Ted Butler: Why the Next Silver Rally Will Be Like Never Before

21 August 2018 — Tuesday

YESTERDAY in GOLD, SILVER, PLATINUM and PALLADIUM


The gold price was sold down a few dollars or so the moment that trading began at 6:00 p.m. EDT in New York on Sunday evening.  It crawled unevenly higher from there until a few minutes after 9 a.m. in London, but by the 11 a.m. EDT London close, all those gains…such as they were…were gone.  It inched unsteadily higher from there into the 5:00 p.m. close of trading.

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

Gold closed on Monday in New York at $1,190.10 spot, up $5.50 on the day.  Net volume in October and December combined as pretty light at a bit over 202,000 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume was only 2,515 contracts.

Silver’s price path was very similar except its price path was somewhat more ‘volatile’.  The sell-off that started minutes before 9 a.m. in London — and ended at the London close, was much sharper in silver than it was in gold.  The ensuing rally was capped in after-hours trading just before it got back to the unchanged mark.

The high and low closes in this precious metal were recorded by the CME Group as $14.83 and $14.625 in the September contract.

Silver was closed on Monday at $14.73 spot, down 3.5 cents from Friday.  Net volume was pretty quiet as well at around 49,900 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume out of September and into future months [mostly December] in this precious metal was fairly hefty at a hair under 21,000 contracts.

Platinum chopped around a few dollars either side of unchanged during Far East trading on their Monday — and was up a buck by the Zurich open.  It rallied about 8 bucks at that juncture and, like gold and silver, was quietly sold lower — and that lasted until around noon in New York.  It crawled higher from there until about 3 p.m. in after-hours trading — and didn’t do a lot after that.  Platinum finished the Monday session at $794 spot, up 7 dollars from Friday’s close.

The palladium price didn’t do much in Far East trading on their Monday — and was down a dollar or so at the Zurich open.  Then, like platinum, it edged five dollars or so higher during the next hour — and was up a few more dollars by the 5:00 p.m. close of trading in New York.  Palladium finished the Monday session at $913 spot, up 9 bucks from Friday.

The dollar index closed very late on Friday afternoon in New York at 96.13 — and opened flat when trading began at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday evening.  That lasted until around 8:35 a.m. China Standard Time on their Monday morning.  It ticked up a handful of basis points over the next hour — and then traded flat once again until around 8:50 a.m. in London.  The subsequent rally flamed out at the 96.40 mark by around 11:25 BST — and it was all down hill from there right into the close of trading very late on Monday afternoon in New York.  The dollar index finished the day at 95.73 — down 40 basis points from Friday’s close.

It was yet another day where the price activity in the precious metals bore virtually no resemblance to what was happening in the currency market.

Here’s the 3-day intraday chart, so you can see all of Monday’s trading action starting at 6:00 p.m. EDT in New York on Sunday evening…which was 6:00 a.m. BST in Beijing on their Monday morning…7:00 a.m. in Tokyo.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index, which you can read into whatever you wish.  And as I said on Saturday, it’s a bit too soon to tell whether this current softness in the dollar index is about to get more serious.

The gold shares gapped up a percent and change at the 9:30 a.m. EDT open of trading in New York on Monday morning.  But they then fell back into negative territory by the time that gold hit its low tick of the day in New York at the 11 a.m. EDT London close.  As the gold price edged higher from there, the stocks followed with increasingly less enthusiasm — and the HUI finished up only 0.45 percent.

The price pattern for the silver equities was similar in almost every respect to what happened with the gold shares on Monday, except Nick Laird’s intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index only closed down 0.09 percent.  Call it unchanged.  Click to enlarge.

And here’s the 1-year Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index chart.  Click to enlarge as well.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 29 gold and 16 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Wednesday. In gold, the two short/issuers were ADM and Advantage with 21 and 8 contracts from their respective client accounts.  There were four long/stoppers in total, with JPMorgan, Advantage and Morgan Stanley stopping 15, 7 and 6 contracts for their respective client accounts.  In silver, the two largest of the three short/issuers were ABN Amro and ADM with 10 and 5 contracts respectively.  ADM and Goldman, the two long/stoppers, picked up 9 and 7 contracts respectively.  All contracts issued and stopped involved their client accounts.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Monday trading session showed that gold open interest in August declined by 9 contracts, leaving 237 still around, minus the 29 mentioned just above.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 27 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 27-9=18 more gold contracts were added to the August delivery month.  Silver o.i. in August fell by 7 contracts, leaving 38 still open, minus the 16 contracts mentioned in the previous paragraph.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 13 silver contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 13-7=6 more silver contracts were added to August.


There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV on Friday.

The folks over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank updated their website with the goings-on inside the gold and silver ETFs as of the close of trading on Friday, August 17 — and this is what they had to report.  There were additions both ETFs during the reporting week…their gold ETF by 12,897 troy ounces — and their silver ETF by 148,472 troy ounces.

There was a small sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday.  They sold 50,000 silver eagles — and that was all.

But that small sales report put silver eagle sales over the 1,000,000 coin sales mark for the month of August — and that’s the first month since January that silver eagle sales have reached seven figures.  Silver analyst Ted Butler pointed out in his weekly commentary on Saturday that “For the first time in quite a while, I’m hearing reports of developing retail demand for silver and also gold.”  I also received an e-mail from the folks at the usagold.com Internet site yesterday morning, saying…”We have had an influx of new visitors at USAGOLD over the past week or so indicating, we hope, a change in sentiment.”  At these prices, everyone should be a buyer, no matter how much they’ve got already.

Once again it was all zeros in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Friday.

There was some activity in silver, as 516,100 troy ounces were received — and 188,038 troy ounces were shipped out.  All of the ‘out’ activity was at Canada’s Scotiabank — and in the ‘out’ department, there was 128,003 troy ounces shipped out of HSBC USA — and 60,035 from Brink’s, Inc.  The link to that is here.

Over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Friday, they reported receiving another 1,000 of them — and shipped out 1,230.  All of this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.


Since yesterday was the 20th of the month — and it fell on a weekday, the good folks over at The Central Bank of the Russian Federation updated their website with their July data — and this is what they had to report.  During the month they added another 800,000 troy ounces/24.9 metric tonnes of gold to their reserves.  That brings their total reserves up to the 63.3 million troy ounce/1,969 metric tonne mark.  Here’s Nick Laird’s most excellent chart showing that change.  Click to enlarge.

I have a very decent number of stories for you today, including a longish audio interview with silver analyst Ted Butler.


CRITICAL READS

Stockman Slams “Unhinged” White House, Warns Of “World Market…Train Wreck

In his ubiquitous no-holds-barred manner, former OIMB budget director David Stockman unleashed his own brand of fact-based reality on an unsuspecting CNBC audience late last week.

You’ve got a train wreck on trade. You’ve got a train wreck on deficits hitting,” he said.

As the U.S. equity market nears its longest-bull-market in history, Stockman is warning investors a crash is inevitable.

This economy isn’t strong, and it can’t take the punishment that’s coming out of an unhinged White House and a Washington policy environment where they all have their heads in the sand,” Stockman said Thursday on CNBC‘s “Futures Now.

According to Stockman, the China trade war is the primary catalyst that could finally push stocks over the edge.

While Stockman doesn’t ruling out another all-time high in what he’s been calling the “biggest stock market bubble in recorded history,” he warns a 40% shock could “easily” wipe out gains in the days that follow.

This Zero Hedge article, complete with a 2:55 minute embedded CNBC video clip, showed up on the their Internet site at 3:09 p.m. EDT yesterday afternoon — and it’s another offering from Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.


MAGA: Mission Accomplished? — Bill Bonner

Our colleague and President Reagan’s budget advisor, David Stockman, writes that, while the official unemployment rate has gone down, the number of full-time, “breadwinner” jobs in America, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in July, was 73.83 million.

When the century began 18 years ago, the number was 72.73 million. Only 1 million decent new jobs have been created – while the U.S. population has grown by 48 million people!

Almost all the rosy jobs numbers are traceable to 1) people dropping out of the workforce, 2) low-paid, part-time jobs in the leisure and medical service sectors, and 3) inflation.

More than 50 years ago, a sharp French economist, Jacques Rueff, noted cynically that the reason inflation seemed to boost employment was that real labor costs declined as the currency depreciated.

Labor was cheaper; employers bought more of it. In other words, it was a way to rob the working stiffs without them realizing what was going on.

That is what is happening now. The inflation reading for July was 2.9%. Officially, wages are said to be increasing by about 2.8%.

This very worthwhile commentary by Bill was posted on the bonnerandpartners.com Internet site every early on Monday morning EDT — and another link to it is here.


Services Rendered — Jeff Thomas

Here we have a standard credit card receipt from a coffee shop.

The diner understands that he’s not obligated to order anything that he doesn’t want to receive, but that, for whatever he does order, he must pay the price on the menu.

The subtotal is printed in large type on the charge slip. He may then decide whether or not the service he received was of particular value to him. Diners typically choose to pay somewhere between 10% and 20%, depending on the value they feel they’ve received.

But the receipt above differs from the norm. After the “Tip” line, another line exists for “Voluntary Tax.”
This is a very special coffee shop. In this shop, the owners and servers pay no involuntary tax and therefore, no tax is passed on to the diner. In this coffee shop, the diner decides what level of tax he feels he should pay his government, in accordance with what he feels his government’s contribution has been to his meal.

This particular diner has decided that his government deserves something, but not as much as either the coffee shop’s owners or the servers. He has generously allowed a $1.00 tip as his “voluntary tax.”

Of course, as the reader already understands, this is a hypothetical coffee shop. Were its owners to operate in this fashion with regard to the payment of taxes, they’d find themselves in prison for a lot longer than, say, an illegal immigrant who’d murdered someone.

This interesting commentary by Jeff appeared on the internationalman.com Internet site on Monday morning EDT — and another link to it is here.


The Telltale Signs of Imperial Decline — Charles Hugh Smith

Nothing is as permanent as we imagine–especially super-complex, super-costly, super-asymmetric and super-debt-dependent systems. 

Check which signs of Imperial decline you see around you: The hubris of an increasingly incestuous and out-of-touch leadership; dismaying extremes of wealth inequality; self-serving, avaricious Elites; rising dependency of the lower classes on free Bread and Circuses provided by a government careening toward insolvency due to stagnating tax revenues and vast over-reach–let’s stop there to catch our breath. Check, check, check and check.

Sir John Glubb listed a few others in his seminal essay on the end of empires The Fate of Empires, what might be called the dynamics of decadence:

(a) A growing love of money as an end in itself: Check.
(b) A lengthy period of wealth and ease, which makes people complacent. They lose their edge; they forget the traits (confidence, energy, hard work) that built their civilization: Check.
(c) Selfishness and self-absorption: Check.
(d) Loss of any sense of duty to the common good: Check.

Glubb [also] included the following in his list of the characteristics of decadence…

This somewhat longish commentary by Charles showed up on his oftwominds.com Internet site yesterday — and it’s definitely worth reading.  I thank Paul Wood for pointing it out — and another link to it is here.


Germany to trump Japan again with world’s largest current account surplus

Germany’s current account surplus is set to remain the world’s largest this year despite increased trade tensions, the Ifo institute said on Monday, in an estimate likely to renew criticism of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fiscal policies.

The International Monetary Fund and the European Commission have for years urged Germany to do more to lift domestic demand and imports as a way to reduce global economic imbalances and stimulate growth elsewhere. Since his election, U.S. President Donald Trump has also criticized Germany’s export strength.

Germany’s current account surplus — which measures the flow of goods, services and investments — will remain the world’s largest for the third year running in 2018 at $299 billion, followed by Japan with $200 billion, according to Ifo estimates.

The Netherlands are likely to come in third with a current account surplus of roughly 110 billion dollars while China will not be among the top three surplus countries due to a surge in imports and lower returns from capital held abroad, Ifo said.

On the other end of the spectrum, the United States is set to remain the country with the largest current account deficit with roughly $420 billion,” Ifo economist Christian Grimme said.

This Reuters article, filed from Berlin, appeared on their website at 2:21 a.m. EDT on Monday — and was updated about four hours later.  I thank Paul Fillion for sending it our way — and another link to it is here.


Putin and Merkel, Pushed Together by Trump, Talk Syria, Pipeline

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had long and detailed talks about Syria, Ukraine, Iran and other matters — including U.S. tariffs — when the pair met on Saturday, a Kremlin spokesman said.

Merkel and Putin also agreed to take steps to protect the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project from threats by President Donald Trump, Dmitry Peskov told reporters before the Russian delegation departed for Moscow. The two leaders believe “it is absolutely wrong to politicize this project” and that it should be completed, he said.

Earlier, Putin said at a joint appearance with Germany’s leader that he supports the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland, warning that Europe can’t afford another migration crisis.

The remark, made before his first bilateral meeting with Merkel in Germany since 2013, hinted at the tension between the two leaders, even as Trump’s policies and disruption of the global order pushes them into alliances of convenience after years of antagonism.

Merkel and Putin shared concerns about the “unpredictability of decisions, especially in the area of tariffs, taken by some states” and “the concern that such decisions may have in the end negative consequences for international trade economic relations system,” Peskov said — a clear reference to Trump’s trade wars against China, Europe and others.

This Bloomberg story was something I found posted on the msn.com Internet site sometime on Sunday — and another link to it is here.


Greece completes massive economic bailouts, but crisis not over yet

After three years, the Greek government on Monday exited the last of three large emergency bailout programs — a move that returns the country somewhat to normal economic footing.

The cash-strapped nation completed the third $71 billion program that was given in in 2015 in exchange for Athens agreeing to reduce spending and implement tough economic reforms.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called for celebrations Monday to mark the end of of the bailout program, and praised citizens’ strength in withstanding the eight-year economic crisis.

A total of $330 billion in loans was given to Greece in three installments from the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and European Commission. Experts believe they will take decades to repay.

A record number of tourists in 2018, a 2 percent growth rate after a decade of declines, a modest improvement in the Greek unemployment rate and higher-than-projected surplus of government cash indicate Greece may have turned an economic corner. Because it has completed the programs, Greece can now borrow at market rates — for the first time since 2010.

This UPI story was posted on their website at 9:36 a.m. on Monday morning EDT — and I thank Roy Stephens for finding it for us.  Another link to it is here.


South Africa begins seizing white-owned farms

The South African government has begun the process of seizing land from white farmers.

Local newspaper City Press reports two game farms in the northern province of Limpopo are the first to be targeted for unilateral seizure after negotiations with the owners to purchase the properties stalled.

While the government says it intends to pay, owners Akkerland Boerdery wanted 200 million rand ($18.7 million) for the land — they’re being offered just 20 million rand ($1.87 million).

Notice is hereby given that a terrain inspection will be held on the farms on April 5, 2018 at 10am in order to conduct an audit of the assets and a handover of the farm’s keys to the state,” a letter sent to the owners earlier this year said.

Akkerland Boerdery obtained an urgent injunction to prevent eviction until a court had ruled on the issue, but the Department of Rural Development and Land Affairs is opposing the application.

What makes the Akkerland case unique is that they apparently were not given the opportunity to first dispute the claim in court, as the law requires,” AgriSA union spokeswoman Annelize Crosby told the paper.

If the seizures go ahead, it would be the first time the state refuses to pay market value for land. Since the end of apartheid in 1994, the ANC has followed a “willing seller, willing buyer” process to redistribute white-owned farms to blacks.

This news story showed up on the Australian news.com.au Internet site on Sunday “down under” — and it’s something I found it today’s edition of the King Report. Another link to it is here.


China shifts to Iranian tankers to keep oil flowing amid U.S. sanctions – sources

Chinese buyers of Iranian oil are starting to shift their cargoes to vessels owned by National Iranian Tanker Co (NITC) for nearly all of their imports to keep supply flowing amid the re-imposition of economic sanctions by the United States.

The shift demonstrates that China, Iran’s biggest oil customer, wants to keep buying Iranian crude despite the sanctions, which were put back after the United States withdrew in May from a 2015 agreement to halt Iran’s nuclear program.

The United States is trying to halt Iranian oil exports to force the country to negotiate a new nuclear agreement and to curb its influence in the Middle East. China has said it is opposed to any unilateral sanctions and has defended its commercial ties with Iran.

The first round of sanctions, which included rules cutting off Iran and any businesses that trade with the country from the U.S. financial system, went into effect on Aug. 7. A ban on Iranian oil purchases will start in November. Insurers, which are mainly U.S. or European based, have already begun winding down their Iranian business to comply with the sanctions.

To safeguard their supplies, state oil trader Zhuhai Zhenrong Corp and Sinopec Group, Asia’s biggest refiner, have activated a clause in its long-term supply agreements with National Iranian Oil Corp (NIOC) that allows them to use NITC-operated tankers, according to four sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

They spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not allowed to speak publicly about commercial deals.

This Reuters news item, co-filed from Beijing and Singapore, put in an appearance on their Internet site at 3:37 a.m. EDT on Monday morning — and it’s the second contribution of the day from Paul Fillion.  Another link to it is here.


Desperate China Unveils Plan to Tax Childless Couples to Avoid “Demographic Time Bomb

China, like Japan, faces a demographic crisis, and like Japan, the central planners have decided to do something about it.

Japan has tried a few things – from imposing “handsome taxes” to make it easier for uglier men to get laid, to changing women’s attitudes towards sex as “bothersome,”  but so far it is not working as young Japanese men appear to prefer the company of their AI girlfriends.

But, while Japan went with the ‘carrot’ incentive for encourage more fornication; China, having relinquished its one-child policy three years ago, prefers the ‘stick’ to change Chinese people’s attitudes towards baby-making.

As The South China Morning Post reports, a proposal to tax all working adults aged under 40 – with the money going to a “reproduction fund” to reward families who have more than one child – has caused uproar in China.

The proposal comes amid a nationwide campaign to encourage people to have more children – a drastic turnaround after a one-child policy that lasted nearly four decades and only ended three years ago – as Beijing worries about a rapidly ageing society, shrinking workforce and falling birth rate creating a demographic time bomb.

Couples can now have two children but the birth rate is falling despite the new policy.

Well, dear reader, Japan’s demographics are already worse than awful — and China is rapidly heading in that direction as well.  This news story put in an appearance on the Zero Hedge website at 5:45 p.m. EDT on Monday afternoon — and another link to it is here.


Historic Gold George Washington Coin Sells For $1.7 Million At Auction

The one-of-a-kind George Washington gold coin, dating back to the 18th century, was sold for $1.7 million this week with all the proceeds going to charity, according to Heritage Auctions.

The 1792 gold eagle coin has invaluable history behind it, the auction house said. It is thought to have been given to the first president of the United States George Washington as a sales pitch on behalf of U.S. Mint to obtain a contract to strike U.S. coinage.

After receiving the coin, it is believed that Washington carried it with him as a memento. It depicts Washington’s profile on one side and an eagle on the back.

Numismatic researchers widely agree it is one of the most important coins in American history,” Heritage co-founder Jim Halperin said in a statement when announcing the sale.

The U.S. Mint received authorization to mint coins for public use in 1972 and a year later copper and silver coins were produced depicting Lady Liberty on one side and a bald eagle on the other.

This news item put in an appearance on the kitco.com Internet site on Friday afternoon — and I thank George Whyte for bringing it to our attention.  Another link to it is here.


Iran, Venezuela and Turkey reveal gold’s true value when paper money becomes worthless

The world will inevitably dip into crisis, with gold and silver again emerging as real money, Claudio Grass, an independent precious metals adviser and Mises ambassador told RT.

People today, especially in the West, have forgotten that paper money used to be a mere property title for a certain amount of gold or silver. Today, paper money is nothing more than a debt security. It is nothing more but collateral: the promise of the former generation that the future generation will pay off the debt via taxes and inflation,” said Grass.

The analyst gives examples of Iran, Venezuela and Turkey, whose currencies crashed against the U.S. dollar, and people rushed to buy gold and other precious metals instead.

A rising gold price is the barometer that shows that there is something wrong with the system. When the price of gold is rising, the last person on the street understands that there is something wrong with the economy,” he said.

And I also have no doubt that the next crisis will be not regional, but global. All markets are manipulated, from the bond, to the stock and real estate market, into bubble territory. What can be said with certainty of gold and silver, is that even if the price might come down in the short term with a strengthening USD, this will only lay the ground for the next great bull market,” Grass added.

This gold-related news item appeared on the rt.com Internet site at 8:25 a.m. Moscow time on their Saturday morning, which was 1:25 a.m. in Washington — EDT plus 7 hours.  I thank Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl for finding it for us.  Another link to it is here.


Why the Next Silver Rally Will Be Like Never Before — Ted Butler

Unlike previous rallies in silver prices, which were crushed as they ran up against JPMorgan’s position, recent data reveals that for the first time ever, JPMorgan has established an unprecedented position to benefit from a long rally in silver.

Widely followed and trusted silver analyst Ted Butler of ButlerResearch.com visits Reluctant Preppers for the first time, to declare that the next inflection point in silver price momentum will be violently different from all previous silver rallies. As momentum investors pile on, this time unhindered by J.P. Morgan, silver prices will be capable of rising as never before seen in modern history.

This longish 56:39 minute audio interview doesn’t really get started until the 4:30 minute mark, as it’s front-loaded with commercials, plus a long intro that doesn’t allow Ted to get a word in edgewise until then.  There’s also a big difference in the recorded audio levels between the host’s — and Ted’s voice, so I found myself constantly reaching for the volume button.  But it’s certainly a must listen regardless.  It was posted on the youtube.com Internet site on Sunday sometime — and it has already had 14,000+ views as of 4 a.m. EDT this morning.  The first person through the door with this video was Larry Galearis — and another link to it is here.


The PHOTOS and the FUNNIES

Today’s ‘critter’ is the eared dove — a New World dove. It is a resident breeder throughout South America from Colombia to southern Argentina and Chile, and on the offshore islands from the Grenadines southwards. It appears to be partially migratory, its movements driven by food supplies.  It is a close relative of the North American mourning doveClick to enlarge.


The WRAP

I wouldn’t read much into yesterday price action except to point out, once again, that there was virtually no correlation between what precious metal prices did — and what was going on in the currency market.

All that matters, as Ted points out all the time, is what JPMorgan et al are up to in the COMEX futures market.  They can go stomping about whether the dollar index is rising or falling — and that has been more than obvious during the last couple of weeks.

And with the prices of all the precious metals well below any moving average that matters, it will be an easy job for the powers-that-be to keep prices in line until they’re ready to let them rally.  That was certainly evident in Monday’s price action.

Here are the 6-month charts for the Big 6 commodities — and there’s not a lot to see.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature only helps with the first four.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away — and I see that the gold price has been crawling unsteadily higher ever since trading began at 6:00 p.m. EDT in New York on their Monday evening. The current high tick was set at, or just before the 2:15 p.m. CST afternoon gold fix in Shanghai — and it’s off that by a bit and up $4.30 the ounce. It was the same price path for silver — and it’s up 4 cents currently. Ditto for platinum and palladium — and both are up 5 bucks as Zurich opens.

Net HFT gold volume in October and December combined is coming up on 49,500 contracts — and there’s only 178 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in that precious metal. Net HFT silver volume is a bit over 8,500 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume out of September and into future months is 1,754 contracts.

The dollar index didn’t do much in the first two hours of trading once it began at 6:00 p.m. in New York yesterday evening. But at 8 a.m. CST it took a bit of a header — and obviously got saved by the usual ‘gentle hands’ about thirty minutes later. It edged quietly higher from there until 10:30 a.m. CST — and then rolled over once again. Its current 95.45 low tick was placed a few minutes after 2 p.m. CST, which just happened to coincide with the current high ticks in two of the four precious metals. Both platinum and palladium got tapped lower about fifteen minutes after that. It has rallied a bit since — and is down 18 as London opens.

Today, at the close of COMEX trading, is the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report — and barring anything out of the ordinary, that report will be one for the record books that should stand for all time.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:02 a.m. EDT, I note that as the first hour of London/Zurich trading draws to a close, none of the four precious metals have done much. Gold is up $3.20 an ounce — and silver is up 4 cents. Platinum is up 4 dollars — and palladium by 5.

Gross gold volume is around 60,500 contracts — and net of what little roll-over/switch volume there is, net HFT gold volume in October and December combined is about 60,100 contracts. Net HFT silver volume is coming up on 11,500 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume is now up to 2,335 contracts in that precious metal.

From its 2:05 p.m. CST low tick, the dollar index continues to chop unsteadily higher — and at the moment it’s down 14 basis points.

Tomorrow we get the minutes from the July FOMC meeting — and it will be interesting to see how the precious metals react, or are allowed to react to that news.

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

Ed