JPMorgan et al Step In and Cap the Rallies

28 August 2018 — Tuesday


The gold price wandered around a dollar or so either side of unchanged until 2 p.m. China Standard Time on their Monday afternoon — and then drifted quietly lower until shortly before 12 o’clock noon in London.  It began to edge higher from that point until shortly after the equity markets opened in New York.  It began to tick noticeably higher from that point — and the price was obviously capped shortly before 10:30 a.m. EDT.  It edged quietly lower until 2 p.m. in the thinly-traded after-hours market — and then edged equally quietly higher until trading ended at 5:00 p.m.

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

Gold finished the Monday trading session at $1,210.80 spot, up $5.50 from Friday’s close.  Net volume in October and November combined was a hair under 211,000 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume was a tiny 1,910 contracts.

The price pattern in silver was virtually identical to gold’s, except it was up a few pennies through most of Far East trading on their Monday.  But, like for gold, at 2 p.m. CST it was quietly sold lower — and you know the rest.

The low and high ticks are barely worth looking up.  The CME Group recorded them as $14.715 and $14.885 in the September contracts.

Silver was closed on Monday at $14.86 spot, up 9.5 cents on the day.  Net volume was pretty quiet at about 34,250 contracts, but roll-over/switch volume out of September and into future months [mostly December] was very heavy at around 36,700 contracts.

It was almost the same in platinum.  The rally off its noon BST/1 p.m. Zurich low was far more impressive and, like silver and gold, got capped shortly before 10:30 a.m. in New York trading.  It was sold lower into the COMEX close — and didn’t do much after that.  Platinum finished the day at $801 spot, up 12 bucks Friday’s close .

And, with some minor variations, it was the same price path for palladium, so I’ll skip the play-by-play on this precious metal.  Palladium was closed at $946 spot, up ten dollars from Friday’s close — and also closed above its 50-day moving average for the second day in a row.

The dollar index closed very late on Friday afternoon in New York at 95.17 — and when trading began at 6 p.m. EDT in New York on Sunday evening, it trading pretty flat for the first hour or so after that.  Then it began to edge lower from there — and was obviously saved by the usual ‘gentle hands’ just as it was about to break below the 95.00 mark shortly before 8 a.m. CST…9 a.m. in Tokyo.  It chopped mostly sideways until shortly before noon China Standard Time on their Monday morning — and then began to head higher with more authority, with the 95.30 high tick of the day coming right at the 8:00 a.m. BST London open.  It more or less hung in there until a few minute before noon BST — and then began to head unsteadily lower with some real authority from that point, with the 94.69 low tick of the day coming at precisely 1 p.m. in New York, although most of the damage was done by 12:30 p.m. EDT.  It rallied 10 basis points or so during the next hour, before crawling quietly lower into the close from there.  The dollar index finished the day at 94.76 — and down 41 basis points from its close on Friday.

Here’s the 1-day U.S. dollar index so you can see the moves that really mattered.

And here’s the 3-day chart so you can see everything from the open in New York on Sunday evening, onwards.

And here’s the usual 6-month U.S. dollar index chart and, for the second day in a row, it’s obvious that the powers-that-be aren’t allowing precious metal prices to accurately reflect the changes in the currency market. The dollar index closed below its 50-day moving average yesterday, not that it means anything in these managed markets.

The gold stocks jumped higher as soon as trading began in New York on Monday morning — and their respective highs came shortly before the 1:30 p.m. COMEX close.  They faded a bit from there, as the HUI finished up 1.62 percent.

The trading activity in the silver equities was mostly similar to what happened to the gold shares, except Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index finished higher by 2.68 percent.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

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

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 1 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Wednesday.  R.J. O’Brien issued — and JPMorgan stopped.  Both transactions involved their respective 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 fell by 27 contracts, leaving 113 still open, minus the 1 contract mentioned just above.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 27 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so the change in open interest and deliveries match.  Silver o.i. in August dropped by 33 contracts, leaving 2 still around.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 33 silver contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so the change in open interest and the deliveries match in this precious metal as well.

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

The folks over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank updated their website with the goings-on inside their gold and silver ETFs as of the close of trading on Friday, August 24 — and this is what they had to report.  They added 11,188 troy ounces of gold — and 161,268 troy ounces of silver during the week.

There was a sales report from the U.S. Mint on Monday.  They sold 1,500 troy ounces of gold eagles — 500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes — and another 200,000 silver eagles.

It was another day of all zeros in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Friday.

It was busier in silver of course, but only just…as 35,314 troy ounces were received — and 109,060 troy ounces were shipped out.  All the ‘in’ activity was at the International Depository at Delaware — and 105,057 troy ounces of the ‘out’ activity was at the Delaware depository.  The remaining 4,003 troy ounces departed Canada’s Scotiabank.  The link to that is here.

It was a big day over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Friday.  They reported receiving 6,200 of them — and also shipped out 4,286.  All of this action was at Brink’s, Inc. of course — and the link to that in troy ounces is here.

Here are two charts that Nick passed around on Friday evening, but my Saturday column was already chock-full, so I though it better to wait for today’s column where they wouldn’t get ‘lost’.  You know them well by now, as they show the amount of gold and silver in all known depositories, ETFs and mutual funds as of the close of business on Friday, August 24th.  They continue to show the same unrelenting pattern…more gold being shipped out — and more silver being deposited.  Ted is still waiting for some of the other so-called precious metal ‘analysts’ out there to explain this dichotomy, or even mention it all.  However, there continues to be nothing by stony silence.  Click to enlarge for both.

Monday was a fairly quiet news day — and I have an average number of stories for you of which, a goodly number are ones accumulated over the weekend.


“Stool Pigeons” Turn on Trump — Bill Bonner

The Ol’ Deep State Cannonball is chugging up from Washington… and the Manhattan Money Machine is barreling down from New York – headed straight for each other.

By the end of last week, the folks on the political train had a new source of entertainment – a singing trio known as the “Stool Pigeons.”

Yes, Dear Reader, three of the president’s oldest and closest advisors have now “flipped.”

Singing tenor is Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer and former “punching bag.” And now, he’s been joined by Trump’s old pal, David Pecker, singing bass.

Pecker, publisher of the esteemed literary journal, National Enquirer, is said to have a whole safe full of hot torch songs, including “Is That All There Is?” by Karen McDougal and “You Gotta Give Me More Than That” by Stormy Daniels.

The third member of the trio is CFO of The Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg, already famous in some music circles for his Nixon-era hit, “Follow the Money.”

This worthwhile commentary by Bill is both entertaining and deadly serious at the same time.  It appeared on the Internet site very early on Monday morning EDT — and another link to it is here.

Watching America’s Collapse — Paul Craig Roberts

In the 1950s and 1960s the United States was a vibrant society. Upward mobility was strong, and the middle class expanded. During the 1970s the internal contradiction in Keynesian demand management resulted in stagflation. Reagan’s supply-side economic policy cured that. With a sound economy under him, Reagan was able to pressure the Soviet government, which was unable to solve its economic problem, to negotiate the end of the cold war.

This happy development was not welcomed by powerful forces, both in the U.S. and Soviet Union. In the U.S. the powerful military/security complex was unhappy about losing the Soviet Threat, under the auspices of which its budget and power had soared. Right-wing super-patriot conservatives accused Reagan of selling out America by trusting the Soviets. The American right-wing portrayed President Reagan as the grade-two movie actor dupe of “cunning communists.”

In the Soviet government Gorbachev faced a larger problem. With trust established between the two nuclear powers, Gorbachev released the Soviet hold on Eastern Europe. Hard-line elements in the Soviet Communist Party saw too much change too rapidly and concluded that Gorbachev had sold out the Soviet Union to Washington. This conclusion resulted in Gorbachev’s arrest, and the consequence of his arrest was the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party.

With communism departed, the Russians forgot all of Marx’s lessons about capitalism and naïvely concluded that we were all now friends. The Yeltsin government opened to American advice and, by naively accepting American advice, Russia was looted and reduced to penury. Russia under Yeltsin became an American puppet state, and the Russian people paid for it with a great reduction in their living standard.

The collapse of the Soviet Union is usually attributed to Reagan and represented as one of his victories. This is a fabrication. I was in Reagan’s government, both as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and afterward as a member of a secret Presidential Committee with subpoena power over the CIA. Reagan told us many times that his purpose was not to win the Cold War but to end it.

This longish, but very interesting and worthwhile commentary by Paul put in an appearance on his Internet site last Friday — and I thank Jim Gullo for pointing it out.  Another link to this is here.

When paper money goes to zero value: Venezuelan hyperinflation explained (6 PHOTOS)

Inflation in Venezuela this year could top one million percent, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts.

This gallery puts the buying power of today’s bolivar into perspective.

* A kilogram of meat costs 9,500,000 bolivars, or the equivalent of $1.45.

* A 2.4 kg chicken is worth 14,600,000 bolivars, or $2.22.

* A 1kg packet of rice costs 2,500,000 bolivars ($0.38)

* A kilogram of cheese? Prepare to fork out 7,500,000 bolivars ($1.14)

Hyperinflation destroys purchasing power of money and encourages hoarding of goods, as people and businesses wait for further price increases. When there is a loss of confidence in a currency’s ability to maintain its value, sellers demand a risk premium to accept the currency; they do this by raising their prices.

Russia faced hyperinflation after the collapse of the Soviet Union, while the economic crisis in Zimbabwe made the country ditch its domestic currency in 2009 in favor of the U.S. dollar and other stable currencies.

I had some pictures about all this in my PHOTOS and FUNNIES section one day last week, but here’s an article on this very thing, which includes those very same photos — and it’s definitely worth reading.  It showed up on the Internet site 6:24 a.m. Moscow time on their Sunday morning, which was 11:24 p.m. in Washington on Sunday night — EDT plus 7 hours.  I thank Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl for bringing this to my attention — and now to yours.  Another link to it is here.

Canada Just Got Played“: How Mexico Stabbed Canada in the Back

In what was the biggest economic news of the day, Donald Trump concluded bilateral trade negotiations with Mexico, a deal which he called the U.S.-Mexico Trade Agreement (profiled previously) and which will replace the trilateral NAFTA which has – for now at least – been scrapped until Canada also comes to the negotiating table and hammers out an agreement with the U.S. (read: concedes), from a position of weakness and virtually no negotiating capital.

There were some odd twists in the announced deal, for example the agreement on the “sunset clause“, which as some pointed out is strange as it is a “trilateral matter” – i.e., one which would involve Canada – and it was unclear how it squares with the U.S./Mexico pledge that their talks were purely on bilateral issues.

Confirming that Trump was engaging in some good old “divide and conquer“, was the announcement from a White House official that, if Canada doesn’t agree to a renegotiated NAFTA, it will go ahead with a two-way deal with Mexico, although another official claimed that splitting up the negotiations is “standard practice and not about squeezing Canada.”

That may not have been exactly true because even though Mexico’s foreign minister Luis Videgaray said it’s necessary for Canada to be part of the deal, he then said that if a trilateral NAFTA deal with Canada is impossible, a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Mexico would also be acceptable.

At this point the alarm bells went off, and as Globe and Mail correspondent Adrian Morrow said, “it looks like the U.S. and Mexico went far beyond bilateral issues and agreed to a pile of trilateral stuff without Canada.” He also noted that while it was unclear whether any of the negotiated terms were okay with Canada, “it puts enormous pressure on Ottawa to agree or hold up the deal.”

Furthermore, Morrow points out that unless Canada already agreed to these trilateral issues — sunset compromise, IP etc. — via its back-channel with Mexico, “the U.S. and Mexico have just massively cranked up the pressure.”

In other words, Mexico just stabbed Canada in the back in order to get a deal with the U.S. on preferential terms to Canada, just as Trump desired, and in vivid demonstration of applied game theory in practice.

This news item put in an appearance on the Zero Hedge website at 5:23 p.m. EDT on Monday afternoon — and it comes to us courtesy of Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.

The Final Blowout Sale — Jeff Thomas

Increasingly, both Europeans and North Americans whom I meet are expressing their concern that the social structure of their countries appears to be breaking down.

Americans and Canadians speak of people of who, for making an off-handed comment that could possibly be interpreted as racist, can lose their livelihoods as a result. In the U.K., it’s worse, with people being sentenced to prison for publicly denouncing rapes of children by Muslims in U.K. cities.

In the U.S., some universities now have “non-white-only” days, when Caucasian students and faculty are banned from school grounds. (Those who do attend have at times been harassed, threatened and even physically attacked in the new racist anti-white trend.)

A teenager who is caught smoking marijuana can be jailed for it, but, worse, under Civil Asset Forfeiture, if he brings marijuana home, his family can have their house, cars and bank accounts confiscated under the suspicion that they “may” be drug traffickers.

However, bankers, who embezzle hundreds of millions, simply pay a fine, which is then charged to shareholders.

As one American said to me recently, “It’s as though everything I was taught about truth, reason and morality as a child has been turned upside down.”

And that’s exactly right.

This very worthwhile commentary by Jeff was posted on the Internet site on Monday morning sometime — and another link to it is here.

Putin’s wedding trip seals marriage of convenience with Merkel — Pepe Escobar

Meeting in Berlin could signal a switch in strategy for Germany when it comes to the U.S. dollar and energy security

It was supposed to be a low-key, traditional Austrian wedding until Vladimir Putin pulled up in a black limo. The bride was Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, a top energy analyst and former professor at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna and the European Business School in Frankfurt.

She knows all there is to know about multiple aspects of Eurasia integration, which is close to the Russian President’s heart. So close, in fact, that he stole the show by arriving in a convoy, bearing lavish flowers and the Kuban Cossack Choir.

After a swirl on the dance floor with the blond-haired, but not-blushing bride, he dashed off to Germany for the real business.

This was a three-hour, multi-themed, face-to-face meeting north of Berlin with Chancellor Angela Merkel. There were no translators as both are fluent in Russian and German as I pointed out in Asia Times.

But it was Russian analyst Rostislav Ishchenko in a text featuring a Pushkin analogy – and beautifully translated into English – who unlocked these chain of events.

And that brings us to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who wrote in the business paper Handelsblatt about the idea of a European Union payment system bypassing the U.S. dollar, and ultimately, the Iran sanctions.

This must read commentary by Pepe was posted on the Asia Times website at 12:09 p.m. Hong Kong Time on their Saturday afternoon, which was 12:09 a.m. in Washington — EDT plus 12 hours.  It comes to us courtesy of Larry Galearis — and another link to it is here.  In Pepe’s article, there’s a link to an a commentary headlined “How Putin Solved the Problems of Europe and the U.S. in Passing with Merkel” — and that’s worth reading as well.

E.U. Looking to Sidestep U.S. Sanctions With Payments System Plan

Germany and France said they’re working on financing solutions to sidestep U.S. sanctions against countries such as Iran, including a possible role for central banks.

The discussions, which also involve the U.K., are a signal that European powers are trying to get serious about demonstrating a greater level of independence from the U.S. as President Donald Trump pursues his “America First” agenda.

With Germany, we are determined to work on an independent European or Franco-German financing tool which would allow us to avoid being the collateral victims of U.S. extra-territorial sanctions,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday during a meeting with press association AJEF. “I want Europe to be a sovereign continent not a vassal, and that means having totally independent financing instruments that do not today exist.”

Trump reimposed the sanctions after pulling the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear accord in May, despite opposition from NATO allies and China and Russia. European companies including Daimler AG and Total SA have halted activity or backtracked on investment plans to avoid U.S. punishment but France and Germany and their European Union partners want business with the Islamic Republic to continue.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also weighed in Monday, saying the E.U. is working to protect economic ties with Iran and keep payment channels open. Maas reiterated a proposal to make international payments systems like Swift more independent of the U.S.

Obviously this Putin/Merkel thingy posted above has had some affect already.  This Bloomberg article showed up on their Internet site at 5:07 a.m. Denver time on Monday morning — and I found it embedded in a GATA dispatch on Monday evening.  It’s worth your while if you have the interest — and another link to it is here.  There was a companion, but more in-depth story about this on the Internet site in the wee hours of Monday morning.  It’s headlined “The anti-dollar awakening could be ruder and sooner than most economists predict” — and it comes from the Internet site as well.  It’s certainly worth reading, too.

Russia Warns Staged “Chemical Provocation” Coming In Syria After Bolton Cites New Intel

Russia is again warning of a new potential chemical provocation in Syria at the end of a week in which U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton threatened Damascus with a “very strong” military response should allegations emerge amidst the Syrian Army campaign to liberate Idlib.

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on Saturday per state-run TASS:

A provocation with an alleged chemical weapons use in Syria, which terrorists are plotting to stage with the assistance of U.K. special services, will serve as a pretext for missile strikes by the West and the United States against the Arab country, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Saturday.

According to the Russian general, the provocation will be staged by terrorists of the Hayat Tahrir ash-Sham terrorist organization (formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra outlawed in Russia) and for this purpose eight containers with chlorine have been brought to the Idlib province.

The mention of U.K. special forces and “eight containers” of chlorine suggest that Russia is claiming to possess some level of specified intelligence.

The Russian MoD spokesman added, “Therefore, the actions by Western countries contrary to public statements are aimed at another dramatic escalation of the situation in the Middle East and at disrupting the peace process on the territory of Syria.

The statements were in response to Bolton’s prior press conference on Wednesday from Jerusalem, where he was meeting with Israeli officials. “We now see plans for the Syrian regime to resume offensive military activities in Idlib province,” Bolton said. “We are obviously concerned about the possibility that Assad may use chemical weapons again.”

This story showed up on the Zero Hedge website at 11:36 a.m. EDT on Saturday morning — and it’s another contribution from Larry Galearis.  Another link to it is here.  The spin on this from Internet site is headlined “RT Says U.S. Prepares New Bombing Raid to Topple Assad in Syria” — and I thank Roy Stephens for that one.

On Corrupt Narratives and Choices — Christopher Black

On August 23 NATO announced that a Canadian officer, Major-General Fortin, will be the new commander of NATO forces in Iraq for the continuation of what the invading and occupation forces call a “training mission.

Previous objections to the presence of foreign forces in Iraq by the Iraqi government were more or less ignored by the United States and its jackboots, and by Canada, one of the little poodles always running along side the top bulldog with its tail up and tongue out, so any objections now will count for nothing.

These two nations, well, we can call the U.S. a nation, Canada a shell of one, claim to act in the interests of peace and security in Iraq and the Middle East. But the Iraqis know what colonialism is. They have resisted it since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1921; against the British, the French, the Americans and now Canada, which continues its role in the American colonial system as part of the enforcement unit.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq was, the world knows, a war of aggression, a war crime, and this crime continues so long as the occupation continues. Everyone connected with that aggression and occupation are war criminals and this of course includes the members of the Canadian government and armed forces. In fact the entire NATO alliance is now a party to the crime and so every leader of every NATO country is a war criminal. This is the absurdity to which the world has descended, a world in which international law, the United Nations Charter, the Nuremberg Principles are regarded as only fit for confetti — and every western leader is a criminal.

Last January an Iraqi general, working with the U.S. forces, claimed the foreign forces were “necessary” to preserve a “fragile peace,” though it is more likely he wanted to fill the hole in his pocket, while Nayef al-Shamri, deputy chairman of the Iraqi parliament’s security committee, countered that, “Iraq does not need the presence of U.S. ground forces or military bases”. He said “U.S. forces had no actual presence in battles against the Islamic State, only stopping at air and logistical support.”

At the beginning of the year the Americans had stated that they were going to reduce or withdraw their forces in Iraq but by May it became clear that they were increasing them and, as their proxy forces in Syria collapsed, increased the presence of its intelligence operatives on the Iraqi-Syrian border, as well as centers such as Erbil and Mosul. Yet in December 2017 Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al Abidi declared his country liberated from ISIS, so even the claimed pretext used by the U.S. and its NATO servants for remaining in Iraq does not exist.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto.  This article is definitely worth reading, if you have the interest that is.  It appeared on the Internet site on Saturday sometime — and I thank Larry Galearis for sending it our way.  Another link to it is here.

South Africa:  Meanwhile In the Next Venezuela

This week I want to talk about the state of play with mining in South Africa and the long-term consequences of the “mining charter”.

Now, let’s play make-believe. Pretend you are the CEO of a large mining conglomerate with operations in South Africa, and you’re considering deploying more capital to expand operations or buying an asset/exploration licence in South Africa. Now read this:

The essence of the new Mining Charter: [only part of which is posted below – Ed]


* A new mining right must have a minimum of 30% Black Persons’ shareholding, with the 30% shareholding to be apportioned between employees, communities and entrepreneurs in a specific manner
*A minimum 8% shareholding is allocated to mine communities, to be held through a trust
*A minimum 14% shareholding must be to black entrepreneurs

Annual Turnover:

*Holder of a mining rights must pay 1% of its annual turnover to the 30% black persons’ shareholding prior to, and over and above any distributions made by a Holder to its shareholders
*This 1% payment is always subject to the solvency and liquidity test as provided for in the Companies Act but is not negotiable under any other terms.

Now, wouldn’t you, being the CEO of that mining company, be inclined to think…bugger that, it’s all way too hard and just not economically viable!

This mining charter will eventually lead to South Africa becoming a mining backwater, a shadow of its former glory.  Sadly, in many respects I think South Africa is doing a more thorough job at effing up its economy than Venezuela and Zimbabwe ever did.

This rather blunt, but right-on-the-money commentary put in an appearance on the Zero Hedge website last Friday — and I thank Larry Galearis for his fourth and final contribution to today’s column.  It’s definitely worth reading if you have the interest — and another link to it is here.

I saw no other really hard news precious metal-related stories over the weekend, or on Monday that I thought worth posting.  What I did see was either the usual main stream drivel, or from what I call the nut-ball lunatic fringe.


Today’s ‘critter’ is the from the trionychidae family…softshell turtles.  Softshells include some of the world’s largest freshwater turtles, though many can adapt to living in highly brackish areas. Members of this family occur in Africa, Asia, and North America.  They are called “softshell” because their carapaces lack horny scutes (scales).


It should be obvious to all except the willfully blind of course, that someone stepped in to stop the rapid rise in the four precious metals shortly after the after afternoon gold fix in London on Monday.  The dollar was in the middle of its fall below the 95.00 mark — and didn’t touch the bottom until 12:30 p.m. EDT, a bit more than two hours after ‘da boyz’ showed up to cap their respective prices.

Of course, there certainly wasn’t much volume in either gold or silver yesterday, so it didn’t take much of an effort to turn the tides in those precious metals — and in platinum and palladium, it would have been even less volume.

Gold and silver are still well below the first of two moving averages that matter…the 50-day in both…but I would suspect that there was some short-covering by the Managed Money traders, plus long-selling for profits by Ted’s raptors, the 32-odd small commercial traders other than the Big 8.  Ted has also mentioned in his last two commentaries that there was a reasonable chance the the 20-day moving average might be a short covering point for some of these Managed Money traders as well.  Friday’s COT Report will tell him him more.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, plus copper and WTIC — and there isn’t much to see, except the I note that the dollar index closed below its 50-day moving average. But that market is so managed as well, that I doubt it means much.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature helps with the first four charts only.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away — and I see that the gold price was up a dollar or so by around 8:20 a.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday morning — and despite the fact that the dollar index began to head lower about that time, gold was sold down to its current low by around 11:40 a.m. CST. It has been shopping unsteadily higher since — and is up 10 cents the ounce at the moment. It was mostly the same for silver — and it has bounced up to down only a penny in the last few minutes. Platinum was up 5 bucks or so by 8:20 a.m. CST — and has been sold down a couple since but, like silver, has bounced up a bit — and is up 5 dollars. Palladium has been sold quietly but evenly lower since trading began at 6:00 p.m. in New York yesterday evening — and it’s down 3 dollars as Zurich opens.

Net HFT gold volume in October and December combined is coming up on 39,000 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume is only 1,434 contracts. Net HFT silver volume is only 3,800 contracts, but roll-over/switch volume is already very heavy at 10,800 contracts, most of which is in December.

The dollar index hit its current 94.68 low tick around 8:40 a.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday morning. It rallied a bit from there to the 94.91 mark at about 1:20 p.m. CST on their Tuesday afternoon — and has been chopping quietly sideways to lower since — and is up 11 basis points as London opens.

The summer holiday season in the northern hemisphere comes to an end this weekend — as does the August delivery month on Friday. On top of that, all large traders that aren’t standing for delivery in September silver, have to roll or sell their futures contracts before the close of COMEX trading on Wednesday — and the rest have to be out by the close of COMEX trading on Thursday. Volumes will be extremely heavy for the next three days, particularly tomorrow. First Day Notice numbers will posted on CME’s website around 10 p.m. EDT on Thursday evening — and I’ll have all that in my Friday column.

Today, at the close of COMEX trading, is the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report — and I’ll reserve judgement on what it might contain until my Wednesday column.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:02 a.m. EDT, I note that despite that the dollar index has been trending lower going into the London open, that isn’t being allowed to show up in precious metal prices once again. At the moment, gold is now down 10 cents — and silver is sitting at unchanged. Platinum is up 4 — and palladium is down 4.

Gross gold volume is a bit over 56,000 contracts — and net of what little roll-over/switch volume there is, net HFT gold volume is around 53,000 contracts. Net HFT silver volume still isn’t very heavy at just about 5,500 contracts, but roll-over/switch volume certainly is, at just over 15,800 contracts.

The dollar index fell back below the unchanged mark just before the London open, but has edged higher since around 8:10 a.m. BST — and is currently up 2 basis points.

That’s it for another day — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.