How Egregious Can You Get?

09 October 2018 — Tuesday

YESTERDAY in GOLD, SILVER, PLATINUM and PALLADIUM


The gold price didn’t do much when trading began at 6:00 p.m. EDT in New York on Sunday evening.  That all changed at 9 a.m. China Standard Time on their Monday morning — and two hours later it was down about seven bucks.  It got dropped another two bucks shortly before 9 a.m. in London — and at precisely 1:00 p.m. BST/8:00 a.m. EDT, the rug got yanked out from under the gold price once again, with most of the price damage coming by a few minutes before 9 a.m. in New York.  It didn’t do much from there until the 1:30 p.m. COMEX close — and edged a few dollars higher in the thinly-traded after-hours market.

The high and low ticks in this precious metal were reported by the CME Group as $1,208.00 and $1,186.00 in the December contract.

Gold finished the Monday trading session at $1,187.50 spot, down $15.20 on the day — and a goodly distance away from its 50-day moving average.  Net HFT volume was very heavy at just over 309,000 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume was 11,625 contracts on top of that.

Except for the odd squiggle here and there, JPMorgan managed the silver price in a similar manner up until around 8:35 a.m. in New York.  It chopped quietly lower from there — and its low tick of the day appeared to come at the 11 a.m. EDT London close.  It then traded pretty flat for an hour, before edging higher until around 3 p.m. in after-hours trading — and didn’t do much of anything after that.

The high and low ticks in this precious metal were recorded as $14.70 and $14.285 in the December contract.

Silver was closed in New York yesterday at $14.35 spot, down 28 cents from Friday.  Net volume was pretty chunky at just over 86,000 contracts — and there was only 3,037 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in that precious metal.

The platinum price followed the silver price pretty closely on Monday, complete with the engineered price decline at 8:00 a.m. in New York — and the 8:35 a.m. low tick thirty minutes later.  Both sharp rallies after that were hammered lower.  Shortly after Zurich close, the platinum price crawled quietly higher for the remainder of the Monday trading session.  It was closed at $818 spot, down 3 bucks from Friday.

The palladium price was sold mostly lower starting at 9 a.m. China Standard Time in Far East trading on their Monday morning — and the Zurich low came about ninety minutes after their open.  It rallied a bunch from there in very short order — and then traded sideways until 8 a.m. EDT.  Like platinum and silver its low was set shortly after 8:30 a.m. in New York — and it chopped unsteadily higher for the rest of the day.  It was actually allowed to close up on the day at $1,074 spot, up 5 bucks.

The dollar index closed very late on Friday afternoon in New York at 95.60 — and really didn’t do much of anything when trading began at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday evening.  That all changed starting a few minutes before 8:15 a.m. China Standard Time on their Monday morning.  It began to ‘rally’ rather sharply at that juncture — and the 96.03 high tick was placed a few minutes before 9 a.m. in New York.  It was a choppy down hill ride from there until a minute or two before 2 p.m. EDT — and it edged very unevenly higher from there into the close.  The dollar index finished the Monday session in New York at 95.76…up 16 basis points from Friday.

If you can lay mentally lay the precious metal charts on top of the dollar index charts below, you’ll find that there’s little, if any, correlation.  All the price decline/price capping operations were of the engineered variety in the precious metals, with the coordinated sell-off at the 8:00 a.m. EDT in New York being the most egregious of several.  Here’s the 1-day U.S. dollar index.

And here’s the 3-day chart, so you can see the goings-on from the start of trading at 6 p.m. EDT in New York on Sunday evening.

And here’s the 1-year U.S. dollar index chart — and the delta between the close on it — and the intraday chart above, was 32 basis points.

The gold shares gapped down a bit over 2 percent at the open — and their respective lows were set a few minutes before the 11 a.m. EDT London close.  They began to head higher from there — and actually popped into the green in the last few minutes of trading on Monday afternoon in New York.  The HUI closed up 0.28 percent!

The silver equities gapped down just about 2 percent at the open — and their respective lows came around 11:40 a.m. in New York trading.  Then, like the gold stocks, they began to head higher as well — and were in the green by an hour and a bit before trading ended at 4:00 p.m. EDT.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed up 1.22 percent!  Click to enlarge if necessary.

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

Despite the carnage in the precious metals, or maybe because of it, there were some very serious buyers out and about yesterday.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed, for the third day in a row, that zero gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Tuesday.  I thought that two days in a row with zero gold and silver deliveries was highly unusual…but three days?  I’m lost for words…especially gold deliveries.  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 October fell by 26 contracts, leaving 2,122 still around.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold contracts were posted for delivery today, so that means that 26 more gold contracts just vanished from the October delivery month.  Silver o.i. in October rose by 1 contract, leaving 5 still open.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold contracts were posted for delivery today.


There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday, but an authorized participant took 563,821 troy ounces of silver out of SLV.

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 business on Friday, October 5, 2018.  For the second week in a row, there were declines in both.  Their gold ETF dropped by 15,878 troy ounces — and their silver ETF fell by 48,966 troy ounces.

There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint on Monday.

There was no in/out movement in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Friday.

It was a very busy day in silver, as 1,723,615 troy ounces were received — and 1,551,403 troy ounces were shipped out the door for parts unknown.  In the ‘in’ category, there was a truck load into both Brink’s, Inc. and HSBC USA…608,430 troy ounces — and 599,973 troy ounces respectively.  And a smaller truck load ended up at JPMorgan’s vault…515,212 troy ounces.  In the ‘out’ category, there was one truck load each out of CNT and Canada’s Scotiabank…602,904 troy ounces — and 595,402 troy ounces respectively.  There was also 245,665 troy ounces that departed Brink’s, Inc….plus another 107,431 left HSBC USA.  The link to all this activity is here.

There was a bit of activity for the last day of China’s ‘Golden Week’ over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Friday.  They received 443, but shipped out only 130 of them.  This activity was at Brink’s, Inc. — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.


Here are the usual two charts that Nick sends around on the weekend.  They show the weekly transparent gold and silver holdings in all known, depositories, mutual funds and ETFs as of the close of trading on Friday, October 5.  The worlds’ gold ETF shed 742,000 troy ounces — and in silver that number was 3,054,000 troy ounces.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature helps with both charts.

I have an average number of stories for you today.


CRITICAL READS

To bring back U.S. manufacturing, get the world to dump the dollar

Donald Trump promised to “make America great again,” but he might make America Great Britain. To re-industrialize the U.S. economy, President Trump must avoid the mistake that de-industrialized Britain: Namely, he must end the dollar’s role as the world’s chief reserve currency.

A century ago when Britain began to lose its place as the world’s leading power, it was suffering economic maladies today’s Americans will find familiar: declining exports, large government deficits, and a huge amount of foreign debt. The British pound’s role as the world’s chief reserve currency was a major driver of this economic decline.

John Maynard Keynes promoted the British pound’s use as the world’s reserve currency, writing in 1913 that replacing gold with foreign-exchange reserves was a step toward “the ideal currency of the future.” But it didn’t take long for the markets to prove that currency reserves are not a foolproof form of savings. The monetary system Keynes recommended was established throughout Europe after a 1922 conference in Genoa, but it collapsed in 1931 at the onset of the Depression.

French economist Jacques Rueff described the fatal weakness of foreign-exchange reserves in a 1932 lecture. He explained that when a monetary authority accepts dollar or sterling claims for its official reserves rather than gold, purchasing power “has simply been duplicated,” so that, for example, “the American market is in a position to buy in Europe, and in the United States, at the same time.” In other words, when a foreign nation accepts repayment in U.S. dollars it increases its money supply without diminishing the U.S. money supply, allowing both countries’ central banks to lend in dollars.

This credit “duplication” is not only inflationary in the reserve-currency country and any country whose currency is tied to the reserve currency; it also necessarily causes the average price of goods to rise faster in the reserve-currency country than among its trading partners. This is why Britain’s and America’s manufacturing industries lost their competitiveness as exporters, resulting in deindustrialization.

This so-called Triffin Dilemma, though first described by Rueff, was named around 1960 for the Belgian-American economist Robert Triffin, who described the post-World War II unraveling of the Bretton Woods gold-exchange system. Under the gold standard, the worldwide increase in monetary gold equaled the world’s net exports. The problem of the Triffin Dilemma is that every additional dollar of foreign-exchange “reserves” must be matched by an equal deficit in the reserve-currency country’s net exports—that is, by net imports.

This article was posted on The Wall Street Journal‘s website on Sunday sometime — and it’s posted in the clear in a GATA dispatch.  Another link to it is here.


NAFTA 2.0: Free Trade or Central Planning? — Ron Paul

Last week the United States, Mexico, and Canada agreed to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with a new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Sadly, instead of replacing NAFTA’s managed trade with true free trade, the new USMCA expands government’s control over trade.

For example, under the USMCA’s “rules of origin,” at least 75 percent of a car’s parts must be from the US, Canada, or Mexico in order to avoid tariffs. This is protectionism designed to raise prices of cars using materials from outside North America.

The USMCA also requires that 40 to 45 percent of an automobile’s content be made by workers earning at least 16 dollars per hour. Like all government-set wages, this requirement will increase prices and decrease employment.

The USMCA also requires Mexico to pass legislation recognizing the “right of collective bargaining.” In other words, this so-called free trade agreement forces Mexico to import U.S.-style compulsory unionism. If the Mexican legislature does not comply, the US and Canada will impose tariffs on Mexican goods.

The USMCA also requires the three countries to abide by the International Labour Organization (ILO) standards for worker rights. So, if, for example, the bureaucrats at the ILO declared that Right to Work laws violate “international labor standards”’ because they weaken collective bargaining and give Right to Work states an unfair advantage over compulsory unionism states and countries, the federal government may have to nullify all state Right to Work laws.

This brief, but very interesting commentary by Ron was posted on the unz.com Internet site on Monday sometime — and it comes to us courtesy of Larry Galearis.  Another link to it is here.


Global Systemically-Important Bank Stocks Slump to 18-Month Lows, Europe Craters

Things are starting to escalate and spread.  European stocks are at 6-month lows, as both banks and tech tumble…

However, the biggest fear is that the biggest global systemically important bank stocks have just broken down to fresh 18-month lows.

How does that fit with any positive global growth narrative?

This brief 4-chart Zero Hedge item, which is worth a few seconds of your time, appeared on their website at 12:25 p.m. EDT on Monday afternoon — and another link to it is here.


Fifth Bond Sale Pulled as Europe’s Junk Bond Market Cracks

Over the weekend, we laid out the latest analysis by BofA’s Barnaby Martin who showed that whereas U.S. junk bonds remained at near record tight spreads despite mounting volatility across most other asset classes, the European junk bond bubble appears to have finally burst.

Specifically, and in stark contrast to shrinking U.S. spreads, European high-yield spreads have blown out by 70bp, with total returns just +13bp, a far cry from the average annual returns of +11% observed over the last decade. Putting this unexpected reversal in context, at the start of the year Euro HY spreads were 80bp tighter than U.S. spreads. Now they are 35bp wider, in large part due to the deterioration in the Italian backdrop, concerns about the end of the ECB’s QE and the recent deterioration in the European economy.

While we noted several key conclusions one could draw from this inflection point, one notable observation is that it was just a matter of time before the HY weakness spread higher in quality, to Tier 1 bank debt, the corporate investment grade sector and elsewhere.

Today, as validation that contagion from Europe’s junk bonds may be spreading, Bloomberg reported that Europe’s primary bond market suffered the latest blow when Dutch lender Van Lanschot Kempen became the fifth issuer to pull a euro-note sale in little more than a week.

“The bank postponed the bond sale “due to market circumstances,” spokesman Robin Boon said by phone on Monday. The lender planned to sell as much as €100 million ($115 million) of additional Tier 1 notes, the riskiest form of bank debt, according to a person familiar with the matter, who is not authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified.”

Last week, Volksbank Wien also delayed an AT1 sale – one of two deals postponed the same day – as concerns about Italy’s budget, Brexit and a recent spike in U.S. Treasuries yields have started to erode investor appetite for higher-yielding debt. Still, demand for investment-grade euro notes has been less affected, with Dutch gas distributor Nederlandse Gasunie NV getting orders for almost six times its €300 million deal size on Monday.

This short 1-chart Zero Hedge article showed up on their website at 3:45 p.m. on Monday afternoon EDT — and another link to it is here.


India will break U.S. sanctions and keep importing Iranian oil

India will defy U.S. sanctions and continue importing oil from Iran after a November 4 deadline, easing concerns over the country’s energy security but setting up a possible showdown with Washington.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said two state-owned oil refiners, Indian Oil Corporation and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals, had signed contracts to import 1.25 million tonnes of Iranian oil next month, Mint newspaper reported.

Reuters said that Indian Oil would buy six million barrels of oil and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals three million barrels.

The Trump administration reimposed an initial tranche of economic sanctions on Iran in August, and will implement a second tranche in November. Last applied from 2012 to 2015, the sanctions are in retaliation for Iran’s supposed nuclear proliferation program.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on a visit to India in September that some waivers from the sanctions might be granted to countries buying Iranian oil, but only if they agreed to cut their imports to zero. Pradhan admitted Monday he was not sure India would get a waiver.

This article put in an appearance on the Asia Times website at 6:22 p.m. Hong Kong Time on their Monday evening, which was 6:22 a.m. in Washington — EDT plus 12 hours.  It’s the first of two contributions from Tolling Jennings — and another link to it is here.


Pakistan to Request IMF Bailout Over U.S. Opposition

The long-running speculation whether Pakistan will follow in Argentina’s footsteps and demand an IMF bailout was answered this morning.

As a reminder, following a July 12 report from the Financial Times that senior Pakistani finance officials were drawing up options for Pakistan’s new prime minister Imran Khan to seek an IMF bailout of up to $12 billion, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned against providing an International Monetary Fund bailout for Pakistan’s new government that includes funding to pay off Chinese lenders.

In an interview on CNBC on July 30, Pompeo said the United States looked forward to engagement with the government of Pakistan’s expected new prime minister, Imran Khan, but said there is “no rationale” for a bailout that pays off Chinese loans to Pakistan.

Make no mistake. We will be watching what the IMF does,” Pompeo said. “There’s no rationale for IMF tax dollars, and associated with that American dollars that are part of the IMF funding, for those to go to bail out Chinese bondholders or China itself.”

This longish news item put in an appearance on the Zero Hedge website at 8:45 p.m. EDT on Monday evening — and another link to it is here.


Unprecedented Public Confrontation on Display in Beijing Between Top U.S., China Diplomats

President Trump may have been too quick to praise North Korea following Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit with Kim Jong Un over the weekend. Because in what will be remembered as a brutal snub, Chinese President Xi Jinping refused to meet with Pompeo during his visit to Beijing on Monday, while China’s foreign minister said in no uncertain terms that the U.S. shouldn’t expect China’s help with denuclearizing North Korea.

In what The New York Times and WSJ described as a “tempestuous“, “public confrontation” where “the customary veneer of diplomatic niceties during public remarks” was stripped away, Pompeo and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi traded barbs in public during a press conference as the two men blamed one another for the near-confrontation between U.S. and Chinese naval ships in the South China Sea last month, while China criticized the U.S. for perceived incursions on Chinese territorial sovereignty and the U.S.’s willingness to sell arms to Taiwan (while providing support in other ways). Wang also blamed the U.S. for “ceaselessly elevating” trade tensions in a way that “cast a shadow” over their relationship.

While sitting across from Wang during the press conference, Pompeo said the U.S. and China had a “fundamental disagreement” over the issues that China raised, adding that he regrets that the diplomatic and security dialogue between two counties was “something that you all chose not to undertake.”

Pompeo’s retort came after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi accused the U.S. on Monday of escalating trade disputes, interfering on Taiwan and meddling in the country’s domestic affairs. “These actions have damaged our mutual trust, cast a shadow over China-U.S. relations, and are completely out of line with the interests of our two peoples,” Wang told his visiting American counterpart.

The issues that you characterized, we have a fundamental disagreement,” Pompeo said. “We have great concerns about actions that China has taken and I look forward to having the opportunity to discuss each of those today because this is an incredibly important relationship.”

This is not very reassuring.  Pompeo got what he richly deserved, but when you see diplomatic cracks like this one show up in public between the biggest dogs in a fight, one should be very concerned.  This story was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 9:45 p.m. On Monday evening EDT — and another link to it is here.


China’s central bank to cut reserve requirement by 1%

The Chinese central bank announced that it would reduce the reserve requirement ratio by one percentage point for the fourth time this year, in hopes of freeing up a total incremental fund of 750 billion yuan (US$50.989 billion), The Paper reported.

From October 15 onward, The People’s Bank of China will reduce the RRR for large commercial banks, joint-stock commercial banks, city commercial banks, rural commercial banks and foreign banks.

On the same day, the above-mentioned banks will use the funds released by the RRR cut to repay the Medium-term Loan Facilities of the central bank where they borrowed.

The total funds released by RRR cut is slightly more than the amount banks needed to repay their MLF.

The central bank uses monetary tools, such as the MLF and the standing lending facility, to manage short- and medium-term liquidity in the banking system.

Another desperation move to inject liquidity into a banking system that is always on the verge of total collapse.  The above five paragraphs are all there is to this story that was posted on the Asia Times website at 5:37 a.m. Hong Kong Time on their Monday morning, which was 5:37 a.m. on Sunday afternoon in New York — EDT plus 12 hours.  I thank Tolling Jennings for this article — and another link to it is here.


Why Central America stays poor

The July 2017 idling of the Escobal silver mine in southeastern Guatemala displaced more than 850 workers and endangered the livelihoods of thousands more whose jobs are indirectly supported by the project. The loss of family income has harmed communities in the municipality of San Rafael Las Flores and in some cases sent the unemployed north to look for work in the United States.

Nature can be cruel in underdeveloped countries. Yet it wasn’t fire, flood, mudslide or volcano that served this economic gut punch. This is a man-made travesty, courtesy of Guatemala’s Constitutional Court. It is a saga worth recounting because it goes to the heart of the country’s intransigent poverty.

The mine is owned by Minera San Rafael, or MSR, a Guatemalan subsidiary of Nevada-based Tahoe Resources. Tahoe spokesman Edie Hofmeister told me that since 2010 MSR has invested $1.7 billion in the “development and operation” of the mine. “This includes more than $136 million paid to the Guatemalan government in taxes, royalties and voluntary payments” as well as “$66 million in salaries” and “$600 million spent on local suppliers,” Ms. Hofmeister said last week.

Tahoe put more than $10 million into “social investment and economic development programs,” including “community education, health and nutrition, infrastructure, capacity development, entrepreneurship and local governance initiatives,” Ms. Hofmeister said. One notable project was a vocational training center into which it invested more than $1 million.

Then came a legal complaint filed against the government’s Ministry of Energy and Mines at the Supreme Court by the Center for Legal, Environmental and Social Action, an anti-mining nongovernmental organization known in Guatemala by its Spanish acronym Calas.

This worthwhile news item appeared on The Wall Street Journal‘s website on Sunday sometime — and it’s posted in the clear in this GATA dispatch.  Another link to it is here.


South Africa’s 3 largest gold miners lost $543 million altogether last year

South African gold miners have literally dug themselves into a hole, with the world’s deepest mines threatening the safety of workers and the companies’ ability to make money.

Powered for decades by the cheap labor of apartheid, the country’s deepest gold mines plunge almost 12,000 feet below the earth’s surface — and have provided nearly half the gold bullion and jewelry ever produced.

But as miners have dug ever deeper to retrieve what remains of the world’s largest gold deposits, they have faced an economic and moral conundrum: Gold at these depths is costlier and more dangerous to mine.

South Africa’s three largest gold miners by market capitalization reported collective losses of about $543 million last year, as global gold prices remain some 40 percent below their 2011 highs. Costs of mining an ounce of gold in South Africa are high compared with the global average. And the human toll is mounting too.

Deaths in South African mines rose for the first time in a decade last year, climbing 21 percent to 88 from 73 a year earlier. So far in 2018, 65 workers have died, including 24 deaths at Sibanye Gold Ltd., South Africa’s largest gold producer. …

The rest of this Wall Street Journal story is hidden behind their subscription wall — and the above five paragraphs are all that was posted in the clear in this GATA dispatch.  Chris Powell correctly points out that…”but none of them questioned gold price suppression by governments and central banks.”  The actual headline to this story reads “South African Gold-Mining Companies Pay High Price to Keep Digging” — and the link to the story on the WSJ website is here.


The PHOTOS and the FUNNIES

It was a decent enough day on Saturday, although overcast, to make a quick dash out to the pond.  I wasn’t overly optimistic about finding anything, as the fall migration for anything other than ducks and geese is pretty far advanced.  But I did get lucky.  I discovered this lesser yellowlegs scouring the shoreline for whatever it could find, before resuming its journey south.  I took 33 photos — and kept only five, as the weeds and grass kept getting in the way.  Here are the first three — and it’s pretty easy to see how it came by its name.  Click to enlarge.

This third shot, obviously taken from the rear, shows its wings spread as it caught its balance.  I only got this one picture, as I did not have the camera set on the high-speed frame rate, just single shot.  I won’t make that mistake again.  Click to enlarge.


The WRAP

It was another clear case of a dollar index ‘rally’ being used as cover to bash the precious metals on Monday.  This was particularly true at 9 a.m. China Standard Time on their Monday morning, which was 9 p.m. Sunday night in New York — and then again at precisely 1:00 p.m. BST/8:00 a.m. EDT, as the dollar index wasn’t doing much of anything at either time, but all four precious metals moved sharply lower starting at those exact moments.

It’s obvious to me, at least.  But if you read the usual drivel from the so-called precious metal “analysts” out there, you’d never know that.  I’ll make the assumption that you’re over twenty-one years old, so you can make up your own mind.

Here are the 1-year charts for the Big 6 commodities — and as you already know, JPMorgan pushed silver and gold a safe distance below their respective 50-day moving averages yesterday.  On the other hand, it could just as easily have been Ted Butler’s raptors…the 31-odd small Commercial traders other than the Big 8…ringing the cash register at the expense of the Managed Money traders once again.  Whatever the cause, it was not accidental.  The ‘click to enlargefeature helps with all six charts today.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away — and I note that the gold price traded sideways for an hour once trading began at 6 p.m. EDT in New York on Monday evening. It rallied a couple of bucks over the next hour — and then traded more or less sideways until 2 p.m. CST on their Tuesday afternoon. It began to crawl lower at that point — and is up $1.80 the ounce. Silver was up 4 cents by noon CST — and is still up 4 cents. Platinum was up 7 bucks by shortly after 1 p.m. CST, but that gain wasn’t allowed to last…as it’s only up 3 dollars at the moment. The palladium price crawled sideways until around 1:30 p.m. CST — and then it shot higher from there — and was up 5 dollars by minutes before 2 p.m. But at 2 p.m. CST it was sold down hard — and is now down 4 dollars the ounce.

Net HFT gold volume is coming up on 48,000 contracts — and there’s only 212 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in that precious metal. Net HFT silver volume is around 12,800 contracts — and there’s only 228 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.

The dollar index chopped quietly sideways until minutes after 12 o’clock noon China Standard Time on their Tuesday afternoon. Its current 95.68 low tick was set around 12:45 p.m. CST — and it began to head higher from there. Quietly at first — and then more sharply starting a few minutes before 2 p.m. CST. And thirty minutes before the London open, the dollar index is up 11 basis points

I was happy to see all that buying in the precious metal shares yesterday.  Not all of them were involved, as the silver juniors didn’t do particularly well, but some of the ‘Big 7’ certainly did.  It will be of interest to see if that buying continues during the Tuesday trading session in New York.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:03 a.m. EDT, I see that the gold price continues to edge quietly lower — and is up 70 cents the ounce at the moment.  The silver price hasn’t done much — and is up 4 cents.  Platinum is up 2 bucks.  The palladium price has recovered a bit since the Zurich open — and is down only a dollar currently.

Gross gold volume is coming up on 59,000 contracts — and net of what little roll-over/switch volume there is, net HFT silver volume is 58,500 contracts.  Net HFT silver volume is around 16,300 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal is still only 456 contracts.

The dollar index dipped a few basis points during the thirty minutes leading up to the London open, but has resumed its rather unsteady ‘rally’ as of exactly 8:00 a.m. British Summer Time.  It’s now up 14 basis points.

Today, at the close of COMEX trading, is the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report — and I’ll have something to say about what the numbers might show in my Wednesday missive.

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

Ed