More Silver For JPMorgan in January COMEX Deliveries

29 December 2017 — Friday


[NOTE:  I have the usual spacing/colour issues on the website version of my column today, but it’s not quite as bad as yesterday.  I’ll be back to normal with my weekend column, as I’ll be back on my computer at home then. — Ed]

The gold price began to head quietly higher starting an hour or so after trading began at 6:00 p.m. EST in New York on Wednesday evening.  That tiny rally lasted until shortly after trading began in London — and then was equally quietly sold lower until five minutes before the COMEX open.  It began to rally with a bit more enthusiasm at that juncture, but ran into a willing seller about fifteen minutes before the afternoon gold fix in London.  From there, it crept higher for the rest of the Thursday session, finishing on what appeared to be its high of the day.

The low and high ticks certainly aren’t worth looking up.
Gold finished the Thursday session in New York at $1,294.70 — and up another $7.90 from Wednesday’s close.  Net volume was very reasonable at something under 197,000 contracts — and there was a noticeable amount of switch volume out of February and into future months.
Silver followed a very similar price path as gold, so it doesn’t require any further embellishment from me — and the low and high ticks aren’t worth looking up in this precious metal, either.
The silver price closed yesterday at $16.84 spot, up another 18 cents.  Net volume was 59,000 contracts, with considerably less switch/roll-over volume than reported for gold.
Platinum was up six dollars by shortly before 2 p.m. China Standard Time on their Thursday afternoon — and didn’t do a lot for the remainder of the Thursday session.  It finished that day at $926 spot, up 6 bucks from Wednesday’s close.
The palladium price was up a few dollars by around 9:30 a.m. CET in Zurich trading, but then began to head a bit lower, with the low tick of the day…such as it was…coming shortly before 9 a.m. in New York.  It rallied from that point until the Zurich close — and ran into a willing seller shortly after that.  From there it traded mostly sideways into the 5:00 p.m. EST close of trading.  Palladium finished the Thursday session at $1,058 spot, up 4 dollars on the day.
The dollar index closed very late on Wednesday afternoon in New York at the 93.00 mark — and began to head lower the moment that trading began at 6:00 p.m. EST that evening.  That continued until shortly after the London open, when a weak counter-trend rally developed.  That lasted less than three hours — and the index continued its downward path.  The 92.57 low tick was set sometime between 1 and 2 p.m. EST in New York — and it chopped quietly higher into the close from there.  The dollar index finished the day at 92.68 — and down 32 basis points from its close on Wednesday.
And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index graph…
The gold stocks turned in another very poor performance again yesterday.  Although they gapped up a bit at the open, they were immediately sold down hard into the afternoon gold fix in London.  From that point they rallied nicely, with all the gains that mattered coming by around 12:45 p.m. in New York trading.  They hung in there pretty good until 2 p.m…when they were sold lower until 3 p.m. — and from that point they chopped quietly sideways into the close.  The HUI finished higher by a tiny 0.18 percent.
The silver equities followed a very similar price pattern — and barely managed to close in the green, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed up only 0.07 percent…which is barely unchanged on the day.  Click to enlarge if necessary.
The shares continue to vastly underperform the precious metals — and as I said in yesterday’s missive, if it isn’t tax-loss selling, then the only other thing it can be is year-end book-squaring by various and sundry precious metals mutual funds and their ilk.  But for individual investors such as you and I, this if no consolation whatsoever.
Here’s Nick’s 1-year Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index chart.  Click to enlarge.
The CME Daily Delivery Report for First Day Notice for delivery in January showed that 137 gold and 321 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Tuesday, January 2.  In gold, there were five short/issuers in total — and the only real stand-out was 26 contracts that were issued from JPMorgan’s client account.  The only long/stopper that mattered was JPMorgan with 130 contracts for its own account.  In silver, there were six short/issuers in total — and the largest by far was HSBC USA with 247 from its in-house/proprietary trading account — and in very distant second place was JPMorgan with 26 contracts out of its client account.  Top dog as long/stopper was JPMorgan once again with 138 contracts…69 for its own account, plus another 69 for its client account.  In second and third place was HSBC USA and Goldman Sachs, with 97 and 61 contracts for their respective client accounts.  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 inJanuary fell by 119 contracts, leaving 417 left, minus the 137 mentioned just above. Silver o.i. in January declined by 27 contracts, leaving 539 still open, minus the 321 contracts mentioned in the previous paragraph.
I would suspect that the January delivery month will be finished in very short order — and the fact that a lot of “the usual suspects” are taking delivery for their client accounts means that the insiders are still loading the silver boat for their own personal gain when the silver price is allowed to hit the heights.
There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday, but there was another big withdrawal from SLV, as an authorized participant removed 1,320,729 troy ounces.  It’s a fairly safe bet that this was one of Ted’s patented exchanges of SLV shares for physical metal — and that JPMorgan owns it all now.  With silver prices on the rise recently, there can be no other possible explanation for this withdrawal, or the one for 801,876 troy ounces on Wednesday.
The folks over at the Internet site updated their short report for both SLV and GLD as of the close of business on November 30.  The short position in SLV actually increased during the November 15 to 30th reporting period…from 12,918,800 shares/troy ounces, up to 13,168,600 shares/troy ounces…which works to a rise of 1.93 percent.  And for whatever reason, the website blocked me from getting access to the short interest change in GLD — but I should have that in my next column, which will be posted very late on Saturday night, or Sunday morning.
And much to my surprise, the U.S. Mint had a tiny sales report. They sold 2,000 troy ounces of gold eagles — and that was all.
There was no reported in/out activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved gold depositories on the U.S. east coast on Wednesday.
One truck load of silver…600,483 troy ounces…was reported received — and that all ended up at JPMorgan. That deposit, as does every deposit going forward, brings a new record high for their COMEX silver holdings, which now sits at 118.8 million troy ounces. There was also a transfer of 639,854 troy ounces from the Registered category — and back into Eligible.  That happened over at CNT.  The link to all this activity is here.
And it was all zeros, both in and out, over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Wednesday.

Another day where the stories, cartoons and photos are the bare minimum required.


Will Millenials Ever Be Able To Retire? — Dennis Miller

My oldest granddaughter (early 30’s) recently asked me that question. She and her husband have two children, a new home and are still paying off their college loans.

I can still remember when we lived from paycheck to paycheck, questioning why there was so much month left at the end of the money….

My response, “Sure, but when, and at what lifestyle, depends on many things; including decisions you make today.”

It’s easy for young people to look at retirement as something they need to address “tomorrow”; saving is put off – too many bills to pay. “Tomorrow” does come – the day of retirement reckoning is here before you know it.

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

Italy’s President Dissolves Parliament, Triggering Elections

Italian President Sergio Mattarella dissolved parliament on Thursday, setting the country on the path to a national election on March 4 that could lead to a hung parliament and a period of political turbulence.

The head of state signed a decree ending the legislative sessions in both houses of parliament, according to an e-mailed statement from Mattarella’s office. At a cabinet meeting later, the government of Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni set the election date, according to an official who could not be named because he was not authorized to comment publicly on the issue.

At a traditional end-of-year news conference earlier on Thursday, Gentiloni played down the risk of political turbulence ahead.

We mustn’t dramatize the issue of political instability, which is certainly an issue but rather than being worried about it, we should tackle it knowing that we’re pretty much vaccinated against it,” Gentiloni said. Frequent change of government “is not a recent phenomenon and it hasn’t stopped our country growing,” he added.

Italy is the ‘I’ of the PIGS group — and like their totally insolvent banking system, the nation as a whole is bankrupt as well.  Only the fact that the ECB continues to buy up all their bonds, keeps the financial and fiscal wolves off the country’s doorstep.  This Bloomberg news item showed up on their website at 10:27 a.m. Denver time on Thursday morning — and was updated about an hour later.  I thank Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl for pointing it out — and another link to it is here.

$1.5 million Perth Mint gold seized in U.S. fraud case

More than $1.5 million in Perth Mint gold has been handed to U.S. authorities after its owner, a Texan man, was jailed for 40 years for a fraud that netted millions of dollars.

Matthew Norman Simpson, 34, was chief executive of an internet provider in Dallas until an FBI raid in 2009 named him as an alleged conspirator in a “massive cybercrime conspiracy”.

The complicated plot involved creating shell companies and using phony identities to defraud a number of communications companies, including giants AT&T and Verizon, out of goods and services totalling more than $20 million.

They even paid homeless people in cash and alcohol for the use of their identities to act as the officers, directors or managers of the shell companies.

In 2012, after being found guilty, Simpson was sentenced to 40 years jail, was ordered to pay more than $17 million in restitution, and had millions of dollars in assets seized after a jury found they were the ill-gotten gains of the fraud.

Included in those assets were three certificates of ownership of Perth Mint gold, valued at more than $1.5 million.

This interesting news item appeared early on Wednesday afternoon on December 27 ‘down under’ time — and was posted on The West Australian website.  It’s something I found on the Sharps Pixley website — and another link to it is here.




Gold and silver prices continue to crawl higher every day — and now even platinum is above its 50-day moving average.  There was certainly more Managed Money long buying and short covering again yesterday, but they haven’t shown up en masse as of yet — and that included yesterday’s price/volume activity.  As silver analyst Ted Butler pointed out in his quote in yesterday’s column…”So while I got extremely bullish as prices fell into the Dec 12 price lows, the lack of aggressive buying by the managed money traders on the upswing is even more bullish. Let me not beat around the bush – the managed money trades are in a highly unique circumstance of having their lungs ripped out to the upside, should the commercials so decide to let prices fly higher. Certainly, this adds to my suspicions that the last trip lower in price was more arranged and deliberate than any prior engineered move. In short, I don’t know how the commercials could have set up things better than they have.”
At this stage of the game, it would be Ted’s raptors [the small commercial traders other than the Big 8] doing most of the heavy lifting, selling copious quantities of their long position in both precious metals…for huge profits, I might add.  The ‘5 through 8’ large traders, along the with the Big 4 in general — and the Big 1 in particular…JPMorgan…won’t show up in the rally until its latter stages…if JPMorgan shows up at all, that is.
Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, plus copper once again.  Copper is now well into overbought territory — and I watch these rallies unfold with increasing interest.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature helps a bit with the first four charts.
Today at 3:30 p.m. EST, according to what Ted said in his mid-week commentary, we should get the latest and greatest Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday.  It should come as no great shock to anyone that there will have been an increase in the commercial net short positions in both silver and gold…with the usual points of interest being the volumes involved — and the internal break-down of the players involved as well…as per Ted’s quote above.
And as London opens — and as I post today’s column on the website, I note that the gold price hasn’t done much during Far East trading on their Friday — and is currently up 10 cents.  Silver was down 2 cents all day long in Far East trading, but has dipped a bit lower in the last hour — and is down 5 cents the ounce.  Neither platinum and palladium have been doing much, with former sitting at unchanged — and the latter up a dollar as Zurich opens.
Net HFT gold volume is coming up on 31,000 contracts — and that number in silver is a bit over 7,600 contracts.
The dollar index continues its slow slide — and is down 9 basis points.

Today is the last trading day of the week, month, 4th quarter — and year.  I must admit that I have no idea what will happen from a price perspective during the New York trading session today.  

My usual Saturday column won’t show up on my website until late Saturday night/early Sunday morning EST, as I’ll be on the road almost all day Friday — and won’t have the hours to spend getting it out at its usual time, which is in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
See you then.
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