Russia Produced 314 Tonnes of Gold in 2018

15 February 2019 — Friday

YESTERDAY in GOLD, SILVER, PLATINUM and PALLADIUM


The gold price was higher by two dollars and change by 10 a.m. China Standard Time on their Thursday morning — and then it didn’t do much until a few minutes after London opened.  It was sold lower from there — and the low tick of the day was set a few minutes before 1 p.m. GMT in London, which was a bit over half an hour before trading began on the COMEX in New York.  It jumped higher by a handful of dollars at that point, but obviously ran into ‘something’ shortly before 9 a.m. EST — and was then sold a bit lower by 10:45 a.m.  It edged higher until 1 p.m. EST, was sold down into the 1:30 p.m. COMEX close from that point — and crawled a bit higher in the thinly-traded after-hours market.

The low and high ticks aren’t really worth looking up, but here they are anyway…$1,304.70 and $1,317.40 in the April contract…yet another day where gold was forced to trade in a one percent price range.

Gold finished the Thursday session at $1,312.30 spot, up $6.40 from Wednesday’s close.  Net volume was back to a bit over average…at bit over 219,500 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume was a hair under 9,500 contracts on top of that.

Generally speaking, silver was forced to follow the same price path as gold on Thursday.  From its 12:50 p.m. London low, it rallied unevenly higher until shortly before 2 p.m. in after-hours trading in New York.  It traded flat into the 5:00 p.m. EST close from there.

The high and low ticks in this precious metal were recorded as $16.65 and $15.445 in the March contract.

Silver finished the day in New York at $15.59 spot, up 6 cents from Wednesday’s close.  Net volume was pretty decent at 68,000 contracts — and there was a hair under 13,000 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume out of March and into future months.

Ditto for platinum, except its low tick of the day came shortly before the Zurich close.  From that juncture it headed higher until 1 p.m. EST in New York trading — and was sold off a bit into the COMEX close from there.  It didn’t do much of anything in after-hours trading.  Platinum was closed at $786 spot, up one whole dollar from Wednesday.

Palladium was up nine bucks by the Zurich open — and then traded pretty flat until 1 p.m. Central European Time [CET] on their Thursday afternoon.  It was sold quietly and unevenly lower from there, culminating in another of its patented and vicious down/up price spikes shortly before the equity markets opened in New York yesterday morning.  From that point it traded flat until shortly before the Zurich close.  Then, like platinum, it began to edge quietly but steadily higher — and appeared to run into ‘something’ the moment it broke above $1,400 spot shortly before 3 p.m. in the very thinly-traded after-hours market — and it didn’t do a lot after that.  Palladium finished the Thursday session in New York at $1,399 spot, up 19 dollars on the day, but would have obviously closed higher, if allowed.

The dollar index closed very late on Wednesday afternoon in New York at 97.13 — and jumped up a handful of basis points once trading began at 7:45 p.m. EST/8:45 a.m. China Standard Time on their Thursday morning.  From that juncture it began to crawl quietly lower — and was most likely saved by the usual ‘gentle hands’ once it touched the 97.00 mark at precisely 3:00 p.m. CST on their Thursday afternoon. The rally back above unchanged started shortly after that, but at 8:30 a.m. in New York it plunged back below the 97.00 mark once again — and was rescued once again.  ‘Gentle hands’ rallied it back above unchanged — and that attempt died at 10:42 a.m. EST — and it was back below the 97.00 mark by around 2 p.m.  Once again it was lifted above that mark, but it didn’t last — and it closed at 96.98…down 15 basis points from Wednesday.

It was obvious — and the chart below says it all, that the dollar index would have crashed and burned without the usual assistance.

There are no markets anymore, only interventions.”

Here’s the DXY chart courtesy of Bloomberg once again.  Click to enlarge.

Here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart courtesy of stockcharts.com — and the delta between its close…96.81…and the close on the DXY chart above, was 17 basis points on Thursday.  Click to enlarge.

The gold stocks opened down a hair, but quickly rallied into positive territory — and their respective highs came at 1 p.m. EST in New York trading, when gold hit its high of the day.  From there they didn’t do much, expect they did fade at titch in the last hour.  The HUI closed higher by 1.24 percent.

The silver equities followed a very similar price path as the gold shares, except their respective high ticks came a very few minutes after 2 p.m. and, like their golden brethren, faded a hair in the last hour, as the day traders sold their positions.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed up 1.39 percent.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

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

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that an eye-opening 928 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Monday.

In gold, the only short/issuer that mattered was Citigroup with 927 contracts issued out of its in-house/proprietary trading account.  The only long/stopper that mattered was JPMorgan, as they picked up 689 contracts for their client account, plus another 127 contracts for their own account…816 contracts in total.  In very distant second place was Advantage, with 88 contracts for their client account.

The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Thursday trading session showed that gold open interest in February rose a whopping 837 contracts, leaving 1,420 still around, minus the 928 contracts mentioned a few paragraphs ago.  All of that amount, plus more, was issued by Citigroup yesterday.  Wednesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 8 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 8+837=845 more gold contracts just got added to the February delivery month.  Silver o.i. in February fell by 28 contracts, leaving just 1 still open.  Wednesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 28 silver contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so the change in open interest — and the deliveries match.


There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday.  And after five consecutive withdrawals from SLV, there was finally a deposit, as an authorized participant added 422,119 troy ounces.

There  was another [smallish] sales report from the U.S. Mint on Thursday.  They sold 1,500 troy ounces of gold eagles — 500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes — 400 one-ounce platinum eagles — and 100,000 silver eagles.

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

But there was certainly decent activity in silver, as 1,011,472 troy ounces was received — and 705,555 troy ounces were shipped out.  In the ‘in’ category, one truckload…589,427 troy ounces…arrived at CNT — and the remaining 422,044 troy ounces found a home over at HSBC USA.  The link to that is here.

Once again, there wasn’t all that much activity over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Wednesday.  They didn’t receive any — and shipped out 201 of them.  This activity was at Brink’s, Inc. of course — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.


The Treasure of Osztrópataka (today Ostrovany, northeastern Slovakia), is an East Germanic burial site dating to the late 3rd century. It was discovered in 1790 and is displayed today in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria. Further contents of the burial discovered in 1865 are located at the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest, Hungary. The treasure includes Germanic and above all Roman objects, and probably belonged to an influential Vandalic king from around 270 – 290. It is considered to be one of the most important early-historical findings from Slovakia. Click to enlarge.

I have a decent number of stories for you today.


CRITICAL READS

U.S. Retail Sales Collapse in December: Biggest Drop in a Decade

While Bank of America had warned investors to brace for a dismal retail spending print in January, expectations remained positive (albeit just a 0.1% MoM move) for December’s (delayed due to shutdown) official spending data today. As a reminder, on Tuesday we reported that retail sales ex-autos, as measured by the aggregated BAC credit and debit card data, tumbled 0.3% month-over-month seasonally adjusted in January – the biggest drop in three years. This followed a flat reading in retail sales ex-autos in December.

Turning to the January BAC internal data, in January, spending for 4 out of 14 sectors increased in the month, showing broad-based weakening.

As a reminder, Retail Sales for the Control Group soared in November (+0.9% MoM) so some slowdown was expected; but, the government’s official retail spending data for December confirmed BofA’s concerns and plunged…

  • Headline Retail Sales -1.2% MoM (+0.1% MoM exp)
  • Control Group Retail Sales -1.7% MoM (+0.4% MoM exp)

That is the biggest MoM drop in retail sales since 2009 for the headline — and the biggest drop in the control group since the 9/11 attacks in 2001!…Click to enlarge.

This chart-filled news item was posted on the Zero Hedge website 9:41 a.m. EST on Thursday morning — and I thank Brad Robertson for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.  There was a follow-up ZH story on this later in the day — and it’s headlined “Q4 GDP Estimates Crashing Down After Disastrous Retail Sales” — and that comes courtesy of Brad as well.


A weapon to protect U.S. dollar power“: Russia sanctions bill likely to pass, analysts say

A fresh bill in the U.S. Congress seeks to impose the “harshest-ever” sanctions against Russia over a number of alleged misdeeds – which fits well with America’s strategy of protecting the dollar-based global financial system.

The bill introduced by Senators Lindsey Graham and Bob Menendez is the second attempt to push through the sanctions they favor after the previous version was defeated last year. The measures they suggest vary from declaring the country a state-sponsor of terrorism to torpedoing Russia-involved energy projects (which incidentally compete with American ones) to punishing whoever dares to invest in Russian sovereign debt.

If passed, the bill will certainly hurt the Russian economy to some degree, but less so than it would have done a few years ago, believes financier Roberto D’Ambrosio of the Araknos Investment Managers. For one, Russia has built up some resilience in its ongoing confrontation with the West. But more importantly, other global players are increasingly less willing to play along with the American sanctions game, he told RT.

There is unease on this stance by the U.S. worldwide, not only in Russia. Even Europe has shown some uneasiness towards this kind of action against Russia or countries like Iran. Such actions are reducing the possibility for Europe and other areas of the word to diversify their economies, their trade,” he explained. “It could really backfire.”

He said the U.S. uses sanctions against other nations as part of its strategy to protect the current global financial system, in which the U.S. dollar plays a dominating role – and by extension, the U.S. has much power over the international flows of money.

This story appeared on the rt.com Internet site at 7:19 p.m. Moscow time on their Thursday evening, which was 11:19 a.m in Washington — EST plus 8 hours.  I thank Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl for sending it our way — and another link to it is here.


BBC Producer’s Syria Bombshell: Douma “Gas Attack” Footage “Was Staged

Now approaching nearly a year after the April 7, 2018 alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria — which the White House used as a pretext to bomb Syrian government facilities and bases throughout Damascus — a BBC reporter who investigated the incident on the ground has issued public statements saying the “Assad sarin attack” on Douma was indeed “staged“.

Riam Dalati is a well-known BBC Syria producer who has long reported from the region. He shocked his nearly 20,000 twitter followers on Wednesday, which includes other mainstream journalists from major outlets, by stating that after a “six month investigation” he has concluded, “I can prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged.”

The “hospital scene” is a reference to part of the horrid footage played over and over again on international networks showing children in a Douma hospital being hosed off and treated by doctors and White Helmets personnel as victims of the alleged chemical attack.

The BBC‘s Dalati stated on Wednesday: “After almost 6 months of investigations, I can prove without a doubt that the Douma Hospital scene was staged. No fatalities occurred in the hospital.” He noted he had interviewed a number of White Helmets and opposition activists while reaching that conclusion.

He continued in a follow-up tweet: Russia and at least one NATO country knew about what happened in the hospital. Documents were sent. However, no one knew what really happened at the flats apart from activists manipulating the scene there. This is why Russia focused solely on discrediting the hospital scene.

Tragic and gruesome images of what appeared the “gassed” corpses of young children and women strewn about an apartment building, were recycled endlessly in mainstream media at the time, which the Trump administration referenced in its decision to strike Damascus with some 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

This was all bulls hit at the time — and I stated so.  Now this whole thing can be seen for what it is — a completely false-flag incident.  This news story was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 6:20 p.m. EST on Thursday evening — and another link to it is here.


Airbus Shares Soar as Company Ends Production of A380 Superjumbo

Airbus shareholders celebrated on Thursday, bidding the French aerospace company’s shares higher by 4%, after the company announced that it would pull the plug on production of the 12-year-old A380 Superjumbo, the world’s largest passenger jet, the Wall Street Journal reported, as airliners have favored smaller wide-body planes.

The company is taking a $500 million charge in shutdown-related talks, and is in discussions with its unions about how to reapportion staff affected by the cuts. The end of the program could lead to as many as 3,500 job cuts over the next few years.

The decision to end production was made after Emirates reduced its latest order, saying it would accept delivery of only 14 more A380s over the next two years. The Dubai-based airline is cutting its overall A380 fleet size from 162 to 123. The last deliveries of the jets have been set for 2021. In a decision that was symbolic of the issues that threatened the A380 throughout its life, Emirates will instead shift its purchases toward the smaller the A330neo and A350. Airbus isn’t the only manufacturing considering a phase out of its super-jumbo jet: Boeing previously said it could end production of its 747, which is now almost exclusively used to haul cargo.

Emirates isn’t the first airliner to cancel or reduce a major order of A380s recently. Qantas said earlier this week that it would canceled an order, placed in 2006, for eight more A380s. Already, Singapore Airlines Ltd., which launched the first long-haul flight using an A380 back in 2007, has retired its first two A380s. It’s currently in the process of selling the planes for scrap.

Despite its incredible size and design features, I pretty much knew this bird was a dead duck from the day it was rolled out.  To me, it was a “bridge too far” — although it took Airbus twelve years to succumb to the obvious — and the fact that no U.S. airline decided to add it to their fleet, was certainly the final kiss of death.  This Zero Hedge article showed up on their Internet site at 6:46 a.m. on Thursday morning EST — and it’s also courtesy of Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.


Germany Pulls Rank on Macron and American Energy Blackmail — Finian Cunningham

It was billed politely as a Franco-German “compromise” when the EU balked at adopting a Gas Directive which would have undermined the Nord Stream 2 project with Russia.

Nevertheless, diplomatic rhetoric aside, Berlin’s blocking last week of a bid by French President Emmanuel Macron to impose tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 gas project was without doubt a firm rebuff to Paris.

Macron wanted to give the E.U. administration in Brussels greater control over the new pipeline running from Russia to Germany. But in the end the so-called “compromise” was a rejection of Macron’s proposal, reaffirming Germany in the lead role of implementing the Nord Stream 2 route, along with Russia.

The $11-billion, 1,200 kilometer pipeline is due to become operational at the end of this year. Stretching from Russian mainland under the Baltic Sea, it will double the natural gas supply from Russia to Germany. The Berlin government and German industry view the project as a vital boost to the country’s ever-robust economy. Gas supplies will also be distributed from Germany to other European states. Consumers stand to gain from lower prices for heating homes and businesses.

Thus Macron’s belated bizarre meddling was rebuffed by Berlin. A rebuff was given too to the stepped-up pressure from Washington for the Nord Stream 2 project to be cancelled. Last week, US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell and two other American envoys wrote an op-ed for Deutsche Welle in which they accused Russia of trying to use “energy blackmail” over Europe’s geopolitics.

A definite “up yours” to the U.S. deep state.  This very worthwhile article put in an appearance on the strategic-culture.org Internet site on Wednesday sometime — and it’s definitely worth reading if you have the interest.  I thank Roy Stephens for pointing it out — and another link to it is here.


Pence Berates E.U. at Warsaw Over “SWIFT Alternative” — Demands Allies “Confront Iran

Speaking at the U.S.-sponsored Warsaw summit on the Middle East, Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday railed against European efforts to circumvent American sanctions on Iran, and crucially as Bloomberg concludes, his speech confirms the “U.S. and its oldest allies across the Atlantic are becoming estranged.”

He slammed European efforts to “break American sanctions against Iran’s murderous revolutionary regime” — a theme also repeated by Pompeo and Israeli P.M. Netanyahu on the same day.

Pence specifically reprimanded the U.K., France, and Germany for launching a so-called “SWIFT alternative” or special purpose vehicle to allow non-dollar trade with Tehran and to facilitate humanitarian goods-related transactions, called INSTEX — or “Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges“. Europe sees it as a crucial step in keeping the 2015 nuclear deal alive after Washington was able to pressure the Belgium-based SWIFT financial messaging service to cut off the access of Iranian banks last year.

They call this scheme a ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’,” Pence said, as cited by Bloomberg. “We call it an effort to break American sanctions against Iran’s murderous revolutionary regime.’’ The Paris-based INSTEX initiative represents the most concrete action Europe has taken to directly thwart Washington sanctions.

We call it an ill-advised step that will only strengthen Iran, weaken the EU and create still more distance between Europe and America,’’ Pence said. Though many observers have predicted the issue would come to a head, this is the first time a top U.S. leader has stood in Europe berating allies over offering Iran sanctions relief. Tehran for its part has said it’s not enough, though a minimal beginning by the E.U.

This story put in an appearance on the Zero Hedge website at 12:05 p.m. EST on Thursday afternoon — and I thank Brad Robertson for this one as well.  Another link to it is here.


‘Flash Boys’-Style Speed Bump Planned for [Gold and Silver] Futures Markets

Intercontinental Exchange Inc.’s futures market wants to join the battle against the fastest traders.

The Atlanta-based exchange plans a 3-millisecond trading delay, or speed bump, for its gold and silver futures contracts, according to a regulatory filing. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Wednesday asked for public comment on the proposal.

Michael Lewis’s 2014 book, “Flash Boys,” popularized the idea of using speed bumps to curb the light-speed pace of modern financial markets and prevent alleged abuses of so-called high-frequency traders. Lewis’s protagonists, the founders of IEX Group Inc., introduced a delay on their stock exchange in 2016, and a tiny equities market ICE owns, NYSE American, also has one. But this latest move would bring a speed bump to derivatives markets.

The delay would be introduced “initially” for gold and silver, areas where ICE currently does very little business. An ICE spokesman declined to say whether it would later be applied to other markets. ICE is a leader in other products such as oil futures.

As the last paragraph states, the ICE doesn’t do much business in the precious metals, as the price is set in the COMEX futures market in New York.  This story was posted on the Bloomberg website at 1:11 p.m. EST on Wednesday afternoon — and I found it in a GATA dispatch.  Another link to it is here.  The Zero Hedge spin on this is headlined “ICE To Implement “Flash Boys” HFT Speed Bump To Stop Gold, Silver Manipulation” — and I thank ‘Michael G’ for sending it along.


Will Gold Shine In 2019? —  Dennis Miller

Several experts, who are not in the gold business, recently suggested gold will be a good investment in 2019.

Zerohedge reports on David Einhorn’s annual letter to Greenlight Capital shareholders with my emphasis:

Gold – Long – U.S. debt to GDP is over 100%. The…U.S. debt has increased by over $2 trillion…. When the economy eventually slows, the deficit is sure to expand rapidly, possibly catastrophically. The politicians say deficits don’t matter. …. History says otherwise. Gold continues to be a hedge in our portfolio to imprudent global fiscal and monetary policies.”

The Aden Forecast, a highly respected newsletter, tells us: “GOLD’S TURN TO SHINE – This too will likely continue this year, especially if the U.S. dollar also heads lower. If so, gold will get a double boost and it’ll shine as the world’s safe haven. For a number of reasons, we believe that’s what’s coming up… Already, gold hit a 6½ month high, mostly thanks to its safe haven status during these volatile times.

Since the bank bailouts, pundits have predicted rising inflation with gold rising like a shooting star. It has not happened. Kitco reports the gold price on 12/31/2017 was $1,291/oz. It closed in 2018 at $1,279/oz.

Our gold expert is Jeff Clark, senior precious metals editor at GoldSilver.com.

Of course all of what these so-called precious metals ‘analysts’ conveniently never mention is the fact that gold and silver prices are set on the COMEX futures market — and their prices have been actively managed for the past 45 years…with JPMorgan et al the latest bunch of crooks running the show.  This interview was posted on his website early on Thursday morning — and another link to it is here.


Russia says its gold output rose to 314 tonnes in 2018

Russia’s Finance Ministry said on Wednesday that Russia had produced 314.42 tonnes of gold and 1,119.95 tonnes of silver in 2018.

In the previous year, Russia’s gold output was 306.9 tonnes and the country’s silver output 1,044.3 tonnes.

That increase in tonnage puts Russia firmly in No. 2 spot in world gold production.  The above two paragraphs are all there is to this very brief Reuters story, filed from Moscow on Wednesday sometime.  I found it on the Sharps Pixley website.


South Africa’s Sibanye Weighs Slashing 6,000 Jobs to Stem Gold Losses

South African miner Sibanye-Stillwater said it may have to cut nearly 6,000 jobs as part of a restructuring of its gold mines due to ongoing losses.

Sibanye said it would enter into formal consultations with its workforce following “numerous initiatives to contain losses” at certain shafts at its Beatrix and Driefontein gold mining operations.

The talks come following strikes and a number of deaths at Sibanye’s deep-shaft gold mining operations last year.

The company said it may have to cut roughly 5,870 jobs and 800 contractors depending on the outcome of the formal consultation. Sibanye employs around 61,000 people in South Africa.

Contemplating potential restructuring of this nature is never taken lightly and we are aware of the possible impact on many of our colleagues,” Neal Froneman, chief executive of Sibanye, said. “Our best attempts to address the ongoing losses at these operations, have, however, been unsuccessful and sustaining these losses may threaten the viability of our other operations.” …

The rest of this gold-related news item is behind the subscription wall over at the Financial Times of London.  What you see above is posted in the clear on the gata.org Internet site.  Chris Powell posted it there very shortly after midnight on Friday morning EST — and another link to it is here.


When trouble strikes, where should you hide? The case for gold — The Economist

Tellingly, the managers of those rainy-day funds seem a mite concerned that they are crammed into the same spot. The share of dollars in the $10.7 trillion of reserves reported to the IMF has dropped from over 65 percent when Donald Trump was elected president to below 62 percent in the latest figures. This may in part be a response to growing political risks.

The dollar’s central role in global trade and finance allows America to impose financial sanctions to great effect. It has been doing so with greater frequency, so Russia, for instance, has drastically cut the dollar share of its reserves, to 22 percent, while raising the shares of euros and yuan. Russia has been a big buyer of gold, too. In that, it is not alone. Net purchases of gold by central banks rose by 74 percent last year to the highest since 1971, the year the dollar’s peg to the gold price broke.

Now, as then, there are growing concerns that the dollar is a crowded trade. It is as if there are so many people in Grand Central Station that it is impossible to find the person you’re supposed to meet there, or if you do find them, you cannot fight your way out without mishap. It is why gold is starting to appeal again as a spot to converge upon. You would have to mix with some strange people there. But can you really say that you would never visit?

Wow!  Two days ago it was Ken Rogoff and his “The Curse of Cash and the Allure of Gold” article — and now this from The Economist.  This is yet another straw in the wind, and it’s a pretty big one at that.  This gold-related news item appeared on their Internet site yesterday sometime.  But since it’s subscriber protected, it was posted in the clear in its entirety at the gata.org Internet site yesterday evening — and another link to it is here.


The PHOTOS and the FUNNIES

Here are two more photos from the “Ocean Art” series that I thank Mike Easton for sending our way.

The photo credit for this first picture goes to Jeff Milisen in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i  — and it’s captioned “A rare glimpse at a sharp-eared enope squid”.  Click to enlarge.

This second photo was taken by Alessandro Raho — and is captioned “A rare glimpse of the Budego/Monkfish“.  Click to enlarge.


The WRAP

I wouldn’t read too much into Thursday’s price action in the precious metals.  They were all sold lower in London and Zurich trading — and then rallied in New York during the COMEX trading session.

The two biggest surprises for me on Thursday were the big deliveries by Citigroup in gold…issuing out of their in-house/proprietary trading account.  But the fact that JPMorgan was the big stopper came as no surprise.  They are, as Ted Butler has said on many occasions, in charge of what goes on in both gold and silver — and I’m sure he’ll have something to say about it in his weekly review on Saturday.

The other surprise was the article about gold in The Economist yesterday — and if you didn’t read it in the Critical Reads section above, you can make amends now, as another link to it is here.

This is the second big straw in the wind from two sources in the last couple of days that wouldn’t normally touch gold with a ten-foot cattle prod.  I’m wondering what that’s all about — and what it really means.   When two positive stories show up about gold from the most unlikely of sources, it’s time to stand up and take notice.  One has to now wonder if there are going to be any more stories on this subject from equally unlikely sources.

Here are the 6-month charts for the Big 6 commodities and, once again, there’s not a lot to see.  However, I will point out that the post-COMEX low closes in the four precious metals on Wednesday, showed up in their respective Thursday dojis.  Click to enlarge for all.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away — and I note that the gold price traded flat once it began at 6:00 p.m. EST in New York on Thursday evening. That lasted until a few minutes before 2 p.m. China Standard Time on their Friday afternoon — and at that point it edged a bit higher over the next hour — and is currently up $1.50 an ounce. Silver was down a nickel by 9:30 a.m. CST — and also traded flat from there until the 2:15 p.m. afternoon gold fix in Shanghai. It rallied a small handful of pennies at that juncture — and is back at unchanged. Platinum followed silver’s price path almost to the tick — and it’s down 2 bucks currently. Palladium was down a bit in morning trading in the Far East, but was back at the unchanged mark by around noon CST — and it hasn’t done much of anything since — and is down a dollar as Zurich opens.

Net HFT gold volume is pretty light at a bit over 28,500 contracts — and there’s only 434 contract worth of roll-over/switch volume in that precious metal. Net HFT silver volume is pretty light as well, at a bit over 6,700 contracts — and there’s 837 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.

The dollar index jumped up 8 basis points — and back above the 97.00 mark as soon as trading began at 7:45 a.m. EST in New York on Thursday evening…8:45 a.m. China Standard Time on their Friday morning. It chopped quietly sideways from there until it dipped back dangerously close to the 97.00 mark around 3:05 p.m. CST — and has ‘rallied’ a bit since. As of 7:45 a.m. GMT in London, it’s up 16 basis points.

We get another COT Report today…this one will be for positions held at the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.  I’m expecting improvements in the commercial net short positions in both gold and silver, based on what the charts show above during that reporting week.  But one should not bet much money on that prediction, as my predictions have been pretty lousy lately…in both precious metals.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:02 a.m. EST, I see that gold is up $2.20 the ounce — and silver is now up 2 cents. Platinum is back at unchanged. But palladium, which had poked its nose above the $1,400 spot mark minutes after 3 p.m. CST, has been sold lower since — and is now down 4 bucks.

Gross gold volume is a bit over 37,000 contracts — and minus what little roll-over/switch volume there is, net HFT gold volume is a bit over 36,000 contracts. Net HFT silver volume is a bit over 8,500 contracts — and there’s 1,132 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal.

The dollar index has been bouncing around a bit during the first hour of London trading — and as of 8:45 a.m. GMT/9:45 a.m. CET, it’s up 16 basis points.

That’s it for yet another day.  Have a good weekend — and I’ll see you here on Saturday.

Ed