24 August 2018 — Friday
YESTERDAY in GOLD, SILVER, PLATINUM and PALLADIUM
The gold price traded flat for about the first ninety minutes or so once trading began at 6:00 p.m. EDT in New York on Wednesday evening — and at the point, the price began to edge quietly lower. It then got tapped down some more between the 2:15 p.m. afternoon gold fix in Shanghai and the London open, with the London low coming at the 10:30 a.m. BST morning gold fix. It edged very quietly and unsteadily higher until about fifteen minutes after the COMEX open — and once the 10 a.m. EDT afternoon gold fix in London was put to bed, ‘da boyz’ continued to keep the price pressure on, with the absolute low tick of the day coming a few minutes after 3 p.m. EDT in the thinly-traded after-hours market, which was the high for the dollar index yesterday.
The high and low ticks are barely worth looking up. They were $1,198.70 and $1,185.60 in the October contract — and $1,203.40 and $1,190.20 in December.
Gold was closed on Thursday at $1,184.60 spot, down $10.70 on the day. Net volume in October and December combined was only a bit higher than Wednesday’s volume…a hair under 237,000 contracts. Roll-over/switch volume was a very tiny 1,806 contracts.
With no variations/differences worthy of the name, the silver price was forced to follow a virtually identical path as gold, but the price pressure had a much larger effect on the price.
The high and low ticks in this precious metal were recorded by the CME Group as $14.75 and $14.45 in the September contract.
Silver was closed in New York yesterday at $14.455 spot, down 27.5 cents on the day. Net volume was around 54,300 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume out of September and into future months was pretty heavy at around 38,200 contracts.
The price pattern in platinum was almost the same as it was for both gold and silver, at least up until about ten minutes after the COMEX open. That point proved to the New York high of the day — and it was sold quietly lower until 3 p.m. EDT — and it didn’t do much after that. Platinum finished the day at $775 spot, down 18 bucks from Wednesday’s close.
The price path for palladium was similar to platinum’s, except much choppier — and the spike low tick of the day came at, or moments before, the afternoon gold fix in London. It rallied a bit after that until just before the Zurich close, but then was sold unevenly lower until around 3 p.m. EDT in after-hours trading — and it didn’t do a lot after that. Palladium was closed at $912 spot, down 11 dollars on the day.
The dollar index closed very late on Wednesday afternoon in New York at 95.09 — and after a brief down tick, began to head sharply higher a minute or so after trading began at 6:00 p.m. EDT a few minutes later. That ‘rally’ topped out at the 95.49 mark six hours later…a minute or so after 12 o’clock noon in Shanghai. From that juncture, it had a 20 basis point down/up move that ended about 10:20 a.m. in London. It quickly fell out of bed from there — and the 95.17 low tick came a minute or so before noon BST. ‘Gentle hands’ saved the day — and the ensuing ‘rally’ topped out at the 95.71 mark at 3 p.m. EDT on the button. It edged quietly and unsteadily lower from there until trading ended. The dollar index finished the Thursday session at 95.62…up 53 basis points from Wednesday’s close.
It should be noted that in both big dollar index ‘rallies’…the one starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday evening — and other at noon BST/7 a.m. EDT…that there was a considerable amount of lag time between their respective starts — and when then precious metal prices ‘reacted’ to them.
It certainly appeared that the ‘rallies’ in the dollar index — and the ‘declines’ in precious metal prices…had some help along the way.
And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart — and it has ‘bounced’ off its 50-day moving average.
The gold shares gapped down a bunch at the open — and then continued to quietly sell off until some bottom-fishing appeared shortly after 3 p.m. in New York trading — and the HUI finished just off its low…down 2.95 percent.
It was the same for the silver equities — and their price paths were identical to that of the gold stocks, except the sell-off was far uglier. Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed down 3.73 percent. Click to enlarge.
And here’s the 1-year Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index courtesy of Nick as well. Click to enlarge.
I would suspect that these dramatic declines in equity prices were by institutional sellers unloading some fairly hefty positions at the open.
And there’s nothing but stony silence about all this from the precious metal miners — and their ‘representatives’ at the World Gold Council and Silver Institute.
The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 4 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery on Monday within the COMEX-approved depositories. In gold, the only thing worth noting was that JPMorgan stopped 3 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 August fell by 4 contracts, leaving 147 still open, minus the 4 mentioned just above. Wednesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 6 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 6-4=2 more gold contracts were added to the August delivery month. Silver o.i. in August was unchanged at 23 contracts — and Wednesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that no silver contracts were reported for delivery today.
There was a withdrawal from GLD yesterday, as an authorized participant took out 47,334 troy ounces. There were no reported changes in SLV.
There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint.
The only activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories in gold on the U.S. east coast on Wednesday, was 41,446 troy ounces that was shipped out of JPMorgan. The link to that is here.
It was pretty busy in silver, as 1,278,822 troy ounces were received — and 169,680 troy ounces were shipped out the door for parts unknown. In the ‘in’ category, there was one truck load each into both Brink’s, Inc. and CNT…595,211 troy ounces into the former — and 612,328 troy ounces into the latter. The remaining 71,281 troy ounces was dropped off at HSBC USA. There were four depositories involved in the ‘out’ category, but the only two worth noting were Canada’s Scotiabank with 100,539 troy ounces — and 66,086 troy ounces out of Brink’s, Inc. There was also 105,103 troy ounces transferred from the Eligible category — and into Registered — and that occurred at Delaware. The link to all this activity is here.
It was pretty quiet over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Wednesday. They only received 200 of them — and shipped out 100. This activity was at Brink’s, Inc. — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.
Here are two charts that Nick Laird passed around on Thursday evening. They show gold and silver imports into India, updated with June’s data. During that month they imported 59.1 tonnes/1.90 million troy ounces of gold — and 710.8 tonnes/22.95 million troy ounces of silver. Click to enlarge for both.
It was another quiet news day yesterday — and once again, I don’t have a lot for you.
Also concerning is the record amount of household debt. Consumers are using it to spend and that is partially responsible for that 4.1% GDP growth, as I noted on Fox Business recently. But it’s not sustainable.
Add it all up and there’s considerable reason to believe that the 4.1% growth rate is only temporary.
It will not represent the full GDP growth figure over all of 2018, nor will it be the growth figure in 2019 or 2020. Even the Fed admits growth will slacken over the next couple of years.
I don’t often agree with the Fed. But on this point, I agree with the Fed’s forecast for slower growth to come. That outlook presents options for the Fed to create more credit, or what I call dark money to support the markets, to confront inevitable periods of volatility ahead.
Dark money is the #1 secret life force of today’s rigged financial markets. It drives whole markets up and down. It’s the reason for today’s financial bubbles.
This commentary by Nomi put in an appearance on the dailyreckoning.com Internet site — and it comes to us courtesy of Brad Robertson. Another link to it is here.
Millions of baby boomers and seniors are now discovering their retirement nest egg is not delivering like they anticipated. Unless you have a well-funded pension, your income projections are not being met.
Why? Was there a mistake in the plan? What can be done once they have left the workforce?
We hear a lot of political talk about “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” What about the middle class? Most worked hard, played by the rules, planned, sacrificed, saved and invested wisely in order to be able to retire comfortably.
They monitored things, adjusted and made responsible choices. They wanted to retire comfortably enjoying a middle-class lifestyle, not become part of the jet-set.
I recently read, “From Rags to Riches Again: 21 Lottery Winners Who Lost Everything.” Lottery winners went through millions and eventually ended up back where they started, or worse.
Some believe people place little value on money that they did not earn. I’m inclined to agree with Neil Boortz’, “The Commencement Speech You Never Heard”:
“You have heard … that in America the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. …. But for the rich who do actually get richer, and the poor who remain poor … there’s an explanation – a reason. The rich, you see, keep doing the things that make them rich; while the poor keep doing the things that make them poor.”
This interesting commentary by Dennis was posted on his Internet early on Thursday morning — and another link to it is here.
They tell us that Trump and his closest associates are crooks. His personal lawyer admitted wrongdoing; his campaign manager was found guilty by a jury.
But now… a miracle – his former fixer lawyer has suddenly sprouted wings!
The metamorphosis began, we are told, when Michael Cohen saw President Trump cozying up to Russian president Vladimir Putin. Filled with patriotic gas, Cohen couldn’t help himself. He turned bright white like the Archangel Gabriel.
And rising up out of a lifetime in the sewers of the Greater New York metropolitan area… finally, and apparently for the first time in his life… he decided to tell the truth.
The Donald did direct him to pay off Playboy models and porn stars to keep quiet, and, in doing so, break federal campaign finance law.
Coinciding with Cohen’s discovery of truth, it was also the first time in his life the putz faced a federal prosecutor with eight criminal violations in his back pocket.
This interesting commentary, which sounds like it could have been lifted from yesterday’s edition of the National Enquirer, was posted on the bonnerandpartners.com Internet site very early on Thursday morning EDT — and another link to it is here.
Valorizing an ex-CIA director and bashing Trump obscures what is truly ominous.
Ever since Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s, every American president has held one or more summit meetings with the Kremlin leader, first and foremost in order to prevent miscalculations that could result in war between the two nuclear superpowers. Generally, they received bipartisan support for doing so. In July, President Trump continued that tradition by meeting with Russian President Putin in Helsinki, for which, unlike previous presidents, he was scathingly criticized by much of the US political media establishment.
John Brennan, CIA director under President Obama, however, went much further, characterizing Trump’s press conference with Putin as “nothing short of treasonous.” Presumably in reaction, Trump revoked Brennan’s security clearance, the continuing access to classified information usually accorded to former security officials. In the political media furor that followed, Brennan was mostly heroized as an avatar of civil liberties and free speech, and Trump traduced as their enemy.
Leaving aside the missed occasion to discuss the “revolving door” involving former U.S. security officials using their permanent clearances to enhance their lucrative positions outside government, Cohen thinks the subsequent political media furor obscures what is truly important and perhaps ominous…
This worthwhile commentary by Stephen was posted on the rt.com Internet site at 3:27 p.m. Moscow time on their Thursday afternoon, which was 8:27 a.m. in Washington — EDT plus 7 hours. I thank Jack Watts for sending it our way. Another link to it is here.
U.S. economic sanctions against Russia serve no purpose, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday, voicing hope that Washington will eventually agree to a constructive dialogue.
Speaking after talks with Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto in Sochi, Putin described last month’s Helsinki summit with U.S. President Donald Trump as positive, but blamed Trump’s administration for continuing to hit Russia with sanctions.
“As for our meeting with Trump, I view it as positive and useful,” Putin said. “No one expected that all disputed issues could be settled during a two-hour meeting, but a direct conversation and exchange of opinions are always useful.”
Even as Trump has sought closer ties with Putin, his administration has intensified economic pressure on Moscow over its actions in Ukraine and Syria, as well as Russia’s alleged efforts at meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and disrupting other western democracies.
Putin noted that “it’s not just the position of the U.S. president, but that of the so-called establishment, the ruling class in the broad sense of the word which matters.”
He said the U.S. restrictions are “counterproductive and senseless, especially against such country as Russia,” adding that Moscow expects Washington to realize their uselessness and engage in constructive cooperation.
This news item appeared on the france24.com Internet site on Wednesday sometime — and I thank Roy Stephens for pointing it out. Another link to it is here. There was also a parallel Bloomberg opinion piece to this headlined “The U.S. Can’t Bring Russia ‘to Its Knees’“. I thank Zoey for that one.
Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin wasn’t the first Russian poet. Before him there was Zhukovsky, Derzhavin, and even Lomonosov. Beautiful, melodious verses were composed by many also after Pushkin. Nevertheless, he is “our everything”. Without him, without Pushkin’s language, not just Russian poetry, but the Russian language itself is incomplete…
Pushkin is exact and extremely laconic. He knows how to pack many meanings into only a few words. And he doesn’t use excess words. Do you remember: “Up there a prince in passing captures a fearsome tsar”. Just one word – “in passing” [two words in English – ed]. But how it characterises both people and process! Solving more important problems, in between times, a certain prince at the same time captured a fearsome (i.e., mighty, strong, dangerous) tsar (and it means he conquered him, his army, and his state).
I don’t know whether it was Peskov’s idea or it arrived by itself, but the Russian media, highlighting the visit of the president Putin to Germany, concentrated on the Austrian wedding, the Tula samovar, an ancient milk churn, the Kuban choir, and the painting of an unknown (to us, so far) artist [all four are the gifts that Putin brought to the wedding – ed]. The meeting with Merkel and the solving of difficult global (including European) problems happened in passing. So, he went to wedding and at the same time attended to some affairs.
Meanwhile, the visit to Germany isn’t only symbolic – it is critical. For the third time in 100 years, the Reich finds itself in a condition of a rigid standoff with the same Anglo-Saxons who raised and nurtured it for the fight against Russia. Only this time the grown wiser Germany tries to keep France as an ally (instead of crushing it, like the two previous times) and isn’t eager for a Moscow campaign at all. It is rather on the contrary – it tries to reach an agreement with Russia concerning a joint standoff with Anglo-American aggression.
It is a very difficult process. It’s not only about history and “values”, but a consciousness most dear to bürgers — markets providing a multi-billion income, connecting Berlin and Washington. It is almost impossible to escape from “brotherly” embraces without suffering considerable damage. For a long time Germany didn’t even try to do this, obediently joining the sanctions regime. At first the introduction of sanctions was still shaped by more or less worthy pretexts, for example: “Russia is to blame for the fact that the West organised a coup in Ukraine, and now Ukrainians kill each other with ecstasy during civil war”. Four years have passed and sanctions are imposed even for the fact that the Brits out of fear killed the cat of the Skripals, and also for the fact that the Americans elected Trump as president, and not Clinton.
This very thoughtful — and worthwhile commentary by Rostislav Ishchenko [translated from Russian] put in an appearance on thesaker.is Internet site on Wednesday sometime — and it’s certainly worth reading. I thank Larry Galearis for bringing it to our attention — and another link to it is here.
The U.S. and China imposed fresh tariffs on each other’s goods in the middle of trade talks aimed at averting the worsening conflict between the world’s two biggest economies.
Both nations started levying the previously announced taxes on $16 billion of imports from the other country shortly after noon Beijing time. China also said it would lodge a complaint about the new American tariffs to the World Trade Organization, according to a Chinese Ministry of Commerce statement on its website.
The U.S. will collect an additional 25 percent in duties on Chinese imports ranging from motorcycles to steam turbines and railway cars, and the Chinese retaliation will see a similarly sized tax on items including coal, medical instruments, waste products, cars and buses.
U.S. Treasury Undersecretary for International Affairs David Malpass and Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen met Wednesday and will meet again on Thursday for the first face-to-face trade discussions since June. Those talks aren’t expected to draw in senior decision-makers and are predicted only to result in a joint statement of productive discussions, according to a person familiar with the agenda.
“U.S. trade tensions with China are more likely to worsen this year, weighing on global growth in 2019,” according to a research report from analysts at Moody’s Investors Service. “Most of the impact of the trade restrictions on economic growth will be felt in 2019,” and any additional tariffs would be a “material downside scenario,” they wrote.
This Bloomberg news item showed up on their Internet site at 8:29 a.m. Denver time on Wednesday morning — and was subsequently updated about eighteen hours later. It has also had a headline change as well. It used to read “U.S., China Restart Trade Talks as Billions More in Tariffs Loom“. I found it in yesterday’s edition of the King Report — and another link to it is here.
Two major retailers have added precious metals to their e-commerce portfolios.
Sears and Walmart are selling silver, gold, platinum and palladium bullion products from a number of issuers.
APMEX, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, partnered with Sears beginning in December and Walmart two months before, says Ryan Boyles, vice president of merchandising for APMEX.
Boyles said neither of the retailers keeps merchandise from APMEX in inventory under the sales partnership. Boyles said online orders through Sears’ and Walmart’s respective websites for precious metals products are shipped directly to the customer by APMEX.
Both retailers have the option to expand their complement of bullion products produced by government and private mints as sales progress, Boyles said. Assortments of products are slowly rolled out as they become available, he said. American Eagle bullion coins are among the top products being sold by the retailers.
APMEX has executed bullion sales from a number of other online platforms, primarily eBay and Amazon, Boyles said.
The above six paragraphs are all there is to this brief precious metal-related story that appeared on the coinworld.com Internet site on Wednesday sometime — and I thank Tolling Jennings for sending it our way. Another link to it is here.
The latest detailed Swiss gold export figures show that India has regained the top spot as far as an individual destination is concerned with receipts of 25 tonnes in July. However greater China – calculated by adding exports to mainland China and those for exports to China’s Hong Kong administrative territory together topped the Indian total with 35.4 tonnes (Mainland China 19.4 tonnes, Hong Kong 15.0 tonnes). Altogether Asia and the Middle East together accounted for 83% of the total.
The latest weekly newsletter from precious metals consultancy Metals Focus views a downturn in Swiss gold exports, and imports, this year as being a sign of weak global gold demand, although this may be being contradicted by figures out of the two leading gold consumers, China and India which suggest gold demand is actually holding up in these two nations in comparison with last year. It remains to be seen though what effect the aggressive trade position being taken by the U.S. trump administration, Fed interest rate positioning and the rise in the dollar (and consequent lower gold price, in dollar terms at least, will have on gold demand in the second half of the year.)
The consultancy further notes that outside India and China, Swiss gold exports to other consuming nations remained muted, but this seems to ignore the healthy export figures to countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and the UAE which all suggest that other Asian demand centres may be taking up some of the slack. We have also noted in the past that the Swiss imports may well be slipping, not because of weak gold demand, but because of increased competition with new refineries, some owned and operated by the Swiss refining companies, being set up in Asia and the Middle East.
This short commentary by Lawrie was posted on the Sharps Pixley website yesterday — and another link to it is here.
The PHOTOS and the FUNNIES
Today it will be another trip back to the ‘Big Island’…Hawai’i…where activity at fissure 8 has finally come to an end, at least for the moment. Sulfur dioxide emission rates at both the Kilauea summit — and the lower east rift zone [LERZ] are drastically reduced; the combined rate is lower than at any time since late 2007. On Tuesday, the SO2 emissions from the LERZ were too low to measure although SO2 smells were noticed. There’s no activity worthy of the name at fissure 8 — and here’s a 1:05 minute video clip from the U.S. Geological Survey from back on August 17. Full screen viewing is recommended.
But lava continues to ooze into the ocean at scattered entries, despite the fact that all lava flows from fissure 8 had ceased a few weeks ago. Click to enlarge.
View of Isaac Hale Beach Park on August 17 during the morning’s Hawai’i Volcanoes Observatory overflight. Black lava ‘sand’ transported to the southwest by long-shore currents now blocks the entrance to the Pohoiki boat ramp. Click to enlarge.
There’s not much doubt in my mind that the ‘rallies’ that we saw in the U.S. dollar index were used by JPMorgan et al to work over the precious metals once again. And as I mentioned in yesterday’s missive, any new long positions placed earlier in the week most likely got blow out during the Thursday trading session. But with no new low prices being set, the Managed Money traders would have been sitting on their hands doing nothing — and I doubt very much that ‘da boyz’ got much for all their efforts, except to demoralize the precious metal community even more than it already is.
Below are the 6-month charts for the Big 6 commodities — and you can note the damage for yourself…most of it coming in silver and platinum. Of course the low price ticks in three of the four precious metals that occurred after the COMEX close on Thursday afternoon in New York, don’t show up on the latest dojis, but will appear today when the charts are updated after Friday’s COMEX close. The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature helps a bit with the first four charts only.
And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away — and I note that ‘da boyz’ tapped the gold price lower by a few dollars shortly after 8 a.m. China Standard Time on their Friday morning. It has been heading quietly but unevenly higher since — and is currently up $3.70 an ounce. It was mostly the same for silver — and it’s up 11 cents at the moment. The current low tick of the day in platinum was also set shortly after 8 a.m. CST — and it has been edging higher since as well — and is up 7 bucks. Ditto for palladium — and it’s up 8 dollars as Zurich opens.
Net HFT gold volume for October and December combined is a bit over 49,500 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal is a piddling 99 contracts. Net HFT silver volume is around 10,800 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume out of September and into future months…mostly December…is already 4,950 contracts.
The dollar index rallied a small handful of basis points in the first hour of trading when it began at 6:00 p.m. EDT in New York on Thursday evening. But it turned lower at that point — and is currently down 19 basis points as London opens.
Today, at 3:30 p.m. EDT…or maybe a few minutes sooner…we get the latest Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday. All the data from the monster engineered price declines in the precious metals last Wednesday during the COMEX trading session — and later in evening trading in New York, will be in it. As I said a few days back, new records will be set in most categories that matter — and it will be a COT Report for the history books. But as silver analyst Ted Butler pointed out in his mid-week commentary on Wednesday…”Yet after ten straight weeks of unprecedented managed money selling and commercial buying, we must be coming close to the limits of managed money shorting.”
And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:02 a.m. EDT, I see that the prices of all four precious metals are a bit higher as the first hour of London/Zurich trading draws to a close. Gold is up $4.10 an ounce — and silver is now up 14 cents. Palladium is up 8 dollars — and palladium is now up 11.
Gross gold volume is around 58,300 contracts — and net of what little roll-over/switch volume there is, net HFT gold volume in October and December combined is about 58,100 contracts. Net HFT silver volume is 13,500 contracts — and there’s 5,630 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in that precious metal.
The dollar index began to edge a bit higher starting right at the 8:00 a.m. BST open in London — and at the moment, its down 12 basis points.
Also, as I mentioned yesterday, Fed chairman Jerome Powell makes a speech at Jackson Hole, Wyoming sometime today — and I must admit that I’ll be more than interested in what he has to say, as the COMEX futures market in the precious metals has been meticulously set up for some event or other. But whether it’s for today or not, remains to be seen.
That it for this column. Have a good weekend — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.