More Big In/Out Silver Activity At the COMEX on Friday

06 November 2018 — Tuesday


The gold price didn’t do much of anything except chop quietly sideways in Far East trading on their Monday.  It was the same in London until shortly before 1 p.m. GMT — and then it was knocked a few dollars lower.  The low tick of the day, such as it was, came at precisely 8:30 a.m. in New York.  Its rally from there, such as it was, was stopped dead in its tracks at, or minutes after, the afternoon gold fix in London, which was the moment it broke back above unchanged on the day.  It was sold a bit lower from there — and didn’t do a lot for the remainder of the Monday session.

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

Gold was closed in New York yesterday at $1,230.60 spot, down $1.60 from Friday.  Net volume was extremely light at a bit under 143,000 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume was a tad over 15,000 contracts on top of that.

Silver’s price path was directed in a similar fashion to gold’s except it was sold down a bit harder, relatively speaking, starting just before 1 p.m. GMT/8 a.m. EST — and it wasn’t allowed to recover by the same amount as the gold price was in New York trading.  Its low was set at the same 8:30 a.m. time as gold — and except for a small up/down move either side of the afternoon gold fix, wasn’t allowed to do much for the remainder of the Monday session.

The high and low ticks in this precious metal were recorded as $14.775 and $14.595 in the December contract.

Silver was closed at $14.61 spot, down 10.5 cents on the day.  Net volume was somewhat elevated…at least compared to gold…at 60,700 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal amounted to 6,199 contracts.

The platinum price reached its $972 high tick of the day minutes after 3 p.m. China Standard Time on their Monday afternoon — and from there it was sold erratically lower — and was forced to trade in much similar price fashion as both silver and gold staring around 1:30 p.m. in Zurich…7:30 a.m. in New York.  It was sold down from there.  Its New York high came very shortly after the Zurich close — and it was sold lower once again — and that selling pressure lasted into the after-hours trading session.  Its low tick of the day was set around 4 p.m. EST — and it popped a few dollars higher into the 5 p.m. close from there.  Platinum was closed on Monday at $864 spot, down 3 dollars on the day.

The palladium price didn’t do much until very shortly before noon China Standard Time on their Monday morning.  It popped up about ten dollars in price over the next hour — and then chopped mostly sideways until 8:30 a.m. EST in New York…which was the same time as both silver and gold got smacked.  It began to head quietly higher from there — and that state of affairs lasted until a few minutes before the COMEX close.  It traded sideways from there until trading ended at 5:00 p.m. EST.  Palladium finished the Monday session at $1,122 spot, up 17 bucks on the day.

The dollar index closed very late on Friday afternoon in New York at the 96.50 mark…and fell about 10 basis points the moment that trading began at 6:00 p.m. EST in New York on Sunday evening.  It rallied unevenly higher from there — and the 96.68 high tick was set about ten minutes before 1 p.m. in London…8 a.m. in New York.  It stair-stepped lower in price from that point — and the 96.25 low tick was set around 2 p.m. EST.  It ‘rallied’ quietly but erratically from there — and finished the day at 96.33…down 17 basis points from Friday’s close.

It was another day where the goings-on in the currency markets were totally divorced from what was happening with precious metal prices.

Here’s the intraday chart from midnight in New York on Sunday, to the close of trading on Monday afternoon.

And here’s the 3-day dollar index chart, so you can see the action right from the New York open on Sunday evening.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart — and the delta between its close…96.08…and the close on the intraday chart above, was 25 basis points.

The gold shares rallied two percent in the first fifteen minutes of trading, once it began at 9:30 a.m. in New York.  But it wasn’t long after that, that they were back in negative territory — and their respective lows were set around 12:20 p.m. EST.  They crawled quietly higher from there — and managed to pop into positive territory shortly before 3 p.m. — and didn’t do much after that.  The HUI closed higher by 0.33 percent.

The price path for the silver equities was very similar to gold’s, but because silver was sold down more on a percentage basis during the COMEX trading session, the silver stocks were down more than 2 percent at their 12:20 p.m. EDT low ticks.  But they recovered back to unchanged by a minute or so before 3 p.m. EDT, but slid a bit during the last hour of trading.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed lower by 0.16 percent.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

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

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 5 gold and 150 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Wednesday.  In gold, Advantage and ADM issued 3 and 2 contracts respectively — and stopped those same contracts as well.  All this activity involved their respective client accounts.  In silver, of the three short/issuers in total, the only two that mattered were International F.C. Stone and ADM, with 121 and 27 contracts out of their respective client accounts.  There were six long/stoppers — and the three largest were Morgan Stanley with 52 contracts in total…40 for its own account, plus 12 for its client account.  Next came HSBC USA stopping 42 for its own proprietary trading account — and in third spot was JPMorgan with 38 contracts for its client account.  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 November declined by 11 contracts, leaving 13 still open, minus the 5 mentioned just above.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 17 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 17-11=6 more gold contracts got added to November deliveries.  Silver o.i. in November rose by 26 contracts, leaving 425 still around, minus the 150 mentioned in the previous paragraph.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 3 silver contracts were posted for delivery today, so that means that 3+26=29 more silver contracts just got added to November.

There were withdrawals from both GLD and SLV on Monday.  In GLD, there was 56,754 troy ounces taken out — and in SLV, it was 1,315,073 troy ounces. I’m would think that Ted would suspect that the withdrawal from SLV was a conversion of shares into physical metal by JPMorgan — and maybe the gold as well.

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, November 2 — and this is what they had to report. A tiny 847 troy ounces of gold was taken out of their gold ETF — and a smallish 15,111 troy ounces was added to their silver ETF.

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

There was some activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Friday.  There was 54,554 troy ounces shipped out of HSBC USA — and that’s all the action there was.  The link to this is here.

The activity in silver continues to astound, as 1,809,726 troy ounces were received — and another 1,457,208 troy ounces were shipped out.  In the ‘in’ category, there were two truck loads…1,213,082 troy ounces…received at CNT — and one truckload…596,644 troy ounces…was dropped off at Canada’s Scotiabank.  In the ‘out’ category, there were two truckloads…1,233,008 troy ounces…shipped from CNT — and 222,199 troy ounces from Malca-Amit USA, plus the remaining 2,000 troy ounces departed Delaware.  The link to all this activity is here.

There wasn’t much happening over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Friday, as 215 were reported received — and only 71 shipped out.  All of this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.

Here are the usual weekly charts from Nick showing the changes for both gold and silver in all transparent depositories, ETFs and mutual funds, as of the close of business on Friday, November 2.  They show that 569,000 troy ounces of gold was added on a net basis, but 2,292,000 troy ounces of silver was taken out on a net basis during the last reporting week and, like the previous week, this negative number for silver is the result of JPMorgan withdrawing physical metal from SLV by the conversion of SLV shares.  Click to enlarge for both.

I have a very decent number of stories for you today.


David Stockman: Epic downturn is here, brace for 40% market plunge

David Stockman warns a 40 percent stock market plunge is closing in on Wall Street.

Stockman, who served as President Reagan’s Office of Management and Budget director, has long warned of a deep downturn that would shake Wall Street’s most bullish investors. He believes the early rumblings of that epic downturn are finally here.

It comes as the S&P 500 Index tries to rebound from its worst month since 2011.

No one has outlawed recessions. We’re within a year or two of one,” he said Thursday on CNBC‘s “Futures Now.” He added that: “fair value of the S&P going into the next recession is well below 2000, 1500 — way below where we are today.”

This is far from the first time he’s issued a dire warning. But this time, he suggests the latest leg down is an early tremor of the pain that lies ahead.

This brief 1 minute and 50 second video/audio interview put in an appearance on the Internet site at 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday afternoon — and was updated on Monday sometime.  I thank Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl for sending it our way — and another link to it is here.

Trump Administration Spares Corporate Wrongdoers Billions in Penalties

In the final months of the Obama administration, Walmart was under pressure from federal officials to pay nearly $1 billion and accept a guilty plea to resolve a foreign bribery investigation.

Barclays faced demands that it pay nearly $7 billion to settle civil claims that it had sold toxic mortgage investments that helped fuel the 2008 financial crisis, and the Royal Bank of Scotland was ensnared in a criminal investigation over its role in the crisis.

The three corporate giants complained that the Obama administration was being unreasonable and stood their ground, according to people briefed on the investigations. After President Trump took office, they looked to his administration for a more sympathetic ear — and got one.

Federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission have yet to charge Walmart, and the Justice Department reached a much lower settlement agreement with Barclays in March, for $2 billion. R.B.S. paid a civil penalty, but escaped criminal charges altogether.

Across the corporate landscape, the Trump administration has presided over a sharp decline in financial penalties against banks and big companies accused of malfeasance, according to analyses of government data and interviews with more than 60 former and current federal officials. The approach mirrors the administration’s aggressive deregulatory agenda throughout the federal government.

This very long essay put in an appearance on The New York Times website on Saturday — and although there’s probably a lot of truth to it, I’m always suspicious of the NYT, as it’s owned by the deep state — and mid-term elections are today in the U.S.  So keep that in mind if you decided to tackle this piece.  I thank Roy Stephens for sending it our way on Sunday — and another link to it is here.

It’s Not the End of the World — Jeff Thomas

Periodically, I’ll encounter someone who has read one of my essays and has decided not to pursue them further, stating, “You’re one of those ‘End of the world’ guys. I can’t be bothered reading the writings of someone who thinks we’re all doomed. I have a more positive outlook than that.”

In actual fact, I agree entirely with his latter two comments. I can’t be bothered reading the thoughts of a writer who says we’re all doomed, either. I, too, have a more positive outlook than that.

My one discrepancy with such comments is that I don’t by any means think that the present state of events will lead to the end of the world, as he assumes.

But then, neither am I naïve enough to think that if I just hope for the best, the powers that be will cease to be parasitical and predatory out of sympathy for me. They will not.

For any serious student of history, one of the great realisations that occurs at some point is that governments are inherently controlling by nature. The more control they have, the more they desire and the more they pursue. After all, governments actually produce nothing. They exist solely upon what they can extract from the people they rule over. Therefore, their personal success is not measured by how well they serve their people, it’s measured by how much they can extract from the people.

And so, it’s a given that all governments will pursue ever-greater levels of power over their minions up to and including the point of total dominance.

This interesting commentary from Jeff showed up on the Internet site on Monday sometime — and another link to it is here.

Americans Will Welcome the Tech-Fueled Police State — Bill Bonner

Fast Company reports:

Internet freedom is in decline across much of the globe as various governments crack down on dissent and so-called fake news, according to an annual report from Freedom House, a nonprofit that receives much of its funding from the U.S. government.

China is not only continuing to restrict online speech within its own borders, but also providing seminars and tours to delegations from other countries, where it promotes its restrictive techniques and tools. “While it is not always clear what transpires during such seminars, a training for Vietnamese officials in April 2017 was followed in 2018 by the introduction of a cybersecurity law that closely mimics China’s own law,” according to the report.

PARIS – A new, modern form of slavery is coming.

We are calm. We are patient.

We await developments with Zen-like resignation. Que sera, sera. Let it be. Amor fati… and all that.

We will soon be turned into a slave by algorithms and Big Data. But so what? Maybe we’ll like it.

This commentary from Bill appeared on the Internet site very early on Monday morning EST — and another link to it is here.

For the first time since the Cuban crisis, nuclear war threat is real – Shophie Shevardnadze interviews Stephen F. Cohen

The U.S. has announced its withdrawal from the historic nuclear arms treaty with Russia. How serious of a setback is this for the two countries’ relations – and global security? We talked to Stephen Cohen, contributing editor of The Nation magazine, professor emeritus at Princeton University, and author of the book ‘War with Russia?

Sophie Shevardnadze: Stephen Cohen, contributing editor of The Nation magazine, professor emeritus at Princeton University, welcome to the show. It’s great to have you with us as usual. It’s been a while. But things changed. We’ve got a lot to talk about. Last time Trump and Putin met in Helsinki there were such big hopes that something would come out of it, that relations would improve. But not much really came out of the summit – and Donald Trump got a lot of flak at home for meeting the Russian leader. It’s hard to expect a major breakthrough this time around in Paris, what do you think?

Stephen Cohen: Well, there’s a big struggle, everybody knows about it, going on in Washington over Trump’s policy towards Russia. It would seem, and this has been the case you and I talked back then when he was a candidate, he said he wanted to co-operate with Russia. We used to call that détente. And that’s been pretty much his policy, overall policy since he became President. But he’s also done contradictory things. And the question is: are these contradictory things result of his own inability to be a consistent leader, or are people in Washington preventing him from doing what he wants to do with Russia? That’s the big question at the moment.

This 27:42 minute video interview, complete with a full transcript, was posted on the Internet site at 7:35 a.m. Moscow time on their Monday morning, which was 11:35 p.m. in Washington on Sunday evening — EDT plus 8 hours.  It was updated about thirty minutes later.  My thanks go out to George Whyte for sending it our way — and it’s definitely worth your while if you have the interest.  Another link to it is here.

Pompeo warns of ‘severe, swift punishment’ & ‘painful business’ with Iran as sanctions reinstated

The U.S. has reimposed sanctions on Iran, targeting the Islamic Republic’s energy, banking and shipping sectors. State Secretary Mike Pompeo warned of “swift punishment” for other countries doing business with Iran.

Monday’s sanctions are a reintroduction of penalties lifted under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The multilateral deal promised Iran sanctions relief in exchange for a pause on its nuclear weapons program. President Trump withdrew from the deal in May, and has since reimposed economic sanctions in several rounds.

The sanctions target 50 Iranian banks, 200 individuals, and vessels in Iran’s shipping and energy sectors, as well as one airline and 65 of its aircraft. Furthermore, Pompeo promised to mete out “swift punishment” to countries who defy the US’ anti-Iran sanctions.

I promise you,” Pompeo said, “that doing business with Iran in defiance of our sanctions will ultimately be a much more painful business decision than pulling out of Iran.”

This news item was posted on the Internet site at 1:39 p.m. Moscow time on their Monday afternoon, which was 3:39 a.m. in Washington — EST plus 8 hours.  It was updated about an hour later.  I thank Patrik Ekdahl for sending it our way — and another link to it is here.  An companion piece to this item, courtesy of Patrik as well, is headlined “Iran will break U.S. sanctions and continue to sell its oil – President Rouhani

The U.S. Backs Saudi Arabia…the Mideast’s Most Reactionary Nation — Eric Margolis

Saudi Arabia has been shaken to its core by the gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Turkish intelligence has leaked that the Saudi journalist, who wrote op-ed pieces for The Washington Post newspaper, was strangled in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, then cut up into pieces for disposal, or dissolved in acid. His remains have not yet been found.

Khashoggi’s brazen murder has caused a crisis in U.S.-Saudi relations, an angry confrontation with Turkey, and serious questions about the Saudi war in wretched Yemen, which so far had caused 60,000 deaths and left this remote land facing starvation.

Trump and his allies initially supported the Saudi-Emirati war against Yemen, having fallen for the false claim that great Satan Iran was backing the Yemeni Houthi forces. Britain and Israel strongly supported the Saudi war.

In reality, Saudi Arabia’s headstrong Crown Prince Mohammed, got his nation embroiled in a no-win war against tough Yemeni tribes who refused to accept a Saudi-imposed figurehead ruler. The United Arab Emirates, a Saudi ally, also got involved to expand its little country-big ambitions around the Red Sea littoral.

But the Saudis lacked a real army to wage war in Yemen. They feared an army might mount a coup against the royal family as happened in Egypt, Iraq and Libya. In the past, the Saudis had rented crack Pakistani troops to protect their palaces and oil. But Pakistan refused Saudi requests to send troops to subdue Yemen.

This brief, but very interesting and worthwhile commentary by Eric, appeared on the Internet site on Saturday — and I thank Larry Galearis for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.

The Untouchable U.S.-Saudi Relation Is a Core Element of U.S. Imperialism

If Saudi Arabia were really convinced of the innocence of MBS in the Khashoggi affair, it could use this situation to its advantage by reducing the role of Washington in its foreign policy. Turning to the east and increasing partnerships with China and Russia would have beneficial effects on the whole region, as well as reducing the importance of the United States in the world. Saudi Arabia is governed by a large family riven with divisions and feuds spanning decades. MBS has no interest in his kingdom and is occupied with his survival alone. He is aware that Netanyahu and Trump are his best bet for continuing to reign. Trump is equally aware of the importance of MBS in his communication strategy in the US, with a view to the midterm and the 2020 elections. MBS is for Trump the golden goose that finances the MAGA project, thanks apparently to Trump’s mesmerizing negotiation skills with the Saudis. Of course this is far from the truth, but what matters is the spin that Trump gives to this alliance.

Israel is the primary ally of MBS, given that the crown prince is the first Saudi monarch openly willing to establish diplomatic relations with the Jewish State and bring relations between the two countries out into the open. The upper level of the US government, the so-called deep state, tried for a few weeks to use MBS against Trump. But this strategy came to an end after the Israelis, together with some elements of the US deep state, saw the risk of downsizing the global relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US. MBS will hardly be pushed aside, and within the Kingdom his position seems firmer than many expected, as seen at the Davos in the Desert conference. Breaking up with MBS would have had unimaginable repercussions for the US’s hegemonic position, and this is something Washington can ill afford at the moment.

The use of jihadism and petrodollars as political and financial weapon against Washington’s adversaries is reason enough to quickly forget Jamal Khashoggi and go back to ignoring the various abuses committed by Saudi Arabia. In this phase of the transition from a unipolar to a multipolar world, the US cannot afford to renounce some of the most potent weapons in its arsenal to wield against its geopolitical foes.

This somewhat longish, but very interesting commentary by Federico Pieraccini…an independent freelance writer specialized in international affairs, conflicts, politics and strategies…who I’ve never heard of before, showed up on the strategic-culture.orgInternet site on Sunday sometime — and I thank Roy Stephens for bringing it to our attention.  Another link to it is here.

After 17 years of war, top U.S. commander in Afghanistan admits Taliban cannot be defeated

The Afghanistan war cannot be won militarily and peace will only be achieved through a political resolution with the Taliban, the newly-appointed American general in charge of U.S. and NATO operations has conceded.

In his first interview since taking command of NATO’s Resolute Support mission in September, Gen. Austin Scott Miller provided NBC News with a surprisingly candid assessment of the seemingly never-ending conflict, which began with the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in October, 2001.

This is not going to be won militarily. This is going to a political solution,” Miller said.He mused that the Taliban is also tired of fighting and may be interested in starting to “work through the political piece” of the 17-year-old war.

But it’s not clear if the Taliban is open to negotiations. Last month, a top Taliban commander told RT, in a rare interview, that the group’s leaders had no desire to negotiate with the Americans.

This story appeared on the Internet site last Friday sometime — and I thank Richard Connolly for sharing it with us.  Another link to it is here.

Xi’s Swipes at Trump Show China Standing Its Ground in Trade War

If Chinese President Xi Jinping is getting ready to make big concessions to the U.S., his much anticipated speech at a Shanghai trade fair didn’t show it.

Xi hit back against President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies Monday with some of his most pointed language yet, denouncing “law of the jungle” and “beggar-thy-neighbor” trade practices. At the same time, he didn’t outline any new proposals that would suggest he was prepared to meet Trump’s demands, such as halting forced technology transfers or rolling back support for state-owned enterprises. Stocks declined across Asia.

All countries should strive to improve their business environment and solve their own problems,” Xi told the inaugural China International Import Expo, which featured more than 3,600 companies from 172 countries, regions and organizations. “They shouldn’t always whitewash themselves and blame others, or act like a flashlight that only exposes others, but not themselves.”

Xi stopped short of naming Trump or the U.S. in the speech, his most high-profile economic address since April. Instead, he stepped up warnings that protectionism would harm global growth while pledging to boost domestic consumption, strengthen intellectual property protection and advance trade talks with Europe, Japan and South Korea.

This Bloomberg news story was posted on their website at 6:50 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Sunday evening — and was updated about 14 hours later.  I found this item in this morning’s edition of the King Report — and another link to it is here.

Republic Metals Corporation (Gold & Silver Refiner/Private Mint) Files For Bankruptcy

One of the largest gold and silver refineries in the world, Republic Metals Corporation, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Federal Court on Friday. Here are the details…

Represented by Donlin Recano, we learn that Chapter 11 was filed in United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York on Friday, November 2, 2018…

That’s all there is to this story, but the link to the court filing is embedded in this item from the Internet site.  It appeared there on Monday sometime — and I thank Brad Robertson for sending it our way.  A story about this was on the Sharps Pixley website yesterday as well, but the link to it wasn’t active, so I couldn’t include it here.

Venezuela seeks to repatriate $550 million of gold from Britain, sources tell Reuters

Venezuela is seeking to repatriate about $550 million in gold bars from the Bank of England because of fears it could be caught up in international sanctions on the country, two sources with direct knowledge of the effort told Reuters.

Venezuela’s hard currency holdings have dwindled as existing U.S. financial sanctions have effectively blocked President Nicolas Maduro’s government from borrowing on international markets.

The Trump administration on Thursday issued a new round of sanctions banning U.S. citizens from having dealings with anyone involved in “corrupt or deceptive” gold sales from Venezuela, as part of efforts to boost pressure on Maduro.

Maduro’s government is seeking to bring 14 tonnes of gold held in the Bank of England back to Venezuela, according to two public officials with direct knowledge of the operation, who asked not to be identified.

This Reuters story, filed from Caracas, appeared on their Internet site at 6:09 a.m. EST on Monday morning — and I found it embedded in a GATA dispatch.  Another link to it is here.

Touting transparency in gold, ex-central banker is contradicted by IMF, BIS, and her own successor

Writing in the October edition of The Alchemist, the magazine of the London Bullion Market Association, former French central bank official Isabelle Strauss-Kahn acknowledges that central bank officials notice and are sensitive to complaints that they are manipulating the gold market. She also claims that central bank operations in the gold market have become more transparent, as if she doesn’t know how secretive those operations remain, even at her own former employer.

Strauss-Kahn, who joined the Banque de France in 1995 and was its director of market operations from 2003 to 2008, writes: “In 1995 I was invited to speak at a conference in New York organized by an investment bank. The price of gold was around $380 per ounce at the time and the market was quite bearish. My speech was not controversial and presented the stance of the Banque de France as a big and conservative holder of gold, but it triggered passionate reactions and debates within the audience.”

I could feel the anxiety and opposing views of producers and investment banks, which were all scrutinizing central banks’ behavior. Some were even accusing the authorities of manipulating the market.

The Banque de France,” Gautier replied, “does not make public the management of its foreign exchange reserves. Furthermore, we very seldom give interviews.”

Even so the bank’s former director of operations is permitted to write articles celebrating central banking’s supposed transparency in the gold market.  Thus Strauss-Kahn’s article is largely propaganda and disinformation.

While the London Bullion Market Association’s magazine is named The Alchemist, its alchemy is of a different sort, the sort of alchemy undertaken by modern central banking itself: not to turn lead into gold, as the alchemists of old sought to do, but to turn gold into mere paper.

Strauss-Kahn’s article is headlined “Removing the Cloak from Central Bank Gold Operations“.  The link to the pdf file that contains the story is at the bottom of this GATA dispatch from yesterday — and once it downloads, if you have to scroll down a bit before you’ll find it.  Another link to this GATA dispatch is here.


Today’s ‘critter’ is the Clark’s nutcracker…a bird I’ve featured before, but it’s been many years.  It is ashy-grey all over except for the black-and-white wings and central tail feathers (the outer ones are white). The bill, legs and feet are also black. This bird derives its name from the explorer William Clark. It can be seen in western North America from British Columbia and western Alberta in the north, to Baja California and central New Mexico in the south.  Click to enlarge.


I wouldn’t read much of anything into the price action in either silver or gold yesterday — and I still consider it to be of the ‘care and maintenance’ variety — and they certainly aren’t being allowed to trade freely.  Of course with gold volume the lightest I can remember, it was pretty easy for anyone with an agenda to guide its price in any direction they wanted, I was somewhat surprised by the volume in silver, but with silver closing lower for the second day in a row after its ‘rally’ on Thursday, it’s certainly possible that the Managed Money traders were more active than usual in response to that.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals.  Palladium is on the rise again — and I note that WTIC set another new intraday and closing low yesterday.  The ‘click to enlarge‘ feature only helps with the first four charts.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away — and I note that the gold price crept quietly lower until around 1 p.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday — and then began to edge unsteadily higher — and is up 10 cents currently.  The silver price was down a penny by a few minutes after 1 p.m. CST and, like gold, rallied a bit from there — and is up 4 cents the ounce at the moment.  Platinum didn’t do much until minutes after 1 p.m. CST in Far East trading — and it headed higher from there as well — and is up 4 bucks.  The palladium price was down 5 dollars by noon in Shanghai, but was back to unchanged by shortly before 3 p.m. over there.  It was sold down from that juncture — and is down 3 dollars as Zurich opens.

Net HFT gold volume is very quiet…creeping up on 25,000 contracts — and there’s only 131 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.  Net HFT silver volume is about 8,900 contracts — and there’s only 105 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal. 

The dollar index began to crawl higher once trading began at 6:00 p.m. EST in New York on Monday evening — and was up about 12 basis points by 1 p.m. CST on their Tuesday afternoon.  It had given all of that back, plus a bit more by around 3:15 p.m. CST, but is a bit higher since — and is currently up only 3 basis points as of 7:30 a.m. GMT in London.

Today, at the close of COMEX trading, is the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report — and companion Bank Participation Report.  With only 4 price dojis to look at currently from the above charts, I would think it’s a very safe bet that there will be increases in the commercial net short positions in all four precious metals…all of that in response to the big rallies on Thursday.  But with one more day left to go, I’ll reserve final judgement for my Wednesday missive.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:04 a.m. EDT, I see that gold is up a $2.70 an ounce as the first hour of London trading draws to a close.  Silver hasn’t been allowed to do too much — and is up 5 cents.  Platinum is still up 5 dollars, but palladium is now down 4 as the first hour of Zurich trading comes to an end.

Gross gold volume is now up to around 38,000 contracts — and net of roll-over/switch volume, HFT gold volume is just under 35,000 contracts.  Net HFT silver volume is now up about 12,200 contracts — and there’s still only 132 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that. It certainly looks like these tiny rallies in both silver and gold are running into the usual ‘opposition’.

The dollar index crept unsteadily lower in the last hour of trading before the London open — and right on the 8:00 a.m. GMT dot, the dollar index was turned higher — but is now down 4 basis points as of 8:30 a.m. over there.

With the very divisive mid-term elections in the U.S. today, expect anything as far as precious metal prices are concerned.  But unless today is the day the JPMorgan lets precious metal prices fly, I expect that they’ll be at battle stations all day long where required.

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