the close of trading yesterday look suspiciously similar to the price dojis on or shortly before March 1.  That was just before JP Morgan et al pulled the pin on the last rallies in these precious metals that touched in the case of gold, or just broke above in the case of silver…their respective 200-day moving averages.

Could they do it again?  Sure.  Will they?  I don’t know…but Ted mentioned this exact possibility in his Saturday column — and again in his Wednesday missive.

Don’t forget that ‘da boyz’ are always in charge — and they can do whatever they want, whenever they want.

As I keep saying…”until that changes, nothing changes.

And as I post today’s efforts on the website at 4:03 a.m. EDT, I see that the gold price has been chopping mostly sideways for the last hour — and is down $3.10 an ounce.  The silver price hasn’t done much of anything — and is still down 7 cents.  Platinum is now up 3 bucks — and palladium is down the same amount.

Net HFT gold volume is around 28,000 contracts, which isn’t a big increase from an hour ago.  That number in silver is a hair under 10,000 contracts — and that’s not up much in the last hour, either.

The dollar index which was low as 99.95 about ten minutes before the London/Zurich opens, has rallied a bit and is now back above 100.00 at 100.09 — up 16 basis points now.

With the April contract going off the board today, I haven’t the foggiest notion as to how trading will proceed, except that any price/volume action that matters will most likely occur starting after the noon silver fix in London.

That’s all I have today, which is plenty — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.


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