The Cruise Missiles Flew — and ‘Da Boyz’ Were Laying In Wait

07 April 2017 — Friday


Gold’s tiny rally that began at 6:00 p.m. EDT in New York on Wednesday evening, wasn’t even allowed to last two hours before it got stepped on.  It wandered quietly lower from there until the noon silver fix in London — and then chopped equally quietly sideways for the remainder of the Thursday session.

The high and low ticks definitely aren’t worth looking up.

Gold finished the day at $1,251.60 spot, down $3.80 from Wednesday’s close.  Net volume was more than decent at just over 161,000 contracts.

It was more or less the same price action in silver, although it was a little choppier.  The low tick in that precious metal was set at 9:35 a.m. in New York.  It recovered a dime and a bit from there, but that wasn’t allowed to last.  The silver price then traded mostly sideways until the last hour of trading before the 5:00 p.m. close.  At that point it tacked on a few more pennies into the close.

Like for gold, the high and low ticks aren’t worth looking up, either.

Silver closed on Thursday at $18.24 spot, down 3 cents on the day.  Net volume was a bit under 42,000 contracts, with a reasonable amount of roll-over switch volume associated with it.

Platinum suffered the same fate as silver, including the 9:35 a.m. EDT low tick, along with the rally in the last hour of trading in the after-hours market.  But it wasn’t allowed a positive close, either…as it finished the Thursday session at $956 spot, down 3 dollars on the day.

The palladium price didn’t do much of anything in Far East trading, but around 10:30 a.m. in Zurich the price got stepped on — and then some more in early COMEX trading.  It recovered most of its loses starting at, or shortly before, the London p.m. gold fix, but was still closed down 2 bucks on the day at $804 spot.

The dollar index closed very late on Wednesday afternoon in New York at 100.52 — and was sold down to its 100.37 low tick of the day by around 8:45 a.m. China Standard Time [CST] on the Thursday morning.  It rallied a bit from there, but then blasted higher starting minutes before the London open.  The high in London came less than fifteen minutes later, but within two hours, had given half that gain back.  The index began to move higher once again starting around 11 a.m. BST, with the 100.77 high tick of the day set just minutes before the COMEX close, which is what happened on Wednesday as well.  It sold off a bit from there, before chopping sideways into the close.  This index finished the Thursday session at 100.73 — up 21 basis points from Wednesday — and a handful of basis points above its 50-day moving average…if that means anything these days.

Here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart — and unless the usual ‘gentle hands’ put in a forceful appearance at some point in the very near future, this little rally appears to be in danger of rolling over, despite the fact that the 50-day moving average was broken.

The gold shares opened down a bit — and then kept on going.  Their collective lows were set at 11:30 a.m. in New York – and they chopped quietly higher until shortly after 2:30 p.m. EDT — and then traded sideways for the rest of the day.  The HUI closed down 0.59 percent.

The silver equities opened down a bit as well — and then made multiple attempts to break above and stay above unchanged.  Their low ticks also came at 11:30 a.m. — and from there they finally made it back into positive territory to stay shortly after 2 p.m. in New York trading.  Their highs came between 2:30 and 3 p.m. EDT — and even though they sold off a bit from there, they did manage a slightly positive close, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed up by 0.24 percent.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 25 gold and 118 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Monday.  In gold, the largest short/issuer was International F.C. Stone with 17 contracts — and the largest long/stopper was JP Morgan with 10 contracts for its client account.  In silver, the sole short/issuer was JP Morgan out of its client account.  Canada’s Scotiabank picked up 91 contracts — and Citigroup picked up 20 for its client account.  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 April declined by 184 contracts, leaving 1,957 left, minus the 25 mentioned above.  Wednesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 126 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 184-126=58 gold contracts disappeared from April without either making or taking delivery.  Silver o.i. in April rose for the second day in a row, as 19 contracts were added to the April delivery month, leaving 265 still open, minus the 118 silver contracts mentioned in the previous paragraph.  Yesterday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that zero silver contracts were posted for delivery today.

The delivery month in gold is getting interested because it’s unfolding so slowly.  Ted’s word for it is ‘sticky’ — and in silver, the race is on to grab as much physical as possible, which is amazing considering the fact that April is not a traditional delivery month.  So far this month there have been 587 gold contracts issued and stopped, but in silver that number is already up to 641 contracts.

There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday, but there was another withdrawal from SLV, as an authorized participant took out 946,852 troy ounces — and it’s a reasonable assumption to make, that JP Morgan owns it all now.

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

It was another fairly busy day in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Wednesday.  There was 74,127 troy ounces received — and 45,032 troy ounces shipped out.  Of the ‘in’ activity, I note that JPMorgan picked up another 41,977 troy ounces, plus 32,150.000 troy ounces/1,000 kilobars [U.K./U.S. kilobar weight] were received over at Canada’s Scotiabank.  In the ‘out’ box, there was 31,689 troy ounces sent out of Scotiabank — and 13,310.100 troy ounces/414 kilobars [U.K./U.S. kilobar weight] shipped out of Manfra, Tordella & Brookes, Inc.  One kilobar, U.K./U.S kilobar weight, departed Brink’s, Inc. as well.  A link to that activity is here.

But it was a monster day in silver, as 1,422,741 troy ounces were received — and 2,842,579 troy ounces were shipped out.  There were two containers…1,191,454 troy ounces…received over at JP Morgan — and all of that came courtesy of Brink’s, Inc.  The remaining 231,287 troy ounces received, all landed in Scotiabank’s vault.  Along with the two containers out of Brink’s, Inc., there were two more containers totalling 1,231,380 troy ounces shipped out of CNT.  Canada’s Scotiabank shipped out 419,745 troy ounces as well.  The link to all that activity is here — and it’s worth a quick look if you have the interest.

There wasn’t much activity over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Wednesday, as only 2 were received — and 494 shipped out.  The 2 kilobars received went into Loomis International — and all of the ‘out’ activity was at Brink’s, Inc.  The link to that, in troy ounces, is here.

Here are two  charts that Nick Laird slid into my in-box early yesterday evening Denver time.  They show gold and silver imports into India, updated with February’s data.  They imported 89.152 tonnes of gold — and 162.699 tonnes [5.23 million troy ounces] of silver.  Click to Enlarge for both.

It was a slow news day up until yesterday evening EDT.  Now I have quite a few.


Traders Bet the Fed Will Slow Rate Hikes to Shrink Balance Sheet

Most Federal Reserve officials agree that they will begin shrinking their super-sized balance sheet later this year. What they don’t want to discuss in detail yet is how that will shape their plans to continue raising the short-term interest rate in 2018.

The minutes of the March meeting employed some key words to outline plans to trim the balance sheet, which ballooned to $4.5 trillion following three rounds of bond purchases. Reductions need to be “gradual and predictable,” and should be accomplished by “phasing out” of reinvestments, meaning the central bank wouldn’t abruptly stop repurchasing all debt instruments when they mature. Finally, policy makers indicated reductions would start “later this year,” although they didn’t provide details on amounts.

The critical line the Fed is trying to walk is one of slow balance-sheet shrinkage that doesn’t tighten financial conditions so much that it becomes a second tool of monetary policy. Most Fed officials want the federal funds rate to be the primary instrument, according to the minutes published on Wednesday. That may be little more than wishful thinking.

I am highly skeptical” the balance-sheet strategy won’t impact monetary policy, said Laura Rosner, senior U.S. economist at BNP Paribas in New York. “It is hard to imagine that this isn’t going to lead to significant tightening.”

This article was posted on the Bloomberg website at 4:06 p.m. Denver time on Wednesday afternoon — and I thank Patrik Ekdahl for sending it our way.  Another link to it is here.

Free banking could disappear if global interest rates stay low, IMF warns

Households face the end of free banking if the low-growth, low-interest rate environment persists, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF said weak growth combined with ageing populations meant financial institutions around the world would be forced to overhaul their business models to adapt to a new normal.

Demographic change was likely to reduce demand for credit from households and businesses but increase the need for easy-access accounts, payments services and products such as health insurance.

Consequently, in this scenario, domestic banking in advanced economies may generally evolve toward provision of fee-based and utility services,” the IMF said.

It warned that smaller banks that were less diversified were likely to disappear if the global economy stagnated, with many bought by bigger rivals or forced into bankruptcy.

This article showed up on the Internet site at 3:30 p.m. BST on their Thursday afternoon, which was 10:30 a.m. in New York — EDT plus five hours.  It’s the second offering in a row from Patrik Ekdahl — and another link to it is here.

Social Security, Robo-Advisers & Misinformation — Dennis Miller

For decades, every presidential candidate has vowed to “fix” social security, yet it never happens. In the meantime, workers have money deducted from their paychecks and retirees get paid. Is the system really broken? In a word – YES!

While the politicians fiddle, the system continues to deteriorate. The challenge becomes more difficult because there is so much misinformation about Social Security.

Here is just one example. A recent Bankrate article “Boost Social Security Income”, includes the following “no-brainer” chart.

While the math may be technically accurate, I take great exception to the “no-brainer” implication. Only a fool would want to give up anywhere from $180,000 to $323,000 dollars.

Recently, good friend David Holland, CFP, CPA, published a great article, “Robos Aren’t Social Security (SS) Superheroes” addressing the subject.

This article applies mostly to American citizens, but any reader living in a society where the government pays an old-age pension…including Canada where I live…would most likely benefit from reading it.  It was posted on Miller’s website yesterday — and another link to it is here.

The Trump administration goes Neocon-crazy — The Saker

Oh boy, that did not take long.  As I wrote in February, the Neocons and the US deep state have completely neutered Trump.  Just look at these two headlines from RT (and read the articles):

It crossed a lot of lines’: Trump on alleged chemical gas attack in Syria

We are compelled to take own action’ if UN fails in Syria – U.S. envoy

Frankly, I feel like saying “QED – I rest my case” and stop writing here.  But I won’t – this is too serious.

First, let’s set the context.  The Syrians gave up their chemical weapons three years ago (courtesy of Russia).  The Syrians have also pretty much defeated the Anglo-Zionist-Wahabi aggression against their country (courtesy of Russia, again). There is a new (kind of) U.S. Administration in power (some say that this was also courtesy of Russia) which appeared to have given up on overthrowing Assad.  And right at this moment in time, in what is supposed to be a *pure coincidence*.

  •     The Syrian forces used chemical weapons
  •     In a location filled with children
  •     and a lot of folks with cameras

How stupid do they think we are?

This longish, but absolute must read commentary appeared on The Saker‘s website on Wednesday — and I thank Larry Galearis for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.

The decline and fall of the E.U. — Alasdair Macleod

Without the U.K., not only does the E.U. lose much of its importance on the world stage, but the Commission’s budget is left with an enormous hole. That is the decline. The fall is well under way, with capital flight significantly worse than generally realised, as a proper understanding of TARGET2 imbalances shows. Not only is the ECB running out of options, but without major support from Germany, France and Italy, Brussels itself faces a financial crisis. In a highly unusual move, Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan in a letter to his shareholders this week backtracked on his earlier pre-Brexit threat to move jobs from London, declaring that the problem is Europe itself.

The abandonment of the E.U. by Britain looks like a stroke of luck – for Britain, if she can extricate herself in time. It exposes the E.U. for what it is: a failing post-war project. An agglomeration of disparate nations, cobbled together, planned by America in the post-war years, now finds the new American President no longer supports it. The parent is abandoning its child, and so is Britain, American’s closest strategic partner.

This is important. Back in 1947, John Foster Dulles, a U.S. delegate to the U.N. General Assembly, recommended to Congress that the Marshall Plan be used as “a positive instrument for a united Western Europe”. The following year, in the Economic Cooperation Act of 1948, it was stated “It is further declared to be the policy of the people of the United States to encourage the unification of Europe”.

European unification was pursued subsequently by the founders of the CIA through the American Committee on United Europe. From the start, America wished to ensure that the European nations would never go to war again, and for a united Europe to form a buffer against Soviet communism. This policy was embodied in NATO, formed in 1949, which according to its first Secretary General, “was to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and Germany down”.

This is a longish piece as well, but also a must read in my opinion.  It appeared on the Internet site yesterday — and I thank Peter Holland for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.

Deutsche Bank Said Near Full Take-Up for $8.5 Billion Offer

Deutsche Bank AG is poised to receive orders for almost all of the 8 billion euros ($8.5 billion) of stock on offer to investors as the sale draws to a close, according to people familiar with the matter.

Investors have pledged to buy more than 95 percent of the stock on sale in the rights offer, which ends Thursday, said the people, asking not to be identified because the details aren’t public. About 80 percent of existing investors decided to participate in the capital increase, with some opting to boost their exposure and new investors buying the rest, said one person.

The shares are trading well above their offer price, a key factor in attracting demand, having rallied more than 60 percent from their September low. Deutsche Bank shares were little changed at 15.64 euros as of 2:38 p.m. in Frankfurt. The German lender previously announced that it’s issuing 687.5 million new shares at 11.65 euros apiece.

The capital increase — the bank’s fourth since 2010 — is the centerpiece in Chief Executive Officer John Cryan’s new turnaround plan, which he announced in early March after Deutsche Bank failed to sell its Postbank unit to bolster capital. The company’s key Qatari shareholders are buying shares to maintain their stake, according to people familiar with the matter. Chinese investor HNA Group Co. has built up its stake to about 4.8 percent, and that number may increase, said one person with knowledge of the firm’s strategy.

This short, but very interesting story put in an appearance on the Internet site at 11:03 a.m. MDT on Wednesday morning — and was updated about twenty hours later.  It’s another contribution from Patrik Ekdahl — and another link to it is here.

Czechs Trigger Long-Awaited Koruna Float Without Swiss Shock

By signaling that its currency cap would end, the Czech central bank’s announcement that it would no longer keep the koruna artificially weak against the euro avoided the Swiss-like market shock and quick gains some investors anticipated.

With resurgent inflation rendering the policy obsolete, policy makers scrapped the cap that has prevented the koruna from appreciating past 27 to the euro since 2013. By 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in Prague, it was trading near its strongest of the day, 26.57, up 1.8 percent.

The gain — unlike the one-day jump of 41 percent in the Swiss franc when a similar cap was lifted in 2015 — proved an anti-climax for investors who’d piled into Czech assets in the hope of making a risk-free profit. The Czech central bank had warned speculators they may struggle to find counterparties to cash out of their positions. It said it has now returned to a managed-float regime and it will intervene at any time it deems necessary.

If you want to drop a currency peg, then the CNB can show you how to do it,” said Kathleen Brooks, head of research at brokerage firm City Index in London. “Dismantling a long-held currency regime doesn’t need to be as volatile or panic-stricken as the Swiss peg debacle back in 2015.

This Bloomberg news item appeared on their website at 4:34 a.m. MDT on Thursday morning — and was updated about five and a half hours later.  I lifted it from a Zero Hedge article the Brad Robertson sent our way — and another link to it is here.

Putin rebukes Netanyahu over “groundless” accusations on suspected chemical incident in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a telephone conversation that it was unacceptable to make “groundless” accusations concerning the alleged chemical weapons incident that took place in Syria earlier this week.

[Hysteria unleashed – once again —, Western public opinion conveniently forgot that declared chemical weapons held by Damascus had been destroyed way back in 2014 on board of a U.S. maritime vessel, no less, under U.N. supervision.]

During the phone call initiated by the Israeli side on Thursday, Putin and Netanyahu stressed the importance of boosting international efforts to tackle terrorism, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Both sides “expressed readiness to expand [cooperation] in the interest of assuring stability and security in the Middle East and, first of all, in Syria,” it said.

In particular, Putin “pointed out that it was unacceptable to make groundless accusations against anyone without conducting a detailed and unbiased investigation.”

No one is interested in the truth anymore.  Only their agendas matter now.  And with Trump effectively dead in the water as a President, nothing will surprise me from hereon in.  This news item showed up on the Internet site at 2:20 p.m. Moscow time on their Thursday afternoon, which was 7:20 a.m. in Washington — EDT plus 7 hours.  It was also updated about five hours and change later.  I thank Roy Stephens for sharing it with us — and another link to it is here.  There was another story about this over at the Internet site yesterday — and it’s headlined “Déjà vu 2013: Likely False Flag Event has U.S. Preparing for War with Syria; Proof Please!!”  I thank Roy Stephens for sending that along as well.

Trump Unleashes Military Strikes: 60 Tomahawk Missiles Hit Syria

As previewed earlier tonight, the United States fired a barrage of cruise missiles into Syria on Friday morning in retaliation for this week’s alleged chemical weapons attack against civilians by the Assad regime, U.S. officials said. It was the first direct American assault on the Syrian government and Donald Trump’s most dramatic military order since becoming president. According to NBC, only tomahawks missiles fired, no fixed wing aircraft involved, for now.

As AP notes, the surprise strike marked a striking reversal for Trump, who warned as a candidate against the U.S. getting pulled into the Syrian civil war, now in its seventh year. But the president appeared moved by the photos of children killed in the chemical attack, calling it a “disgrace to humanity” that crossed “a lot of lines.

The president did not announce the attacks in advance, though he and other national security officials ratcheted up their warnings to the Syrian government throughout the day Thursday.

The strike early Friday morning in Syria targeted hangars, planes and fuel tanks at one Syrian military airfield, according to a U.S. official. The U.S. attacked with about 60 Raytheon Co. Tomahawk cruise missiles fired from two Navy destroyers.

The missiles, fired from warships in the Mediterranean Sea, targeted an air base in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack that American officials believe Syrian government aircraft launched with a nerve agent; hangars, planes and fuel tanks were targeted, a U.S. official said. Two Navy destroyers launched Raytheon missiles against Syria two days after Bashar al-Assad’s regime used poison gas to kill scores of civilians

Well, so much for the investigations, or the truth.  If you aren’t scared to death by this development, dear reader, you obviously don’t understand the seriousness of the situation.  The Deep State now has its wish.  Let’s see how thing escalate from here, because they certainly will.  This news item appeared on the Zero Hedge website at 9:18 p.m. EDT last night — and another link to it is here.

Pentagon Says Avoided Hitting Russian Forces During Missile Strike on Syria

The Pentagon informed several countries of planned targeted missile strikes in Syria, including Russia.

Pentagon also said that United States did not target the sections of the airbase where Russian forces were believed to be present.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s national security advisor Herbert McMaster said that the United States has gone out of its way to minimize Russian casualties during the Thursday US missile strike in Syria, but there are no guarantees.

U.S. took great pains to avoid Russian casualties in Syria but anytime in a military operation, there are no guarantees,” McMaster said after the missile attack.

Also, U.S. Minister of Defense Rex Tillerson claimed that Russia had failed to carry out 2013 agreement to secure Syrian chemical weapons, saying that Moscow was either complicit or incompetent. “We sought no approval from Moscow,” Tillerson said.

Complicit or incompetent!“…right!  Isn’t war propaganda wonderful?  This news story was posted on the Internet site on Friday morning at 5:26 a.m. Moscow time, which was 10:26 p.m. last night in Washington — EDT plus 7 hours.  I thank Roy Stephens for sending it — and another link to it is here.

Trump orders a military attack on Syria – a crucial moment for Russia

So now we finally have the answer to the key question whether Trump was for real of a fake: he has just ordered a cruise missile attack on Syria.  Words fail me to express my total disgust with Trump.

All I will say is this:  this is a moment as crucial as the U.S./NATO aggression against Yugoslavia in 1999.  When that happened, Evgenii Primakov, then Prime Minister of Russia, who was in an aircraft on the way to an official visit to Washington DC, ordered his pilot to turn around.

Russia needs to cancel the planned visit of Rex Tillerson to Moscow scheduled for April 11-12.

This is not a time for business as usual.  There can be no excuses.

The Saker

That’s all there is, dear reader, as no more needs to be said.  This tiny commentary appeared on the Internet site in the early hours of Friday morning.

Trump Has Surrendered: Will Putin Be Next? — Paul Craig Roberts

Washington has reopened the conflict with a Tomahawk missile attack on Syrian Air Force Bases. The Russian/Syrian air defense systems did not prevent the attack.

The Washington Establishment has reasserted control. First Flynn and now Bannon. All that are left in the Trump administration are the Zionists and the crazed generals who want war with Russia, China, Iran, Syria, and North Korea.

There is no one in the White House to stop them.

Kiss good-bye normalized relations with Russia.

The Syrian conflict is set to be reopened. That is the point of the chemical attack blamed by Washington on Syria despite the absence of any evidence. It is completely obvious that the chemical attack is a Washington orchestrated event. According to reports U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson has warned Russia that steps are underway to remove Syrian president Assad. Trump agrees.

This commentary by Paul was posted on his website very late last night EDT — and I thank Roy Stephens for sending it.  Another link to it is here.

Saudi Arabia: An Oil Giant Is Still Burning Through Its Cash Pile

It was meant to be a given that a rebound in oil prices would slow the depletion of Saudi Arabia’s foreign-currency reserves. That hasn’t happened yet, and economists are wondering why.

Net foreign assets held by the Saudi central bank have fallen by an average $6.5 billion a month over the past year, and now stand at just over $500 billion – having peaked at $737 billion in 2014 when oil prices were above $100 a barrel. The drop in January and February was $11.8 billion and $9.8 billion respectively, the latest data show.

The burn rate is a cause of concern because it shows no sign of abating,” said Mohamed Abu Basha, a Cairo-based economist at EFG-Hermes. “It can’t be explained by government spending alone. They haven’t sold domestic bonds, so that could be a reason, but on the other hand, they have had more revenue because of the increase in oil prices.

As Saudi Arabia’s long-term plan to wean the kingdom off oil takes a toll on growth, officials are trying to strike a balance between stimulating the economy and keeping enough savings to prevent speculation about a currency devaluation. While the government has said that it will finance its budget deficit by drawing on reserves as well as by issuing debt, it doesn’t explain monthly movements in net foreign assets or predict the pace of decline.

Policymakers are also trying to avoid financing the deficit with domestic bonds due to last year’s banking liquidity squeeze, according to Monica Malik, chief economist at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

Another China-type situation in the making…devalue before you go broke.  This Bloomberg news story was posted on their Internet site at 10:01 p.m. Denver time on Wednesday evening — and I thank Patrik Ekdahl for his final contribution to today’s’ column.  Another link to it is here.

China’s Shandong Gold in $960 million deal for half of Barrick’s Veladero mine

China’s Shandong Gold Mining Co Ltd will pay $960 million for a 50 percent stake in Barrick Gold Corp’s Veladero gold mine in Argentina, the Canadian miner said in a press release on Thursday.

The deal, which confirms an earlier Reuters report about the talks, will also see the two firms look at jointly developing the nearby undeveloped Pascua-Lama gold and silver project which straddles the border of Argentina and Chile.

Barrick added the two miners would also look at other additional investment opportunities on the El Indio Gold Belt.

Shandong is an ideal partner to help us unlock the untapped mineral wealth of the El Indio Belt over the long-term, while working with us to generate more value from the Veladero mine today,” Barrick Executive Chairman John Thornton said.

Shandong Gold’s Chairman said in the release the miner was looking to “build a long-term relationship” with Barrick.

This short gold-related Reuters story put in an appearance on their Internet site at 2:45 a.m. EDT on Thursday morning — and I found it embedded in a GATA dispatch.  Another link to it is here.

Keith Barron of Fruta del Norte fame is back in Ecuador, and this is what he’s up to

Exploration geologist Keith Barron is best known for discovering the colossal Fruta del Norte gold deposit in Ecuador, but if his new venture is successful he may soon have another claim to fame.

Barron is now at the helm of Aurania Resources, and it wont be long before the company begins work at the Lost Cities project, also in Ecuador. His goal is a lofty one: to find Logroo de los Caballeros and Sevilla del Oro, two settlements that produced gold during the 16th century but have since been lost.

While searching for lost gold might sound like something out of a storybook, Barron has made it clear that Lost Cities is a serious project that Aurania will be approaching in a careful and well-considered manner. “We’re an exploration company for minerals,” he told the Investing News Network. “Our main focus is obviously to find mineral deposits.

This very interesting story was posted on the Internet site on Tuesday sometime — and it’s another news item from the Internet site.  Another link to it is here.

Perth Mint’s monthly gold sales dip in March, silver sales rise

The Perth Mint’s sales of gold products fell in March to the lowest since August last year, while silver sales increased, the mint said in a blog post on its website on Thursday.

Sales of gold coins and minted bars slipped about 12 percent in March to 22,232 ounces from 25,257 ounces a month earlier, the mint said on its website. Silver sales climbed about 43 percent in March to 716,283 ounces from 502,353 ounces in February, according to the blog post.

The Perth Mint runs the only gold refinery in Australia, the world’s No. 2 gold producer after China. Gold prices edged up on Thursday on a weaker dollar and as appetite for risky assets such as equities waned ahead of a potentially tense meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

This tiny Reuters story was picked up by The Times of India at 8:30 a.m. IST on their Friday morning — and it’s something I found late last night on the Sharps Pixley website.  Another link to it is here.


The roseate spoonbill is a gregarious wading bird of the ibis and spoonbill family.  It is a resident breeder in South America — mostly east of the Andes — and in coastal regions of the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, the Gulf Coast of the United States and on central Florida’s Atlantic coast.  Click to enlarge.


Friday’s COT report will help clarify where we stand in the developing COMEX positioning drama. As of yesterday’s cutoff, total open interest rose for the reporting week in COMEX silver by more than 17,000 contracts and fell by nearly 22,000 contracts in COMEX gold futures. I still believe the big changes in total open interest in gold were spread related and that also may be the case in silver to a certain, but different degree. Prices were steady to slightly higher in silver, compared to gold, in the reporting week just ended, but not excessively so, although silver prices remained and closed above the 200-day moving average barrier, but have yet to do so in gold. Thinking like a technical fund (if possible), I imagine I would have been a buyer in the past reporting week.

While I can’t put firm numbers on it, the focus will be on what the managed money longs did in each market. The possibility of a price take down still exists, due to the managed money longs that have been recently added getting flushed out (assuming any newly added managed money longs are of the technical fund variety). However, considering the lopsided nature of the risk/reward equation in silver presently, I am still convinced that, at least for me, it is not worth the chance of sidestepping a temporary market detour lower and risk not being fully aboard a long term upward journey that could begin at any time.Silver analyst Ted Butler: 05 April 2017

It appeared to be a ‘nothing’ sort of day in both silver and gold yesterday, but if you knew where to look, it was obvious that the powers-that-be were ever vigilant, although they were very quiet about it.

The 6-month gold and silver charts show how carefully their respective prices have been managed over the last two weeks, although it’s more striking on the silver chart.  But with this week’s price activity in gold under our belts, it’s obvious in gold as well.

But of course that all went out the window once the Tomahawk missiles landed in Syria this morning.

Here are all four precious metal charts, plus copper — and the click to enlarge feature helps a bit with the first four charts.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open I see that I note that gold and silver blasted higher the moment the cruise missiles hit the ground in Syria, but the powers-that-be were obviously right there as short buyers and long sellers of last resort, as the rallies were capped and driven lower within an hour.  Gold is currently up only $10.90 an ounce — and silver is up only 14 cents now.  Platinum and palladium had lesser rallies, but were still turned lower as well.  The latter is up 4 dollars — and the former is up a buck.  All four are being engineered lower as I write this, with the London open less than one minute away.

Net HFT gold volume by midnight in New York was a hair over 80,000 contracts — and with the London open just minutes away as I type this, net volume is coming up on 107,000 contracts.  Silver’s net HFT volume at midnight in New York was around 16,000 contracts — and that number is a bit over 20,500 contracts now.

The dollar index, which had been crawling higher since the 6:00 p.m. EDT open in New York on Thursday evening, fell about 25 basis points on the ‘news’…but it appeared that the usual ‘gentle hands’ showed up — and rallied it back to down only 8 basis points as London opens.

Well, beside the inevitable fallout from those cruise missiles, we also get the jobs report at 8:30 a.m. EDT this morning — and regardless of what they show or don’t show, I certainly expect some ‘activity’ in the precious metal market once they’re released.

Also today we get the latest and greatest Commitment of Traders Report, plus the companion Bank Participation Report.  And as per Ted’s comments in his quote above, I’ll be looking for the same things as well.  However, after the volumes we had in both gold and silver last night, the numbers in the COT Report will already be “yesterday’s news” in just about every sense of the word.

Although Ted will also be able to recalibrate JP Morgan’s short position with the issuance of the new Bank Participation Report, that number may be obsolete as well, because I’m sure that ‘da boyz’ knew this missile attack was coming — and were just laying in wait.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:02 a.m. EDT this morning, I note that the gold price hasn’t done much during the first hour of trading in London — and is up $11.80 an ounce currently.  Silver is still up 14 cents — and platinum and palladium are up the same 4 dollars and 1 dollar they were minutes before the Zurich open.

Net HFT gold volume continues to climb — and is currently just over the 114,000 contract mark — and that number in silver is a hair over 22,000 contracts, which isn’t a big increase from an hour ago. There’s a decent amount of roll-over/switch volume out of May already.

The dollar index continues its ‘recovery’ — and is back to unchanged on the day.

What will happen during the rest of the Friday session is anyone’s guess.  But after the price performance last night, it’s obvious that the powers-that-be are still very much in control of precious metal prices, no matter what goes ‘bump’ in the night.

And even though gold’s 200-day moving average was broken to the upside on the price spike in New York last night, I wouldn’t read much into that until we see what develops going forward.

And absolutely nothing will surprise me when I check the charts when I roll out of bed later this morning.

Have a good weekend…and I’ll see you here on Saturday with my biggest column of the month.


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