Monster 11.1 Million Ounce ‘Withdrawal’ From SLV

11 April 2017 — Tuesday


It was pretty quiet in Far East and morning trading in London on their respective Monday’s.  By the noon silver fix in London, the gold price was down a few dollars or so — and the spike low tick of the day came right at the COMEX open.  That sell-off was reversed immediately — and it began to head higher from there.  Monday’s high tick came shortly before 12:15 p.m. in New York — and from that juncture it was sold down three bucks below Friday’s close by 1:35 p.m. EDT, which was five minutes after the COMEX close.  It rallied until 2:30 p.m. — and chopped sideways from there until trading ended at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

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

Gold was closed in New York on Monday at $1,254.40 spot — and up 60 cents on the day.  And since ‘da boyz’ took another slice out of the golden salami yesterday, net volume was pretty high at a titch under 170,000 contracts.

The silver price inched lower throughout most of Far East and morning trading in London as well.  Once the noon silver fix was done, the sell-off became somewhat more intense, with the low price tick coming minutes after 9:15 a.m. in New York.  After that, it’s price path was very similar to gold’s, but wasn’t allowed to close in positive territory.

Silver’s high and low ticks were recorded by the CME Group as $18.025 and $17.735 in the May contract.

Silver finished the Monday session at $17.93 spot, down 3 cents on the day.  With silver’s 50-day moving average pierced to the downside briefly on the morning spike low in New York, net volume was pretty healthy at a hair under 60,000 contracts.  There was decent roll-over/switch volume out of May as well.

The price path for platinum was very similar to silver, but it never recovered much off its low tick of the day, as it was closed down 13 bucks at $938 spot.

Ditto for palladium — as it was closed down 13 dollars as well, to $788 spot — and comfortably back below $800.

JP Morgan et al “sliced the salamis” in all four precious metals on Monday.

The dollar index closed very late on Friday afternoon in New York at 101.12 — and began to move higher the moment that trading began at 5 p.m. EDT on Sunday afternoon in New York.  Its 101.34 high came around 9 a.m. CST [China Standard Time] in Shanghai on their Monday morning — and from there it was sold back to almost unchanged by 2 p.m. CST.  From that point it chopped quietly higher until the COMEX open — and then down it went.  It bounced off the 100.94 mark several times…most likely saved by the usual ‘gentle hands’…before catching a bid at 2:30 p.m. EDT.  That rally, such as it was, petered out about two hours later –and it sold off into the close from there, finishing the day at 101.01 — down 11 basis points from Friday.

Here’s the 3-day chart to put Monday’s move in some context.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart, which you can read into whatever you wish.

The gold stocks sold off about a 1.5 percent in the first few minutes of trading in New York, but were back in [mostly] positive territory to stay by shortly before noon EDT.  From about 12:30 p.m. onward, they chopped quietly sideways into the close.  The HUI finished the Monday session up 0.59 percent.

The silver equities sold off about two percent at the New York open, but made it back into the black by around 12:20 p.m. EDT — and although they tried mightily to trade above unchanged for the rest of the day, they chopped along just below that mark for the rest of the Monday session.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed down 0.07 percent…which was close enough to unchanged to call it that.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 13 gold and 103 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Wednesday.  In gold, ABN Amro issued 10 contracts, International F.C. Stone the other 3 — and there were four long/stoppers.  The largest was JP Morgan…as they picked up 6 for its client account.  In silver, the sole short/issuer was International F.C. Stone.  The two largest long/stoppers were Canada’s Scotiabank with 76 — and Citigroup with 16 for its client account.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

Gold deliveries continue to crawl along at a snail’s pace so far this month.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Monday trading session showed that gold open interest in April declined by 64 contracts, leaving 1,748 left.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 21 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 64-21=43 gold contracts disappeared from April without either making or taking delivery.  Silver o.i. in April was up again…this time by 8 contracts, leaving 161 still around.  No silver contracts were posted for delivery today.

I made the comments in my Saturday column that: “Friday was the third day in a row that silver contracts have been added to April“…and that…”April was turning into an interesting delivery month in its own right.”  Ted Butler had this to say about it in his weekly review on Saturday…”if you asked me a week or so ago, I wouldn’t have imagined more silver contracts being delivered to this point than gold deliveries.

There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday, but that certainly wasn’t the case in SLV, as an authorized participant took out an absolutely mind-boggling 11,130,753 troy ounces which, without doubt, is the largest one-day withdrawal in SLV history.  And, as Ted said on the phone yesterday, it’s a safe assumption that this was a conversion of shares for physical by JP Morgan.

I’m guessing that they had to convert that much in order to be able to buys SLV shares that were dumped on Friday and Monday during their engineered price decline before the COMEX close on Friday afternoon.  So, at some point in the future, you should expect another eye-watering conversion of shares of a similar size.

There was a tiny sales report from the U.S. Mint.  They sold 75,000 silver eagles — and that was all.

It was a big day in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Friday.  There was 130,179 troy ounces received — and 160,847 shipped out.  All of the 130,179 troy ounces received went into JP Morgan’s vault.  Most of the ‘out’ activity that mattered was at HSBC USA, where they shipped out 122,222.862 troy ounces.  There was 37,756 troy ounces shipped out of Brink’s, Inc. as well — and the link to all of that activity is here.

In silver, there was 772,655 troy ounces shipped in — and 824,253 troy ounces shipped out.  The bulk of that was a transfer of 752,605 troy ounces from Brink’s, Inc. into JP Morgan.  There was also activity at Delaware and Scotiabank as well.  The link to all that action is here.

It was fairly quiet in gold over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Friday.  They only received 950 — and shipped out 419 of them.  All of that activity was at Brink’s, Inc. — and a link to that is here.

Here are a couple of charts that Nick passed around on the weekend.  They show Perth Mint gold and silver bullion coin sales updated with March’s data.  And, like every other mint out there, it was pretty quiet.  Click to enlarge for both charts.

I have a reasonable number of stories for you today — and I’ll happily leave the final edit up to you.


So Many Triggers — Jeff Thomas

Those who remove their money from banks (both deposits and safe deposit boxes) may stand a better chance of not losing it.

Those who have a pension can expect to lose the income, but those who have an IRA or similar fund can transfer it into a gold IRA in a foreign country that’s less exposed to the Western powers.

Those who own stocks and bonds can choose to liquidate them and invest the proceeds in real estate and precious metals in a country that’s less likely to be affected.

Those who live in an affected country can expect to be facing, at best, civil unrest following a crash and, possibly, riots or even revolutionary activities. But those who secure alternate legal residency and/or a physical address abroad may be able to step away from the fray before it impacts them directly.

At this point, the writing is most vividly on the wall. The degree to which the individual is spared the effects of the coming debacle will depend directly upon the degree to which he has removed himself from the system beforehand.

This short commentary by Jeff was posted on the Internet site on Monday — and I thank Jim Rodgers for bringing it to our attention.  Another link to it is here.

Americans are a captured people — Doug Casey

Author and founder of Casey Research, Doug Casey joins SGT Report to shoot straight about the U.S. government debt, the future of the U.S. Dollar, President Trump and gold. And you may not like what he has to say about any of it.

This 18:51 minute audio interview was conducted last Thursday, the day before the U.S. launched its cruise missiles into Syria.  It was posted on the Internet site on Sunday — and I thank Roy Stephens for sharing it with us.

Treasury Select Committee MP calls for renewed investigation into secret LIBOR-rigging recordings

Chris Philp M.P. told Business Insider that he will officially call for the reopening of a Treasury Select Committee (TSC) investigation into LIBOR rigging, now that a secret recording of two former Barclays bankers has been made public that allegedly links the Bank of England to the interest-rate fixing scandal.

In the recording from 2008, obtained by the BBC’s Panorama team, one Barclays banker tells another that the central bank was pressuring huge commercial banks to keep LIBOR rates low.

Philp, the Conservative MP for Croydon South, said the new evidence has convinced him to call publicly for reopening the TSC investigation, as the new evidence seemingly contradicts testimony from former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond and former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England Paul Tucker.

From the evidence that Panorama has shown me as well as from a court document in the U.S., it suggests that on two separate occasions in 2007 and 2008, that the BoE was directing Barclays to lower the LIBOR rate.

This story was posted on the Internet site early on Monday morning EDT — and I thank Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl for sharing it with us.  Another link to it is here.

SITREP: Important update on the U.S. attack on Syria

I have an important update: based on Russian sources, including video footage and the reports of one Russian journalist on the ground, Evgenii Poddubnyi, it has become clear that the U.S. strike was largely symbolic.  Here is the evidence:

  • The Russians were given a warning which they, of course, passed on to the Syrians.  The Americans must have assumed that this would happen.
  • The Syrian airbase was lightly damaged: a few number of aircraft were damaged or destroyed, but many of these were in repairs and could not fly.  Fuel storage tanks were destroyed.  A number of aircraft bunkers were damage or destroyed.  A few barracks were also destroyed.
  •  There were 6 or 7 casualties, which is very little.
  •  Crucially, the runways did not suffer.

Now here is the really intriguing thing: it appears that only 23 out of a total of 59 U.S. cruise missiles hit the base.  The rest are unaccounted for.  This could be due to all sorts of reasons, including Syrian and Russian air defenses or Russian electronic warfare.  I tend to believe that the latter is the cause.  But then, this begs another question: why did the Russians let 23 of the cruise missiles through?  Possibly to appease Trump and not force him to re-strike.  Other possibility, to make sure that the political fallout from this stupid and reckless attack still come back to hurt the United States (had they destroyed all the cruise missiles this would not happen).

As for the Russian political reaction, I find it rather flaccid: Russia has condemned the attack and suspended the Memorandum of Understanding on Prevention of Flight Safety Incidents in the course of operations in Syria signed with the U.S.

This commentary by The Saker showed up on his website on Friday sometime — and it’s the first offering of the day from Larry Galearis.  Another link to it is here.

Another Jolly Little War — Eric Margolis

It seems that every new U.S. president has to prove his machismo…or make his bones, as wiseguys say…by bombing the usual Arabs. By now, it’s almost a rite of passage. The American public loves it.

So we just saw the U.S. launch 59 or 60 $1.5million apiece cruise missiles at a western Syrian airfield to express President Trump’s outrage caused by seeing injured children allegedly caused by a Syrian government toxic gas attack.

But what, Mr. President, about all those Iraqi, Syrian and Afghan babies killed by U.S. B-52 and B-1 heavy bombers? Or the destruction of the defiant Iraqi city of Fallujah where the U.S. used forbidden white phosphorus that burns right to the bone?

Washington claimed its radar had conclusively identified Syrian warplanes dropping chemical weapons. This sounds to me to be unlikely. Where was the U.S. radar? Hundreds of miles away aboard ships? Was the info from Israel or Turkey, both with axes to grind? Is U.S. radar so sharp that it can tell the difference between a chemical and high explosive bomb at great distance? Sounds highly fishy to me.

The cruise missile strike was planned well in advance and the missiles programmed accordingly. This was likely done before the alleged chemical attack. What a hell of a rude act to launch the attack just before China’s leader, Xi Jinping, sat down to dinner with Trump in Palm Beach. This was the most important China-US meeting since President Richard Nixon went to meet Chairman Mao in 1972. What a monumental loss of face for Xi and for China. He was made to look small and irrelevant. Was this planned in advance? Xi should have walked out, gotten onto his plane and returned to China.

Not too much to disagree with here.  This commentary by Eric put in an appearance on the Internet site on Saturday — and it’s another contribution from Larry Galearis — and another link to it is here.

Following missile strike Tillerson and McMaster try to repair the damage

That Friday’s missile strike on Sharyat air base was an impulsive and ill-judged move ordered by an inexperienced and emotional President after seeing television pictures of dead children gained further support on Sunday when U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the President’s National Security Adviser General H.R. McMaster both gave television interviews which bore all the hallmarks of a damage limitation exercise.

Tillerson’s interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News was longer and more informative, but McMaster’s interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News made essentially the same points.  Briefly these are

(1) that the missile attack on Sharyat air base is intended as a one-off;

(2) that the US will not attack Syria to achieve regime change there, and that President Assad’s position will be decided by the Syrians themselves;

(3) that the priority remains the fight against ISIS;

(4) that the missile strike was not intended as an anti-Russian move and the Trump administration still seeks better relations with Russia.

In ruling out regime change in Syria Tillerson – who has finally come into his own as Secretary of State – was the clearer.

But Nikki Haley said on CNN on Sunday that regime change in Syria is still “the penultimate goal of American operations in Syria.”  Let’s see how wins this fight.  This commentary by Alex Mercouris was posted on internet site on Monday morning EDT — and I thank Larry Galearis for sending it.  Another link to it is here.

Syria crisis: Russia raises prospect of war if it is given G7 ultimatum as it mocks Boris Johnson’s no-show

Russia and Iran has threatened military retaliation against the U.S., 
accusing Donald Trump of crossing “red lines” by ordering a cruise missile attack on a Syrian air base.

The two military allies of Syria said the US bombardment had violated international law and, in a statement, added: “From now on we will respond with force.”

The warning came after the Russian embassy in the U.K. suggested that British and American attempts to deliver an ultimatum to the Kremlin this week could result in a “real war”.

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, is understood to be working on a proposal from the G7 group of nations which will demand that Vladimir Putin remove his troops from Syria and drop his backing for Bashar al-Assad.

Mr Johnson cancelled plans to visit Moscow this week to work on the proposal – which The Daily Telegraph 
understands will include a tacit offer to Russia to rejoin the G7 if it complies.

I’m sure Putin will be impressed with whatever ‘offer’ the G7 comes up with.  This story from The Telegraph in London, was picked up by the Internet site on Sunday sometime — and I thank Doug Clark for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.

Ayatollah Khamenei says Iran not cowed by U.S. attack on Syria

The Islamic Republic of Iran has shown that it does not retreat from the field by such irrelevant remarks and wrong deeds,” the Leader was quoted as saying in a meeting with senior military figures in Tehran on Sunday.

In making the comments, Ayatollah Khamenei was rejecting speculation that the missile attacks on the Shayrat airfield could possibly mean any other targets could come under such surprise strikes in the future.

The U.S. on Friday fired dozens of cruise missiles at the Shayrat air base from which it said a deadly chemical weapons attack was launched on April 4, the first direct military action Washington has taken against the Syrian government forces in the six-year-old conflict.

Right on the heels of the strike, the Israeli regime’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed hope that it conveyed a “message of resolve” to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Tehran, which backs Syria in its fight against terrorist groups.

The Supreme Leader also underscored that Washington is “fully capable of” committing virtually any sort of crime and invasion, calling the recent attacks on the Syrian territory “a strategic mistake”.

This news item was posted on the Internet site on Sunday sometime — and it’s another offering from Roy Stephens.  Another link to it is here.

Turning reality on its head: U.S. and U.K. accuse Russia of ‘war crimes’ in Syria — Finian Cunningham

Only days after U.S. President Donald Trump blasted Syria with cruise missiles killing nine civilians, Washington and London are accusing Russia of war crimes. It’s transparent, sordid and absurd.

If anyone can be accused of war crimes, it is President Trump who ordered 59 Tomahawk missiles to murderously hit Syria last Friday. That barrage on the airbase at Shayrat and surrounding villages, in Homs Province, killed nine civilians, including four children, according to the local governor Talal Barazi.

It was a massacre at the hands of the US Commander-in-Chief and clearly an act of aggression on a sovereign country. Regardless of the stated rationale – revenge for an alleged chemical weapons attack three days before – the American president was acting above the law. Not only international law but even the laws of his country, in that he did not first seek approval from Congress for carrying out the air strike.

Russian President Vladimir Putin made the correct legal call in denouncing Trump’s actions as a violation of international law.  It is flagrantly obvious that Washington and London are doubling down on their demands for regime change in Syria and trying to drive a wedge between Moscow and Damascus over trumped-up war crimes charges.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has rightly called for an impartial investigation into the chemical weapons incident last week. Trump’s gung-ho resort to air strikes was not only illegal and bereft of any justification, but it also undermines international effort to defeat terrorist groups in Syria and beyond.

This must read opinion piece by Finian was posted on the Internet site at 5:18 p.m. Moscow time on their Monday afternoon, which was 10:18 a.m. in Washington — EDT plus 7 hours.  I thank Roy Stephens for sharing it with us — and another link to it is here.

North Korea Says “Loud-Mouthed” Trump’s “Reckless” Syria Bombings Justify Their Nuclear Program

If a secondary goal of the Trump administration’s recent bombing of a Syrian airfield was to send a strong a message to North Korea that their missile launch provocations will not be tolerated, it didn’t work.

According to the Associated Press, a North Korean Foreign Ministry official recently spoke on the state-run Korean Central News Agency and described U.S. airstrikes in Syria as “absolutely unpardonable” and said they simply served to prove that its nuclear weapons are justified to protect the country against Washington’s “evermore reckless moves for a war.”

Some forces are loud-mouthed that the recent U.S. military attack on Syria is an action of warning us but we are not frightened by it,” the report said, adding that the North’s “tremendous military muscle with a nuclear force as its pivot” will foil any aggression by the U.S.

We will bolster up in every way our capability for self-defense to cope with the U.S. evermore reckless moves for a war and defend ourselves with our own force,” it said.

For its part, as we noted last week, North Korea test-launched a ballistic missile just ahead of the Trump-Xi meeting and has been rumored to be preparing for a possible nuclear test.  This latest provocation prompted the following terse response from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, suggesting that the Trump administration’s next move will involve military force rather than diplomacy.

This news story was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 3:21 p.m. EST on Monday afternoon — and I thank Brad Robertson for sending it our way.  Another link to it is here.

Red Flags Go Up at Elemental/NTR…OPM Ceases Operation

Elemetal (a.k.a NTR Metals) has serious issues, that surfaced in March, 2017.

It all started on March 9, when Bloomberg wrote an article How to Become an International Drug Smuggler. It outlined a 23-year-old from Chile who smuggled $80M of illegal Peruvian gold, and how the Miami branch of NTR Metals (Elemetal) bought $3B of mostly illegal gold in the past 4 years. The gold smuggler said damning things about NTR: he said that he told two NTR employees that the gold was contraband, and that they helped him falsify customs paperwork. The two salesmen emphatically denied the allegations, so maybe it was a smuggler lying to make himself look bigger than he really is.

But the day after that article was published, the U.S. Attorney started an indictment against 3 NTR/Elemetal employees, including the two salesmen mentioned above, with the criminal complaint accusing them of money laundering (including such texts as “We need more Peruvian gold from Bolivia and Ecuador. Can u make it happen?“, less than 2 months after receiving an article detailing illegal gold mining in Peru and gold smuggling through Bolivia).

Then, on March 31, for reasons unknown, the LBMA dropped both OPM (Ohio Precious Metals, an Elemetal company) and Elemetal from their “Good Delivery” list. Later that day, COMEX said they would no longer register (warrant) Elemetal bars. In the past 10 years, COMEX has only suspended warranting of 1 other company (ME Alcoa Aluminum), also for reasons unknown. COMEX gave a cryptic reason for the LBMA removal: it followed an “active review under their Incident Management Process.” This is very, very serious.

One website reported an “unsubstantiated report” that Scotia Bank recalled its line of credit to Elemetal, that Elemetal is shutting down OPM operations, and returning all product to Scotia Bank. We cannot assume unsubstantiated reports to be true. However, what is known is that Scotia Bank had a lien on metal consigned to OPM (the lien is in Provident’s name, but refers to Provident’s affiliates and the mailing address is OPM’s). That, combined with the LBMA/COMEX news, makes this extremely plausible.

I have also heard from an NTR customer (a coin dealer) that late last year there were multi-week delays in getting orders, and excuses — similar to what I would hear regarding Tulving, Bullion Direct, and NWTM.

Why am I not surprised, dear reader.  I posted that that Bloomberg essay “How to Become an International Gold Smuggler” in this column about a month ago — and these company’s names showed up a number of times,  The above information came courtesy of the website’s proprietor Joshua Gibbons, who notified me of all this early on Sunday evening Denver time.  It’s certainly worth your while if you have the interest.  Another link to it is here.

Sprott Asset Management sold for $46M in management-led buyout

Sprott Inc. is selling its mutual fund business — and it didn’t have to look far for a buyer. Sprott Asset Management is being sold to the firm’s CEO, John Wilson, and its president, James Fox, for $46 million. Wilson and Fox will become co-managing directors of the firm, which has $3 billion in assets under management.

We are committed to continuing to provide excellent client service and investment performance, while also expanding our product shelf without compromising our commitment to innovative alternative strategies,” Wilson said in a statement Monday afternoon.

Sprott Inc. said the sale will allow it to focus on its expertise in precious metals, natural resources and real assets. It will also be a leaner organization, with its workforce being halved to approximately 100 workers. Subsequent to the deal, it will have $7.5 billion in assets under management and act as a sub-advisor on ten funds.

This rather brief news item, which Chris Powell brought to my attention late last night, was posted on the Internet site very early on Monday evening EDT — and another link to it is here.

India’s gold imports fall over 10 months but may be rebounding

India’s gold imports witnessed a fall of about 24 percent to $23.22 billion in April-February period of the last fiscal year, which is expected to keep a lid on the current account deficit.

Total imports of the precious metal in the corresponding period of 2015-16 stood at $30.71 billion.

According to industry experts, softening prices of gold in the domestic and world markets could be the reason.

The contraction in imports helped in narrowing the trade deficit to $95.2 billion during the 11-month period of 2016-17 as against $114.3 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year.
However, on a month-on-month basis, gold imports jumped to $3.48 billion in February as against $1.4 billion in the same month last year, according to the commerce ministry data.

This gold-related PTI news item appeared on their website at 10:37 a.m. IST on Sunday — and was subsequently picked up by The Times of India.  I found it on the Internet site — and anther link to it is here.

China may have suspended gold reserve reporting — Lawrie Williams

The Chinese central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), has reported yet another month of zero additions to its gold reserves for March this year – the fifth month in a row of official zero purchases, leaving Russia as comfortably the largest official purchaser of gold.  In our opinion the Chinese position – it had supposedly been reporting monthly additions to its gold reserves from July 2015 – could well be more smoke and mirrors.  It has a track record of only announcing gold reserve increases at five or six year intervals until it started publishing its monthly additions 20 months ago.  Interestingly the zero monthly reports have only come about since the Chinese yuan (reminbi) was accepted as a constituent of the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR) in October.  Could it be that the country has again reverted to its old secretive system of non-reporting of gold reserve increases until it feels it is politically expedient to do so – and even then no-one could be sure that the officially reported figures were in any way a true picture of the nation’s total gold holdings.

Officially Chinese central bank gold holdings as reported to the IMF total 1,842.6 tonnes.  A number of observers reckon they may well be two or three times that number, or even more, and will only be made known when they exceed the US reported holding of 8,133.5 tonnes.  Supposedly the US figure represents 74{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} of the nation’s foreign exchange reserves, whereas the Chinese figure is only around 2{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} of its forex reserves.  The theory is that China sees gold’s role in the new world order, as the yuan gets to compete with the dollar as a global reserve currency, as being particularly important and thus needs to build its gold reserves accordingly.

In the second half of 2015, China reported additions to its gold reserves totalling 89.9 tonnes and in the first ten months of 2016 an additional 75.3 tonnes, although the reported monthly additions had been falling back quite sharply from January.  But as the world’s largest gold miner, with an estimated output last year of a little over 460 tonnes according to Metals Focus, the central bank could easily have purchased over 400 tonnes without impacting on its liquid currency and bond holdings.  Given its past practices of hiding its gold holding additions in separate non-reported accounts, small wonder doubts are being cast on its latest figures.  Indeed even its monthly-reported figures from July 2015 are seen as suspect too.

This short commentary from Lawrie was posted on the Sharps Pixley website on Sunday sometime — and I found it in a GATA dispatch.  It’s certainly worth reading — and another link to it is here.


Here’s a photo that Nick Laird took in his yard on the weekend.  It’s a female olive-backed/yellow-bellied sunbird.  The second photo is the male of the species that I found on the Internet.  Click to enlarge.


Not only do we have clear proof that managed money technical funds bought the equivalent of two full months of world silver production during the last two weeks, we also have clear proof that the price of silver hardly budged in price during that time, unlike what would have occurred in any other commodity. Here’s the punchline – the technical funds would have been willing to pay much higher silver prices than they ended up actually paying, simply because they are technical funds which, by definition, buy as prices rise and sell as prices fall. Maybe if silver jumped by dollars per ounce, the technical funds might have curtailed their buying temporarily, but they were more than content to buy what they did on the small increase in price (otherwise, they wouldn’t have bought the incredibly large quantities they did buy).

Therefore, the real price and positioning takeaway is not why the technical funds’ buying had such a tepid impact on price, but why in the world would the counterparty sellers sell to the funds in such enormous quantities at such low prices, when it would have been a snap to step back a bit and let prices run higher before selling? There is only one answer to that question and it revolves around an intentional effort to prevent silver prices from rising.  [Emphasis mine.–Ed] The sellers to the technical fund silver buyers are largely, or exclusively, banks adding to paper short positions and not legitimate hedgers like mining companies. Worse, the concentrated nature of the short selling points to the selling as being manipulative in and of itself.

The bottom line is the silver short sellers sold at much lower prices than they could have sold at and that’s why silver struggled to move higher in the face of the record technical fund buying. Either these manipulative short sellers are extremely confident that they will be able to rig prices lower and induce resultant technical fund selling, or they are desperate to ensure higher silver prices don’t trip off even more buying. The most outstanding price feature in silver over the past two weeks was the aggression of the short sellers. And it’s hard to come up with a more manipulative act. Silver analyst Ted Butler: 08 April 2017

It was another salami-slicing day in all four precious metals yesterday, as ‘da boyz’ set new intraday lows [for this current move down] in all of them.  The stand-out of course was silver, which JPMorgan et al broke it below its 50-day moving average for just a few minutes, if not seconds.

Of course, if the powers-that-be really want to get serious about flushing the Managed Money technical funds, the closing prices of both these precious metals would have been considerably lower than they were yesterday, especially in silver.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, plus copper, once again — and as I’ve already pointed out, the silver chart is the noticeable stand-out.  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 price chopped around a dollar or so either side of unchanged in Far East trading on their Tuesday, but began to rally a bit more noticeably shortly before 2 p.m. CST — and that was capped before it could get far.  At the moment, the gold price is higher by $2.50 an ounce.  It’s been the same general price action in silver, except it’s down a penny.  Platinum rallied a small handful of dollars the moment that trading began in New York at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Monday evening — and is still up 5 dollars an ounce.  Palladium, on the other hand, has been creeping higher a dollar at a time all through the Shanghai trading session — and it’s up 3 bucks currently.

Net HFT volume in gold is just over 31,000 contracts — and that number in silver is sneaking up on the 5,000 contract mark, which is pretty light, with decent roll-over/switch volume out of May.

The dollar index has been doing virtually nothing since trading began in New York yesterday evening — and is currently chopping quietly sideways in a very tight range — and is up 2 whole basis points as London opens.

Today, at the close of COMEX trading, is the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report.  After being spectacularly wrong in my estimates last week, I’m not eager to repeat the experience with this week’s report.  I may or may not stick my neck out in my Wednesday column.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:03 a.m. EDT, I see that the gold price has jumped a bit in the last few minutes of trading –and is currently up $3.20 an ounce now that London has been open about an hour.  Silver is now in the plus column, but only by a penny.  Platinum is up 6 dollars — and palladium by 4.

Net HFT gold volume is approaching 37,500 contracts, but I’m sure that figure doesn’t yet include the volume that occurred on that price spike of a few minutes ago.  Net HFT silver volume is 6,100 contracts, which is pretty light — and roll-over/switch volume hasn’t changed much in the hour that London has been open.

The dollar index continues to trade mostly sideways, but is now down 4 basis points.

As we sit here and watch JP Morgan accumulate silver at a mind-boggling rate…and gold too, in the last week or so…one has to wonder what the end game is.  But I have a feeling that we probably won’t have to wait too much longer to find out.

As for what may happen during the remainder of the Tuesday session, like yesterday, all the price/volume action that matters will occur in COMEX trading in New York — and nothing will surprise me when I check the lay of the land after I crawl out of bed later this morning.

See you tomorrow.


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