JP Morgan et al Continue the Salami Slicing in Silver and Gold

10 May 2017 — Wednesday


The gold price traded a dollar or so either side of unchanged until the London open on their Tuesday morning.  At that juncture, the price began to fade — and once the noon silver fix was put to bed, ‘da boyz’ did the dirty — and the low tick of the day was set about fifteen minutes before the COMEX close in New York.  The price didn’t do much from there until around 2:20 p.m. EDT in the thinly-traded after-hours market.  At that point a decent move to the upside began, which topped out about two hours later.  There wasn’t a lot of volume to it.  The gold price was sold a dollar or so lower into the 5:00 p.m. close from there.

The high and low ticks were reported by the CME Group as $1,228.70 and $1,214.30 in the June contract.

Gold finished the Tuesday session at $1,221.10 spot, down $4.90 from Monday’s close — and at another new low close for this move down.  Net volume was huge at just over 215,000 contracts.  There was a fair amount of roll-over/switch activity out of June as well.

Brad’s back — and here’s the 5-minute tick chart for gold — and it shows a bit of the after-hours price action as well.  There was some decent volume either side of the London open, but the real volume began shortly the noon silver fix in London  — around 5:30 a.m. Denver time on the chart below.  It never really dropped off to background levels after that.

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

The silver price action on Tuesday was almost a carbon copy of what happened in gold, complete with the rather surprising rally in the after-hours market.  The low tick in silver came about five minutes after the low tick in gold.

The high and low prints in silver were recorded as $16.315 and $16.06 in the July contract.

Silver closed in New York yesterday at $16.155 spot, down 5 cents on the day — and also another new low for this move down, a fact which I’m sure you’re already keenly aware of.  Net volume was huge at a hair over 63,500 contracts.

And here’s the 5-minute tick chart for silver, courtesy of Brad Robertson.  Note the two big volume spikes.  The first came at 2:20 a.m. China Standard Time/12:20 a.m. in Denver on that fifteen cent smash — and the second when silver was smacked to its low tick of the day five minutes before the COMEX close.  There was the odd volume spike in the thinly-traded after-hours market as well, but almost no volume worthy of the name on the subsequent price rally, which is similar to what happened in gold during its after-hours rally.

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

Platinum traded flat until 1 p.m. CST on their Tuesday afternoon — and then was forced to follow the same price path as silver and gold.  The low tick in this precious metal was also set about five minutes or so before the COMEX close in New York.  There was a spike lower in the thinly-traded after-hours market, but that was only spot month related.  Platinum rallied a bit into the close as well, finishing the Tuesday session at $903 spot, down 14 bucks on the day.

The palladium price traded a dollar or so either side of unchanged until ‘da boyz’ showed up about thirty minutes before the COMEX open.  But its low tick was set shortly after 2 p.m. in after-hours trading.  Palladium was closed back below $800 at $796 spot, down 13 dollars from Tuesday.

The dollar index closed very late in New York on Monday afternoon at 99.14 — and then traded almost ruler flat until minutes before 2 p.m. in Shanghai on their Tuesday afternoon.  Then away it went to the upside from there.  The 99.69 high tick was set around 2:35 p.m. EDT in New York — and it sagged a bit from there into the close, finishing the Tuesday session at 99.54 — up 40 basis points on the day.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart — and this ‘rally’ has the powers-that-be’s fingerprints all over it.  However, you are free to read into it whatever you wish, but…”there are no markets anymore, only interventions.”  That applies to the dollar index chart as well.

The gold shares gapped down at the open — and then traded more or less sideways in a wide range until the gold rally began in the after-hours market.  Then they took off higher — and the HUI only finished down only 0.33 percent.

There’s no chart, but the Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed down only 0.27 percent.

It’s obvious that there’s major bottom fishing going on in the precious metal equities at the moment.

I included the 10-year Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index in Tuesday’s column — and here’s the 6-month chart so you can see what’s been happening lately in far more detail, even if we don’t have an intraday chart to look at anymore.  I’ll be posting this chart daily from now on in lieu of the Intraday chart.  Click to enlarge.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 43 gold and 39 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Thursday.  In gold, there were only two short/issuers…RCG with 25 out of its own in-house [proprietary] trading account, and ED&F Man Capital Markets with 18 contracts out of its client account.  Macquarie Futures and Scotiabank stopped 17 and 16 contracts for their respective in-house [proprietary] trading accounts.  In silver, the only short/issuer of note was ABN Amro again with 35 out of its client account.  They also stopped 19 contracts for their client account.  ADM stopped 16 for its client account as well.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Tuesday trading session showed that gold open interest in May fell by 21 contracts, leaving 57 still around, minus the 43 mentioned just above.  Monday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 38 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that another 38-21=17 gold contracts were added to May.  This sort of activity in a non-delivery month is something I don’t recall seeing before.  Silver o.i. in May declined by 42 contracts, leaving 232 still open, minus the 39 contracts mentioned in the previous paragraph.  Monday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 85 silver contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that another 85-42=43 silver contracts were added to the May delivery month.   This many additions to a delivery month also look somewhat unprecedented as well.

Month-to-date there have been 4,231 silver contracts issued and stopped, some of which…as Ted pointed out on the phone yesterday…have been reissues.  There have also been 977 silver contracts added this month as well, plus there’s still 193 contracts of silver open interest left.  There’s also no doubt that more silver contracts will be added as the May delivery month in silver crawls along.

Once again there were no reported changes in GLD, so very strong hands…JP Morgan and their ilk, I would suspect…are buying every GLD share that’s being sold.  And as of 6:31 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either.  And what I just said about JP Morgan and their ilk regarding GLD, applies to SLV as well.

The folks over at the Internet site updated their data showing the latest changes in short position for both SLV and GLD as of the close of business on Friday, April 28 — and I was initially surprised at what the report showed for silver.

The short position in SLV rose from 12.47 million shares/troy ounces, up to 15.13 million shares/troy ounces, which was an increase of 21.3 percent.  During the reporting period — April 15 to April 28 — there was a net 2.1 million troy ounces added to SLV so, without doubt, the increase in the short position during the reporting period in question would have been even higher without those short covering deposits.  But since the cut-off, there has been 4.5 million troy ounces added to SLV, so I would suspect that the short position will be lower in the next report, which is two weeks away.

The short position in GLD also rose by a hefty amount…from 835,370 troy ounces, up to 1,055,520 troy ounces…which is an increase of 26.4 percent.  Although it appears large, this is sort of within the ‘range’ that the short position in GLD has had during the recent pas — and I would suspect that this was ‘plain vanilla’ shorting by investors…but it could also have been ‘da boyz’ doing the shorting as well, but there’s no way of knowing for sure.

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

I heard back from Steve Higgins at the Royal Canadian Mint yesterday — and the year-to-date sales for 2016 were posted on Page 2…complete with a chart…a spot they’ve never been before, so that’s why I missed it.  I have some issues with these maple leaf numbers which you’ll discover shortly.

In the Q4/2016, the mint sold 305,400 gold maple leafs vs. 273,600 sold in Q4 of 2015…an increase of about 11 percent.  In Q4/2016, the mint sold 6.6 million silver maple leafs vs. 9.1 million sold in in Q4 of 2015…a drop of about 25 percent.

In all of 2016, the mint sold 987,600 gold maple leafs vs. 953,000 in all of 2015…which is an increase of about 4 percent. In all of 2016, the mint sold 32.4 million silver maple leafs vs. 34.3 million in all of 2015…which is a decline of about 5.5 percent.

Here’s the problem I have with the 2016 numbers.  In his covering e-mail, Steve mentioned that…”gold bullion coins sales and silver bullion coin sales, which are mostly Maple Leafs.” My e-mail back to him last was as follows…”Are you saying that both gold and silver bullion coin sales are “mostly maple leafs“…or is that comment only applicable to silver maple leafs?  Is it possible to be more accurate than that?  “Mostly” means how many percent approximately???

So, in reality, I have no idea how accurate these number are, as something does not compute — and that includes the numbers for 2015 as well.  I’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available.

It was all zeros in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Monday, as nothing was reported received, or shipped out.

There was only one silver deposit yesterday — and that was 981,737 troy ounces into Canada’s Scotiabank.  Nothing was shipped out there either — and the link to that activity is here.

It was certainly busier over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Monday.  They reported receiving 4,530 of them — and they also shipped out another 1,288.  All of this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.

Here are two more charts from Nick Laird.  He passed these around on Monday night, but my Tuesday column was already full of charts and Critical Reads, so they just had to wait for today.  They show Turkey’s gold and silver imports, updated with April’s data — and they’re pretty impressive.  Gold imports were 23.3 tonnes — and in silver, that number was 32.9 tonnes.  Click to enlarge for both.

After too many stories in Tuesday’s column, I’m back to an average number today, which suits me fine — and you too, I would imagine.


Economic Confidence Slumps to Lowest Since Trump’s Election

Just as U.S. macroeconomic data surprises collapse back to reality (but stocks hit record highs), so it appears the animal spirits of American Consumers are tumbling…

Hope lasted a few months in the ‘real’ data… but has collapse in the last month.

And as Gallup reports, Americans’ views of the economy remain positive on balance, but just barely. Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index averaged +3 for the week ending May 7. The index is down four points from two weeks ago and now sits at a nominal low for the year after trending downward from its early March peak.

Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index is the average of two components: how Americans rate current economic conditions and whether they feel the economy is improving or getting worse. And that is where the bigger problem lies as it is ‘hope’ about the future that has really tumbled…

Fewer Americans last week said the economy was “getting better” (45{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}) than said it was “getting worse” (49{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}), leaving the economic outlook component at -4, its worst score since Trump’s election (during the week of Nov. 7-13), when it measured -5. It is now nearly 20 points below its recent high of +15 set in early March and nine points lower than its average score in the post-election period.

So it seems record high stocks and recently dropping gas prices, along with a constant narrative of how well wages are growing, has done absolutely nothing to improve Americans’ perspective on the economic outlook.

This 3-chart Zero Hedge article showed up on their Internet site at 1:41 p.m. EDT on Tuesday afternoon — and I thank Brad Robertson for sending it our way.  The charts are certainly worth a quick look — and another link to this story is here.

Just One Week Later, Atlanta Fed’s Q2 GDP Forecast Crumbles From 4.3{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} to 3.6{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}

It’s déjà vu all over again.

Four months after the Atlanta Fed started off its Q1 GDP Nowcast at 2.5{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}, then raised it just shy of 3.5{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} before eventually crashing, and closing the books at 0.2{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}, slightly below where the BEA reported Q1 GDP, on May 1 the regional Fed released its initial GDP forecast for Q2, and, as we noted last week, it came as no surprise to anyone that the initial estimate was just a tad optimistic at 4.3{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}, to which we commented that if past is prologue, “expect this number to end roughly 50{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} lower in three months when the first advance Q1 GDP report is released.”

One week later, we are a third of the way there, because moments ago, the Atlanta Fed did just as expected, and chopped off a whopping 17{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} from its initial estimate, revising its Q2 GDP estimate from 4.3{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} as of May 1 (and 4.2{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} as of May 4) to 3.6{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e}, due to a decline in forecast real consumer spending growth and real private fixed investment.

The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter of 2017 is 3.6 percent on May 9, down from 4.2 percent on May 4. The forecast for second-quarter real consumer spending growth and real private fixed investment growth declined from 3.0 percent and 6.9 percent to 2.7 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively, after the employment situation release by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. The model’s estimate of the dynamic factor for April—normalized to have mean 0 and standard deviation 1 and used to forecast the yet-to-be released monthly GDP source data—has fallen from 0.76 to 0.32 since the last GDPNow update on May 4. The forecast of the contribution of inventory investment to second-quarter growth decreased from 1.11 percentage points to 0.99 percentage points after this morning’s wholesale trade report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

This news item was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 12:36 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon EDT — and I thank Richard Saler for bringing it to our attention.  Another link to it is here.

U.S. Deposit Drain Coming Up? JP Morgan says “Merge Before It’s Too Late

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has some advice for regional banks: A deposit drain is coming, so merge while you can.

The company’s investment bankers are warning depository clients that they may begin feeling the crunch in December, thanks to a byproduct of how the U.S. Federal Reserve propped up the economy after the financial crisis, according to a copy of a confidential presentation obtained by Bloomberg News and confirmed by a JPMorgan spokesman.

JPMorgan argues that some midsize U.S. banks — those with $50 billion in assets or less — could face a funding problem in coming years as the Fed goes about shrinking its massive balance sheet, according to the 19-page report the New York-based bank has begun sharing with clients.

Somehow this smacks of self-serving advice. Merge with JPMorgan while you can.

By the way, it seems the banks had the playbook before the report.

Nearly every major regional bank missed its lending estimate. As discussed on April 29, a Regional Lender Loan Crash is underway.

This is Mish Shedlock’s spin on an embedded and linked Bloomberg article from Monday.  It’s datelined 12:38 p.m. EDT yesterday afternoon — and it has obviously been updated since it was first posted, because Roy Stephens sent it our way minutes before midnight on Monday evening.  Another link to it is here.

Rex Tillerson: a “realist” in Washington?

In first address to State Department and before meeting Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson repudiates neocon ideas and supports a ‘realist’ foreign policy.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, delivering his first address to the staff of the State Department, has set out a vision of U.S. foreign policy which if different would be radically different from anything seen over the last few decades.

Specifically Tillerson turned neocon foreign policy orthodoxy on its head by arguing that a foreign policy based on promoting U.S. ‘values’ carried the risk of obstructing U.S. national security and economic interests

In some circumstances, if you condition our national security efforts on someone adopting our values, we probably can’t achieve our national security goals.  It really creates obstacles to our ability to advance our national security interests, our economic interests.”

Interestingly, in the same speech he is reported to have spoken about the need to work for better relations with Russia, the country that the neocons have cast as the U.S.’s primary ideological and geopolitical adversary.

This short, but very worthwhile commentary by Alex Mercouris showed up on Internet site on Monday sometime — and it comes courtesy of Roy Stephens.  Another link to it is here.

Half of Canadians Have $200 or less in Savings

It turns out that the state of half of U.S. finances, deplorable as it may be is positively shining, not to mention “twice as good“, when compared to the country’s neighbor to the north, where a recent Ipsos survey on behalf of accounting firm MNP, found that more than half of Canadians are living within $200 per month of not being able to pay all their bills or meet their debt obligations. Needless to say, if $500 in savings is bad, half that amount is outright bizarre.

With such a small amount of wiggle room, any kind of unanticipated hardship, such as a job loss or even a car repair, could send an already struggling family into financial despair,” Canada’s Global News quoted Grant Bazian, president of MNP’s personal insolvency practice, which is one of the largest in Canada.  He also revealed that for 10 per cent of Canadians, the margin of error when it comes to household finances is even thinner, at $100 or less.

It gets worse as those with anything at all left at the end of the month were in better shape than many: A whopping 31{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} of respondents said they already don’t make enough to meet all their financial obligations.

The poll also found that while debt is causing Canadians a fair bit of stress, few appear to be overly worried or on track to buff up their monthly financial cushion. Two-thirds of survey takers said they are “less than very confident” about their ability to create an emergency fund.

And then this hair-raising finding from the survey: “Roughly 60 per cent said they don’t have a firm grasp of how interest rates affect debt repayments.” According to Bazian, the statistic helps explain why many indebted Canadians end up taking on more debt and high-cost loans. “That’s how so many end up in an endless cycle of debt,” he noted. It also explains charts such as this one, showing the harrowing difference surge in Canadian household debt, which has grown by 60{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} since the start of the century.

This Zero Hedge news item showed up on their website at 12:36 p.m. yesterday afternoon — and it’s the second offering of the day from Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.

Bank of England walks the tightrope over interest rates

Slower economic growth and higher inflation present Bank of England policymakers with a delicate balancing act when they meet this week to set interest rates and agree new forecasts for the U.K. as it goes through an election and Brexit talks.

The Bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) is widely expected to keep interest rates at their record low of 0.25{f02ffe5e8b39fd7974c2720d01ccf381ddc9ebb4164215842085b3c57e4f642e} to offer continued support to the economy and the jobs market.

Economists forecast that just one policymaker, Kristin Forbes, will vote for a rate rise, sticking to the position she adopted at the last meeting in March amid worries about inflation picking up too fast. The rest will opt to leave policy unchanged, according to a Reuters poll of City economists.

Alongside its decision on Thursday, the Bank will publish updated forecasts in its quarterly “inflation report”, incorporating a host of new developments since its last outlook in February. Compared with that previous report, inflation has been higher than the Bank predicted and growth has been lower as squeezed consumers rein in spending. On top of that, the government has officially opened Brexit negotiations with the rest of the E.U. and called a snap general election for June.

This story from The Guardian was posted on their Internet site at at 10:51 a.m. BST on their Monday morning — and I thank Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.

Britain Set to Lose E.U. Banking And Medicine Agencies “Within Weeks

E.U. diplomats are plotting to issue a crushing blow to Theresa May’s Brexit strategy by withdrawing flagship agencies from Britain ‘within weeks’, it has been reported.

Officials at a meeting held last Tuesday agreed an uncompromising position over the future of the EU’s banking and medicine regulators – which employ about 1,000 people in London.

The Observer reported that a ‘beauty contest’ between remaining member states will begin within two weeks, as diplomats reject the Prime Minister’s calls for early trade negotiations.

The European Banking Authority and the European Medical Agency (EMA) not only employ hundreds of staff, many of them British, in the capital – but also create huge demand for goods and services.

The EMA on its own attracts over 40,000 visitors each year to its offices – creating demand for 350 hotel rooms every night, five days a week, the agency’s Executive Director Guido Rasi said last year.

This story from the Internet site is from way back on April 18 — and I’m not sure what’s become of this issue, but if it does turn out as stated here, I’m sure we’ll hear more about it before the end of the month.  It’s another contribution from Patrik Ekdahl — and another link to it is here.

President Putin: “there will be no force that could ever enslave our people

Vladimir Putin’s Victory Day speech linked the threats of the past with those of the present.

His message on Victory Day sent a poignant message at a time when Russians throughout the world are once again under attack.

President Putin stated,

There was no, there is no and there will be no force that could ever enslave our people. They fought to the bitter end, defending their homeland, and did what seemed impossible, they turned the bloody wheel of the Second World War back, drove the enemy from our land where it dared to come, crushed Nazism, put an end to its atrocities.

    And we will never forget that it was our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers who brought the freedom to Europe and the long-awaited peace on the planet”.

Putin called on the international community to join Russia against current threats to the peace of mankind just as many in the world allied with the Soviet Union to fight fascism in the 1940s.

The rest of this short article, that was posted on Internet site around 3 a.m. EDT on Tuesday morning, is certainly worth reading — and there’s a long 60-minute video of yesterday’s Victory Day Parade in Red Square embedded at the bottom of the article as well.  I thank Roy Stephens for sharing this with us — and another link to it is here.

Trump to Arm Syrian Kurds, Even as Turkey Strongly Objects

President Trump has approved a plan to provide Syrian Kurds with heavier weapons so they can participate in the battle to retake Raqqa from the Islamic State, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

American military commanders have long argued for arming the Y.P.G., a Kurdish militia that contains some of the most experienced fighters among the Syrian force that is battling the Islamic State.

But Turkey has vociferously objected to such a move, insisting that the Kurdish fighters are linked with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or the P.K.K., which both it and the United States regard as a terrorist group.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey is scheduled to meet with Mr. Trump in Washington this month, and the American decision on arming the Kurds is likely to figure prominently in the discussion. Mr. Erdogan is expected to press Mr. Trump to give Turkey and the Syrian rebels it backs a bigger supporting role in the assault on Raqqa.

This news story, filed from Washington, put in an appearance on The New York Times website yesterday — and I thank Patricia Caulfield for sending it our way.  Another link to it is here.

China’s April trade growth slows as commodities, electronics demand cools

China’s import growth slowed faster than expected in April, as inbound shipments of commodities such as iron ore and copper weakened, while export growth more than halved, in line with a general cooling in demand for electronic gadgets.

China’s April imports rose 11.9 percent, cooling from March’s 20.3 percent rise, official data showed on Monday, and missing analysts’ expectations for an 18 percent rise.

Exports rose 8.0 percent from a year earlier, slowing from a 16.4 percent rise in the previous month and short of expectations of 10.4 percent.

While the data shows trade remained robust at the beginning of the second quarter, analysts say the spurt in China’s economic growth seen in the first three months of the year may be as good as it gets as policymakers seek to tighten speculative investment, especially in the property sector.

Looking ahead, we expect export growth to hold up well given the relatively bright outlook for the global economy this year,” Capital Economics China economist Julian Evans-Pritchard said in a note.

Growth in inbound shipments will continue to face headwinds, however. In particular, policy tightening will further weigh on domestic demand in coming quarters.”

This Reuters article, filed from Beijing, showed up on their Internet site at 2:53 a.m. EDT on Monday morning — and it’s a story that I found in yesterday’s edition of the King Report.  Another link to it is here.

LBMA says it will report London gold vault holdings this summer — Ronan Manly

Gold researcher Ronan Manly writes that the London Bullion Market Association has announced plans to begin reporting this summer the volumes of gold held in its members’ vaults.

Whether the total reported will be a mere aggregate or will include totals for individual LBMA members remains unclear.  But the amount of gold supporting the enormous trade in gold derivatives will be of great interest to market analysts.

Manly’s report is headlined “Summer of ’17: LBMA Confirms Upcoming Publication of London Gold Vault Holdings” — and it was posted on the Internet site yesterday.  I found it in a GATA dispatch — and another link to it is here.

India April Gold imports more than double to 75 tonnes

Indian gold imports during April has increased drastically to 75 tonnes, which is about twice the increase when compared to year ago period. This increase is believed to be on the back of strong demand during the festive season.

Rise in imports in India, which is the second biggest gold consuming country after China, will have an impact on the global prices, as the global prices was seen lowest in seven weeks.

The jewellers in the country was cutting down the inventories in 2016, but now they are building stocks ahead of the GST implementation, as sales has improved in the first quarter.

During April, the jewellers went on strike in protest over the re-introduction of an excise duty on gold jewellery, which resulted in drop of imports to 29.9 tonnes. Drop in local gold prices increased the retail sales and imports are expected to be higher than year ago period of May.

The above four paragraphs are all there is to this brief news item that was filed from Mumbai yesterday.  It was posted on the Internet site at 4:19 p.m. IST on their Tuesday afternoon — and I found it on the Sharps Pixley website last night.  Another link to the hard copy is here.


While doing my ‘due diligence’ on wild turkeys yesterday, I stumbled across the link to this bird…the ocellated turkey…which I’d never heard of before.  It’s a species of turkey residing primarily in the Yucatán Peninsula. A relative of the wild turkey, it was sometimes previously treated in a genus of its own, but the differences between the two turkeys are currently considered too small to justify generic segregation.  The ocellated turkey lives only in a 130,000 sq. kilometers (50,000 sq mi) range in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico.  It’s a beauty!  Click to enlarge.


There are some bored foreigners, with full stomachs, who have nothing better to do than point fingers at us. First, China doesn’t export revolution; second, China doesn’t export hunger and poverty; third, China doesn’t come and cause you headaches. What more is there to be said?” — Xi Jinping, President of China.

Once again ‘da boyz’ were out salami slicing — and the only two of the Big 6 commodities that they set new lows for this move down in, were silver and gold.  This price activity was accompanied by huge volume once again.

That makes it sixteen consecutive days that JP Morgan et al have closed, or set a new intraday low in silver, which is probably a record that will never be broken in our lifetimes, if ever.  And not a peep from the CFTC or the mining industry.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, plus copper, once again.  Gold has just slid into oversold territory — and silver is the most oversold it’s been since October of 2014.  And after yesterday’s price action, platinum is heading solidly in that direction as well.  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 rallied a few dollars in the first hour of trading once New York opened for business at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday evening.  That gain, such as it was, has all but disappeared — and gold is trading up 20 cents at the moment.  Silver traded a few pennies higher in morning trading in Shanghai, but that is all gone as well — and silver is now down a penny.  Platinum is up a dollar — and palladium is now down a dollar after being up a couple of bucks earlier.

Net HFT gold volume is approaching 33,000 contracts — and that number in silver is just over 6,500 contracts.

The dollar index was sold down a bit the moment that trading began in New York at 6:00 p.m. yesterday evening — and it’s current 99.39 low tick was set around 11:30 a.m. CST on their Wednesday morning.  It’s off that low by a bit, but still down 9 basis points as London opens.

Ted pointed out something on the phone yesterday which I should have spotted myself, because I always check platinum and palladium when the COT Report comes out.  But I skipped it last week because of the Bank Participation Report.  Ted hardly ever checks them, but he noticed in passing that the Managed Money traders in platinum, who are always net long this precious metal, went mega short during the last reporting week…adding 10,446 short contracts, plus they sold 499 long contracts as well.  I’ll be checking this Friday’s COT Report more carefully.

Yesterday, at the close of COMEX trading, was the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report — and I would suspect that all of yesterday’s trading action will be in it.  The report itself will be a sight to see — and Ted and I spent a lot of time discussing what it may or may not contain regarding the Managed Money traders’ new short position, the non-technical fund long position — and the Big 8 commercial traders.

Ted will most likely have something to say about this in his mid-week commentary this afternoon — and I will ‘borrow’ what I think I can get away with for my Friday column.

And as I post today’s missive on the website at 4:01 a.m. EDT, I see that the gold price hasn’t done much during the first hour of London trading — and is up 90 cents at the moment.  Ditto for silver — and it’s back to unchanged on the day.  Platinum and palladium are both back at unchanged as well.

Net HFT gold volume is coming up on 38,000 contracts — and that number in silver is just about 8,000 contracts.  There’s not much going on.

The dollar index hasn’t done much either — and is still down 9 basis points on the day.

So…how close are we to being done???

As I said in my Tuesday column — and it bears repeating here: “As to how much lower they can get the precious metals to go in price, depends entirely [as Ted Butler keeps saying] on how many more long contracts JP Morgan et al can get the Managed Money and other traders to puke up on one hand — and on the other, how many contracts can they get them to go short at the same time.  Once there are no more long contracts that are willing to be sold, or new short contracts willing to be put on…the lows for this move down will be in.  Nothing else matters.

Let’s see what JP Morgan et al have in store for us during the New York trading session today.

See you here tomorrow.