Another Day Inside the Criminal COMEX Slaughterhouse

05 May 2017 — Friday


Note No. 3:  Well, I finally discovered what was causing the log-in issue for some — and it was as I stated in yesterday’s column.

When my webmaster made the minor upgrade at WordPress on the weekend, they cast my new [and secure] URL: in stone in the process.  That meant that, for some, the old link no longer worked at all.  Log-in was impossible — and so were renewals.  The vast majority of subscribers were unaffected.

So the simple solution to this is to bookmark this new website address — and delete the old one.

What a pain it’s been — and my apologies to those affected.


After trading sideways for the first two hours of trading once it began at 6:00 p.m. in New York on Wednesday evening, the gold price rallied a handful of dollars in morning trading in the Far East.  But the price was turned lower starting around 1:30 p.m. China Standard Time on their Thursday afternoon — and that tiny sell-off lasted until about fifteen minutes before the London open.  The price didn’t do much after that until 1 p.m. BST in London, which was twenty minutes before the COMEX open.  At that juncture ‘da boyz’ appeared — and the low tick of the day was set at, or just before, the London p.m. gold fix.  It rallied about five bucks from there — and at that point it was forced to chop sideways for the rest of the Thursday session.

The high and low ticks were reported as $1,241.70 and $1,225.70 in the June contract.

JP Morgan et al closed gold at $1,228.00 spot, down another $9.70 from Wednesday.  Net volume was huge at 266,000 contracts.

It was almost the same price pattern in silver, so I’ll spare you the gory details.  The only thing that was somewhat different was that there was a bit of a rally between 4 and 4:30 a.m. EDT in the thinly-traded after-hours market.  But starting fifteen minutes before the 5:00 p.m. close, all those gains were erased.

The high and lows in this precious metal were recorded by the CME Group as $16.645 and $16.215 in the July contract.

Silver finished the Thursday session in New York at $16.30 spot, down 15 cents from Wednesday’s close — and it’s thirteenth consecutive low close.  Nothing free-market about this, dear reader.  Net volume was even bigger than it was on Wednesday, at just under 93,500 contracts.

Platinum traded a handful of dollars either side of unchanged during the entire Thursday session — and JP Morgan et al set a new intraday low in this precious metal as well.  But it rallied back above unchanged by around 12:20 p.m. in New York — and didn’t do a lot after that.  Platinum finished the day at $902 spot — and up 6 bucks from Wednesday’s close.

Palladium spent all of Far East trading not doing much of anything from a price perspective, but ‘da boyz’ took care of that situation at the COMEX open — and the new intraday low price for this move down was also set at, or shortly before, the London p.m. gold fix.  Then, like platinum, it rallied back into positive territory, but was stopped cold at the same 12:20 p.m. EDT — and from there it chopped quietly sideways for the rest of the day.  Palladium manged to close back above the $800 spot mark, at $802 spot.

The dollar index closed very late on Wednesday afternoon in New York at 99.38 — and quietly sold a handful of basis points lower until around 2:20 p.m. CST in Far East trading on their Thursday afternoon.  It spiked up to its 99.46 high tick about fifteen minutes later — and then down it went, with the 98.71 low tick coming a few minutes after 4 p.m. in New York.  It rallied a handful of basis points from them — and finished the Thursday session at 98.78 — down 60 basis points on the day.

It goes pretty much without saying that the correlation between the dollar index and precious metals was nonexistent all day long on Thursday.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index — and it’s just another day where you should understand why I present it strictly for entertainment purposes.

The gold stocks gapped down at the open — and continued lower until shortly before noon in New York.  They rallied a bit from there, before trading sideways for the remainder of the Thursday session.  The HUI closed down 2.93 percent.

And as much as it pains me to say it, the Silver 7 Index is no longer available, as the data feed that Nick Laird was using to generate it, was either blocked or terminated — and there’s no way to get it back, or replace it.  My apologies — and I’m not happy about it either.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 27 gold and 382 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Monday.  In gold, there were no issuers or stoppers that really stood out.  But in silver, there was only one short/issuer that mattered — and that was ABN Amro with 354 contracts out of its client account.  There were nine long/stoppers in total — and the three largest were ABN Amro with 191…ADM with 100 — and HSBC USA with 48 contracts…all for their respective client accounts.  JP Morgan was at the bottom of the list, stopping 5 contracts 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 May fell by 144 contracts, leaving just 74 left, minus the 27 mentioned just above.  Wednesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that there 166 gold contracts actually issued for delivery today, so that means that 166-144=22 gold contracts were actually added to the May delivery month, which is the first time this month that it’s happened in gold.  Silver o.i. in May declined by 442 contracts, leaving 596 still around, minus the 382 mentioned in the previous paragraph.  Wednesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 600 silver contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that another 600-442=158 silver contracts were added to the May delivery month.  This rush for physical is impressive.

So far this month there have been 792 silver contracts added to the May delivery month, which is a lot.  Ted acknowledged as much on the phone yesterday, but said that the stand-out feature this delivery month is the fact that JP Morgan was a no-show as a stopper for its own account, which is the first time in more than two years.  This is what he said in his Wednesday column “…unusual and out of pattern developments in silver suggest to me that JP Morgan is putting the finishing touches in place for a silver price liftoff.

Month-to-date there have been 4,008 silver contracts issued and stopped, with 214 contracts still open — and I’m sure that more will be added to the May delivery month as it proceeds.

There was a small withdrawal form GLD yesterday…9,232 troy ounces in total.  Like the small silver withdrawal from SLV that I reported in yesterday’s column, this small amount of gold looks like a fee payment as well.  There were no reported changes in SLV.

There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint — and I’m still checking the Royal Canadian Mint‘s website on a daily basis for their 2016 annual report, which is still a no-show after five months.  One wonders when their Q1/17 report will appear.

There was a little bit of activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved gold depositories on the U.S. east coast on Wednesday.  They reported receiving 16,814 troy ounces — and shipped out 13,262 troy ounces.  There was 16,011 troy ounces received at HSBC USA — plus 803.750 troy ounces/25 kilobars [U.K./U.S. kilobar weight] at Manfra, Tordella & Brookes, Inc.  In the ‘out’ category, there was 13,230 shipped out of Brink’s, Inc. — and 1 kilobar was shipped out of Manfra, Tordella & Brookes, Inc.  The link to this activity is here.

It was a decent day in silver, as 638,264 troy ounces were received — and 692,801 troy ounces were shipped out.  JPMorgan picked up another 237,913 troy ounces — and the remaining 400,350 troy ounces landed at Canada’s Scotiabank.  In the ‘out’ category, there was a container load…602,600 troy ounces…shipped out of CNT — and the other 90,201 troy ounces departed Scotiabank.  The link to all of that activity is here.

Over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Wednesday, it was all zeros once again.  This time there was no holiday to explain the lack of activity.

Here are two more charts courtesy of Nick Laird.  They show The Perth Mint gold and silver bullion coin sales data, updated with April’s information.  They only sold 10,490 troy ounces of gold coins, the lowest going back at least five years.  Silver bullion coin sales were 468,977 in April, which was also very low.  Click to enlarge for both charts.

Once again, I don’t have all that many stories — but I hope there are a few that interest you.


Core U.S. Factory Orders Tumble Most in 13 Months

Another ‘hard’ data point disappoints (dramatically). While headline factory orders rose just 0.2{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} (half the expected 0.4{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} gain), it was the 0.3{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} tumble in core orders (ex transportation) that really stands out – the biggest MoM drop since Feb 2016…when the world was heading into global recession and only a coordinated global central bank intervention saved it).

The big factors helping in March:

  •   Orders for Mining, oil field, and gas field machinery: +16.7{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}
  •   Orders for Defense aircraft and parts: +31.0{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}

This tiny 2-chart Zero Hedge article was posted on their website at 10:09 a.m. EDT on Thursday morning — and I thank Brad Robertson for sharing it with us.  Another link to it is here — and the charts are worth a look.

U.S. Productivity Plunges in Q1

U.S. productivity has dropped for 4 of the last 6 quarters, plunging 0.6{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} in Q1 (dramatically worse than the 0.1{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} decline expected).

With unit labor costs up 3{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}, this is the biggest drop in productivity in 15 months and continues the stagnant trend within American workers.

This even tinier 2-chart Zero Hedge article put in an appearance on their website at 8:38 a.m. EDT yesterday morning — and it’s the second contribution in a row from Brad.  The two embedded charts are worth a look as well.

Big Summer Shutdowns Loom for U.S. Auto Plants as Sales Sputter

Auto workers may be getting some extra time off around Independence Day, but they won’t be celebrating. They’ll know it means sales are weak and that profits — and profit-sharing checks — could be shrinking.

Manufacturers used to shut plants for a week or two in July for maintenance and to keep inventories in check. As sales boomed in recent years, most factories cranked out cars without a break. This summer, widespread closures may be back, and for weeks longer than before. The reason: four straight months of declining sales and little expectation the trend will reverse anytime soon.

It’s probably not what President Donald Trump wants to hear. He has admonished Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. for building factories in Mexico and demanded more U.S. jobs be created, taking credit for some new investments in the U.S. that had been long in the planning.

You see what’s going on with the car companies,” Trump said in an interview Monday with Bloomberg News. “They’re all talking about building in the United States because of me.

The reality isn’t so upbeat, with automakers aiming to draw down bloated inventories by ratcheting back output.

I posted this story in yesterday’s column, but as a footnote to another auto-related story.  Here it is right up front.  It appeared on the Bloomberg website at 5:55 a.m. Denver time on Wednesday morning — and another link to it is here.

Trump’s Threats to Break Up Banks Aren’t Scaring Wall Street Yet

Despite President Donald Trump’s repeated assertions that he might support breaking up big banks, Wall Street isn’t worried. Yet.

The calm is fueled by signals from administration aides in private meetings with industry executives to discuss rolling back financial rules, a Trump priority. While not making any assurances, the officials aren’t harping on the issue, according to people who have participated in or been briefed on the discussions. In fact, the topic of reviving Glass-Steagall, the 1933 law separating investment and commercial banking, rarely comes up.

Just last month, Trump’s top economic adviser Gary Cohn eased the concerns of at least two bank chief executives officers who called him after he spoke approvingly of Glass-Steagall in a meeting with senators, people familiar with the matter said. Neither Cohn nor the Treasury Department’s Craig Phillips made a case for splitting up banks when they met recently with an important financial lobbying group, said some attendees.

There is also a sense in the industry that lawmakers have little appetite to take on another controversial legislative fight, especially one that would anger big donors. Republicans, who control both houses of Congress, are particularly loath to support such a dramatic reshaping of the banking system.

As Ted Butler has correctly pointed out, Washington has little control over the banks, as the banks are the ones that control Washington…principally JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.  This is the second Bloomberg news item in a row.  I found it on the Zero Hedge website — and it comes courtesy of Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.

Games People Play — Dennis Miller

The games played by corporate America put Houdini to shame. Their illusions exclude the warning, “Don’t try this at home”, nor is it for entertainment purposes only. Corporate America and Wall Street encourage investors to buy overpriced stocks, while executives collect bonuses for lousy performance.

Looking behind the curtain

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) versus adjusted earnings. Many play this game when reporting their earnings. The headline earnings are “adjusted”, to make performance look better than it was. The “adjustments” can be significant.

The term “core” business is used to separate their mainstream business from other endeavors. Here is an example from a Pepsi earnings announcement. “Core (Earnings Per Share) EPS was $0.89 and reported EPS was $0.64. Core EPS excludes a $0.26 per share non-core impairment charge related to our 5{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} indirect equity interest in TAB.

Management announced reported earnings approximately 40{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} higher than their real earnings.

Their earnings call did not mention their five-page, unaudited, “Reconciliation of GAAP and Non-GAAP Information”. You have to cut through the smoke and mirrors to find the truth.

This worthwhile commentary by Dennis showed up on his Internet site yesterday — and another link to it is here.

The E.U.’s attempt to exact First World War-style revenge will only make Britain more united

There is a new divide in Britain, courtesy of Jean-Claude Juncker, Michel Barnier, Angela Merkel and the other Euro-bullies.

Forget Leavers or Remainers: the real, unbridgeable split is now between those who are outraged by the Eurocrats’ preposterous demands and those who, shamefully, have decided to take the E.U.’s side.

The good news is that if the country was divided 52-48 per cent last June, it would surely be united 80-20 per cent on the basis of this new litmus test.

The first group includes most Remain voters: they may have disagreed with Brexit but quite naturally want the best for Britain and are furious at the E.U.’s blatant aggression.

Its latest preposterous demands – that we should hand over €100 billion for the privilege of regaining our self-government and that we can, in effect, never really leave – are so belligerent, so absurdly punitive that they will be remembered as a seminal…

The above five paragraphs are all that are posted in the clear in this ‘Premium’ rated business story that showed up on the Internet site at 12:21 p.m. BST on their Thursday afternoon.  You have to be a subscriber to read the rest, as it’s behind their subscription wall.  I found it in today’s edition of the King Report — and another link to the hard copy is here.

Max Keiser interviews Alasdair Macleod

In the second half of this episode, Max continues his interview with Alasdair Macleod of Macleod Finance and to discuss the disintegration of the E.U. in a post-Brexit world.

Well, dear reader, I’m not sure where Part one of this interview is, as this is all that Jim Gullo sent us.  The interview in question starts at the 14:11 minute mark.  It was posted on the Internet site at 8:26 a.m. Moscow time on their Tuesday morning, which was 1:26 a.m. in New York — EDT plus 7 hours.

U.S. Congress ends funding for Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion

Ukraine’s notorious volunteer Azov Battalion has been guilty of some of the most heinous war crimes against the people of Donbass.  Details of just some of the disgusting acts perpetrated by the Azov Battalion can be found in a lengthy OSCE report from April of last year.

The Battalion founded in 2014 by the post-coup junta in Kiev is known for attracting some of the most blood-thirsty neo-Nazis in Ukraine as well as foreign terrorists from abroad.

The atrocities committed by the Azov Battalion have proved too much for even the U.S. Congress who issued the following stipulation to the agreement to fund the increasingly destitute Ukraine regime.

A U.S. Congressional document accompanying the appropriation bill for the Pentagon reads,

The funds provided for by this law cannot be used to supply arms, conduct training or provide any other assistance to the Azov battalion.

Although many are troubled that the U.S. continues to give any money to the rogue regime in Kiev, this is a small step in the right direction.

The above paragraphs are all there is this tiny news story that was posted on Internet site very early on Thursday morning EDT — and it’s courtesy of Roy Stephens.  Another link to the hard copy is here.

Angry Putin tells Merkel Ukraine’s Minsk peace process is all but dead

Russian President Vladimir Putin used his press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to make some of his harshest comments for some time about the situation in Ukraine, and to pronounce the Minsk process which is supposed to lead to a Ukrainian peace settlement all but dead.  He also came close to blaming Merkel for its failure.

In doing so President Putin, whilst continuing to give lip-service to the Minsk Agreement, all but admitted that the chance of it ever being implemented has gone:

“I am absolutely convinced that the current Kiev authorities quite possibly missed the chance to implement the Minsk Agreements at a moment when they had significant domestic political opportunities. Now there are fewer – the opportunities at the highest levels of government are much more limited now due to a whole range of circumstances, including the economic and domestic political situation.”

Note Putin’s use in this paragraph of the expression “current Kiev authorities” to refer to the present Ukrainian government.  This expression not only calls into question the Ukrainian government’s legitimacy.  It also casts doubt on whether it will be in power for very long.  As it happens at no point in the entire press conference did Putin use the expression “Ukrainian government” or refer to President Poroshenko whether by name or by the title of “President of Ukraine”.

That Putin questions the legitimacy of the present Ukrainian government is unsurprising given what he had to say in the news conference about its origins in what he called an “unconstitutional coup”, which he blamed as the ultimate source of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

This news story/analysis by Alex Mercouris, put in an appearance on Internet site on Wednesday sometime — and it’s the second of thee contributions in a row from Roy Stephens.  Another link to it is here.

WATCH: U.S. General says NATO is ready to fight ‘adversary’ Russia in Europe

General Curtis M. Scaparrotti. the head of America’s European Command spoke before a US Senate subcommittee and delivered a statement worthy of Dr. Strangelove.

The script transcript of his remarks is something straight out of the early 1950s.

General  Scaparrotti made the wild claim that Russia is the enemy of Europe, Ukraine, Georgia and perhaps most astonishingly of all, an enemy of Turkey.

In reality, Turkey is pivoting away from NATO and the E.U. and in terms of trade and diplomatic cooperation, is looking increasingly to Russia as a partner. This is happening in spite of the totally divergent goals between Ankara and Moscow in Turkey. Nevertheless, Turkey is one of the key participants in the Astana Peace Talks while the U.S. has no official role.

Furthermore, the chief adviser to Turkish President Erdogan has said that Turkey may ‘accidentally’ fire upon U.S. troops in Syria during Turkey’s protracted war with Kurdish forces. Yet Turkey is scared of Russia according to General Scaparrotti?  It makes no logical sense. But nor does the following statement he offered…

Along with the text, there’s a 5:14 minute video clip of the General’s opening remarks further down in this article — and it’s certainly worth your while if you’re a serious student of the New Great Game.  It was posted on the Internet site yesterday — and it’s the the third and final offering of the day from Roy Stephens.  Another link to it is here.

Kyle Bass Warns “All Hell is About to Break Loose” in China

China’s credit system expanded “too recklessly and too quickly,” and “it’s beginning to unravel,” warns Hayman Capital’s Kyle Bass.

Crucially, Bass notes that ballooning assets in Chinese wealth management products are another sign of a looming credit crisis in the nation.

Some of the longer-term assets aren’t doing very well,” Bass said on Bloomberg TV from the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California. “As soon as liabilities have problems – meaning the depositors decide to not roll their holdings – all hell breaks loose.”

The wealth management products, or WMPs, have swelled to $4 trillion in assets in the last few years, he said., on a $34 trillion banking system…

think about this – in the U.S., our asset-liability mismatch at the peak of our subprime greatness was around 2{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}! … China’s mismatch is more than 10{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} of the system.

Part of this Kyle Bass interview was in my column yesterday — about two minutes worth.  Here’s the entire 10:41 minute video interview from Bloomberg TV.  I found it embedded in a Zero Hedge article that was posted on their Internet site at 12:02 p.m. on Thursday afternoon EDT.  Warning: you have to sit through a commercial before the interview starts — and another link to it is here.

Gold demand slips from last year’s record Q1, although retail investment demand remains steady

Global gold demand in Q1 2017 was 1,034 tonnes (t), a decline of 18{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} compared to the record Q1 in 2016, according to the World Gold Council’s latest Gold Demand Trends report. Inflows into Exchange Traded Funds(ETFs) totalled 109t which, although solid, were nonetheless a fraction of last year’s near-record inflows. Slower central bank demand also contributed to the weakness. Bar and coin investment, however, was healthy, at 290t, an increase of 9{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} year-on-year, while demand firmed slightly in both the jewellery and technology sectors.

Inflows into gold-backed ETFs of 109t were largely concentrated in Europe. Although inflows were just one-third of the extraordinary levels seen in Q1 2016, demand was firm. European-listed products were the most popular, due to continued political fragility in the region.

Investment in gold bars and coins grew by 9{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}, to 290t year-on-year. Chinese investors were central to the increase, attracted by the momentum behind the price rise ahead of the seasonally-important Chinese New Year.

First quarter jewellery demand was 481 tonnes, marginally up on Q1 2016. Gains in India were the main reason for the slight year-on-year increase. But demand remains relatively weak in an historical context, 18{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} below the 5-year quarterly average.

Indian consumers enjoyed a period of relative stability in the domestic market, lifting demand 15{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} year-on-year to 124t. Continued remonetisation by the RBI buoyed consumer sentiment, which encouraged demand ahead of the auspicious wedding season, albeit from a low base.

This gold-related news story comes courtesy of the World Gold Council — and I found it on the Sharps Pixley website.  I’m not sure how much of this data can actually be believed, but it’s worth reading nonetheless.  Another link to it is here.


Today’s ‘critter’ is the smooth greensnake…which we called grass snakes where I was raised in southern Manitoba back in the 1950s and 1960s.  As you can tell by the second photo, they’re totally harmless and safe handle…but you have to catch them first — and for an animal with no legs, they are fast!  Click to enlarge.


There is no question that [today’s] COT Report [in silver] will feature significant managed money technical fund selling, the more the better.  Certainly, the conditions were ideal for technical fund selling, so hopefully we’ll get a big number, say 15,000 contracts or so. Considering that the last two reporting weeks featured a combined 15,000 contracts of managed money long liquidation, it is possible we could be looking at a three week decline of close to 30,000 contracts of managed money long liquidation.
Of course, I may be way premature in suggesting that silver has bottomed out or nearly so and, in fact, I think I have a record reflecting that. Be that as it may, I do believe we have reached a point in silver where any new price lows will be temporary and the chance of not only a sharp rally, but the big rally looms larger than ever before. And even if the crooked COMEX shorts, led by JP Morgan, continue to rig prices lower still, it will not detract, but only enhance the prospects for the next silver rally being the big one.  — Silver analyst Ted Butler: 03 May 2017

It was another day in the slaughterhouse for the four precious metals — and it should also be noted that copper got slammed again — and crude oil got creamed as well.  But they went lower for the same reason as the precious metals, the Managed Money traders on the long side were vulnerable to an engineered price decline — and when the HFT traders, along with their algos, showed up — and the spoofing started, down they went as well.

The volume in silver in the COMEX futures market during the last couple of days has been over the moon, but there’s no way of telling whether we’re at or near the bottom of this JP Morgan-led liquidation cycle.  All we can do is wait it out.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, plus copper — and crude oil today as well, so you can see flush-out to the downside in all of what I call the Big 6 commodities.  How these six are priced, or allowed to be priced, keeps commodity inflation, plus general inflation, under control.   The gaps down are a result of the fact that Wednesday’s low price ticks occurred after the COMEX close, which is the cut-off for the charts…so they’re included in Thursday’s dojis.  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 see that gold traded quietly sideways until noon China Standard Time on their Friday.  It then rallied a quick five bucks –and has been chopping mostly sideways since — but is up only $4.00 at the moment.  Ditto for silver.  It was up 17 cents at one point, but ‘da boyz’ showed up shortly before 2 p.m. CST — and have cut that gain in half, as silver is only up 9 cents currently.  It was a similar, but somewhat subdued price pattern for platinum and palladium — and the former is up 3 dollars…and the latter by 2.

Net HFT gold volume is an astonishing 54,000 contracts — and that number in silver is approaching 18,500 contracts.  These are big numbers for this time of day — and certainly don’t reflect those tiny rallies that they had in very early afternoon trading in Shanghai.

The dollar index has been wandering around a handful of basis points either side of unchanged ever since trading began at 6:00 p.m. EDT yesterday evening in New York — and is currently down 2 basis points as London opens.

Today, at 3:30 p.m. EDT, we get the latest Commitment of Traders Report, plus the companion Bank Participation Report — and although they’ll tell us a lot they are, in most respects “yesterday’s news” once again…as what’s happened since the Tuesday cut-off has seen further massive improvements in the commercial net short positions in all four precious metals, plus copper and WTIC as well.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:02 a.m. EDT, I note that the gold price didn’t do much in the first hour of London trading — and is up $4.80 an ounce currently.  It’s been a bit better for silver — and it’s up 13 cents an ounce at the moment.  Platinum is now up 6 bucks — and palladium is still up the same 2 dollars that it was when Zurich opened.

Net HFT gold volume is approaching 61,000 contracts, which is really heavy — and that number in silver is very heavy as well, at a bit over 20,000 contracts.

The dollar index has rallied a hair since the London/Zurich open — and is now up a 6 basis points.

I’m not sure if anything should be read into the current price action or not…especially in the context of the price action in the precious metals over that last two weeks.  Of course this bloodbath has to end as some point.  But, as is always the case…JPMorgan et al will have the final say this week when COMEX trading begins in New York this morning.

That’s all I have for today — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.

Have a good weekend.