The Precious Metals Engineered Lower in Price Again

05 March 2019 — Tuesday


The gold price was up a couple of dollars a few minutes after the market opened at 6:00 p.m. EST in New York on Sunday evening — and then it chopped quietly sideways until around 1 p.m. China Standard Time on their Monday morning.  One of Ted’s “midnight moves” began at that point — and the price was sold quietly lower until 9 a.m. in London.  From there the price chopped quietly sideways until a few minutes before 9 a.m. in New York — and was then sold down to its low tick of the day at the afternoon gold fix.  It crawled higher until exactly 12:00 o’clock noon EST — and then it crawled quietly lower until trading ended at 5:00 p.m. in New York.

The high and low ticks were recorded as $1,298.10 and $1,283.80 in the April contract.

Gold was closed in New York yesterday at $1,286.40 spot, down $6.50 on the day — and a new low for this move down.  Net volume was pretty decent at a bit under 250,500 contracts — and there was a bit over 21,000 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.

Silver was up about 6 cents by noon in Shanghai on their Monday — and after that, ‘da boyz’ guided silver’s price in a very similar manner as they did for gold from that point onwards.

The high and low ticks in this precious metal were reported by the CME Group as $15.295 and $15.075 in the May contract.

Silver was closed on Monday at $15.06 spot…down 12.5 cents from Friday.  Net HFT volume was very heavy at a bit over 87,000 contracts — and there was around 4,650 contract worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal.

Platinum’s descent to its low tick at the afternoon gold fix in London was virtually the same as it was for silver and gold — and after the ‘fix was in’, the price didn’t do much after that.  Platinum was closed at $834 spot, down a chunky 23 dollars from Friday.

Palladium was up 13 bucks by 1 p.m. in Shanghai on their Monday afternoon — and it was sold quietly but unevenly lower from there, culminating in another one of those patented down/up price spikes that came minutes before 12 o’clock noon in New York.  It gained all of that price spike back within the next three hours, but then had another brief down/up price spike going into the 5:00 p.m. EST close of trading.  Palladium was closed at $1,512 spot, down 13 dollars on the day.

The dollar index closed very late on Friday afternoon in New York at 96.53 — and opened down 19 basis points once trading began at 6:30 p.m. EST on Sunday evening.  It edged quietly higher until around 3:15 p.m. China Standard Time on their Monday afternoon.  At that point the rally became a little more serious — and it chopped unsteadily higher until the 96.81 high tick was set around 10:35 a.m. in New York.  From that juncture it edged unevenly lower until trading ended around 5:30 p.m. EST — and finished the Monday session at  96.68…up 15 basis points from Friday’s close.

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

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart, courtesy of — and the delta between its close…96.61…and the close on the DXY chart above, was 7 basis points on Monday.  Click to enlarge.

The gold shares gapped down a bit at the 9:30 open of the equity markets in New York on Monday  morning — and hit their respective lows a few minutes after 10 a.m. EST.  A very few minutes after that they began to head higher — and that positive price path continued right into the 4:00 p.m. EST close of trading.  The HUI finished up 1.08 percent — and on its high tick of the day.

It was mostly the same for the silver equities, although their post-10 a.m. EST rally ran out of gas an hour later — and they were sold lower until shortly before 1 p.m. in New York trading.  They began to power higher from that juncture — and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed down only 0.10 percent.  Call it unchanged on the day.  Click to enlarge.

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

Needless to say, I was very pleased that the precious metal stocks did well yesterday, as there was obviously some serious bottom fishing going on — and these newly-purchased shares now reside in the strongest of hands.

The CME Daily Delivery Report for Day 4 of March deliveries showed that 19 gold and 108 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Wednesday.

In gold, there were three short/issuers in total.  The two largest were Advantage and JPMorgan, with 9 and 6 contracts out of their respective client accounts.  They were also the two largest long/stoppers, picking up 12 and 4 contracts for their respective client accounts as well.

In silver, the only two short/issuers that mattered were ABN Amro and Advantage, with 50 and 48 contracts out of their respective client accounts.  Of the five long/stoppers in total, the two biggest were JPMorgan, with 60 in total…23 for its own account, plus 37 for clients — and Advantage, with 34 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 March fell by 40 contracts, leaving 143 still around, minus the 19 contracts mentioned a few paragraphs ago.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 52 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 52-44=8 more gold contracts were just added to the March delivery month.  Silver o.i. in March declined by 279 contracts, leaving 845 still open, minus the 108 contracts mentioned a few paragraphs ago.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 351 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 351-279=72 more silver contracts were just added to March.

There was another pretty decent withdrawal from GLD yesterday, as an authorized participant took out 188,937 troy ounces.  And an authorized participant…most likely JPMorgan…removed 870,796 troy ounces of silver from SLV 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, March 1 — and this is what they had to report.  Both ETFs added small amounts of metal…their gold ETF by 1,075 troy ounces — and their silver ETF by 7,877 troy ounces.

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

There was a bit of activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Friday.  They didn’t receive any, but 44,944 troy ounces was shipped out of HSBC USA.  The link to that is here.

It was certainly busier in silver, as 1,201,354 troy ounces…two truck loads…were received — and all of that ended up at CNT.  There was 306,581 troy ounces shipped out…of which 299,629 troy ounces departed Brink’s, Inc. — and the remaining 6,952 troy ounces left Delaware.  There was also 589,082 troy ounces that was transferred from the Eligible category — and into Registered.  That occurred at CNT as well — and is certainly destined for delivery in March.  A link to this activity is here.

The only activity over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Friday was 1 kilobar…32.151 troy ounces…that departed Brink’s, Inc. — and I won’t bother linking that amount.

Here are the usual two charts that I get from Nick every weekend — and because I had so many charts from him last week, these didn’t make the cut…so there’s two weeks worth of new data on them.

They show the total gold and silver holdings in all known depositories, mutual funds and ETFs as of the close of business on Friday March 1.  For the week just past, there was 130,580 troy ounces of gold taken out — and in silver, there was a tiny 15,260 troy ounces added.  Click to enlarge for both.

I have an average number of stories for you today.


Trump Says Dollar Too Strong in Renewed Criticism of Powell

President Donald Trump said Saturday that the U.S. dollar is too strong and took a swipe at Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell as someone who “likes raising interest rates.”

The dollar was quoted lower against the euro and the yen in early Asia-Pacific trading hours on Monday after Trump’s comments.

The U.S. economy is doing well despite the actions of the central bank, Trump said during a wide-ranging speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.

I want a strong dollar but I want a dollar that does great for our country, not a dollar that’s so strong that it makes it prohibitive for us to do business with other nations and take their business,” Trump said Saturday.

He didn’t mention Powell by name, but referenced “a gentleman that likes raising interest rates in the Fed, we have a gentleman that loves quantitative tightening in the Fed, we have a gentleman that likes a very strong dollar in the Fed.”

This Bloomberg story was posted on their Internet site on Saturday morning Pacific Standard Time — and updated about twenty-six hours later.  I found it embedded in a GATA dispatch — and another link to it is here.

The Return of the Deodand — Jeff Thomas

In 1066, my family were centred in Somerset, England, where, if a horse ran over and killed someone, or a boat capsized, and caused a drowning, that horse or boat was given over to the victim’s family, under “noxal surrender.”

Alternatively, if an animal or object were responsible for the death of a person other than its owner, it could be taken and sold, and the proceeds passed to the family of the deceased.

One can see the purpose here – to provide some sort of compensation for those aggrieved.
However, as readers will know, the Normans came over to the British Isles in 1066 and conquered much of England.

Subsequently, the practice of noxal surrender was formalized into English common law and enforced by the state.

And, of course, as we know, when the state takes charge of anything, no matter how insignificant, it eventually finds a way to turn that power into a means of state profit.

This longish, but very interesting commentary from Jeff appeared on the Internet site on Monday morning — and another link to it is here.

Switzerland’s Controversial 1,000-Franc Note Is Getting a New Look

At jeweller Les Millionnaires, tucked away in the historic old town of Zurich, being handed a 1,000-franc bill ($1,002) to settle a purchase is no unusual event.

It’s quite frequent that we’ve got someone who comes in looking for a present and who pays in cash because they don’t want their partner to find out, “ said one of the proprietors of the shop, which sells earrings, necklaces and bracelets made of gold with precious stones. “It’s the surprise effect.”

True to Switzerland’s penchant for discretion — one reason cash has remained popular in the generally tech-savvy country even as its use is dwindling elsewhere — she declines to give her name. “Here in our shop, we do get 1,000 franc notes when it’s a very big purchase.”

Along with 10,000-dollar notes in Singapore and Brunei — current exchange rate for both is about $7,400 — the top Swiss denomination is one of the world’s most valuable. A revamped design is due to be unveiled on March 5, in defiance of international calls that the bills aid crime and tax evasion.

This rather interesting news item showed up on the Bloomberg website very late on Saturday night PST — and it’s another article I found on the Internet site.  Another link to it is here.

Kyle Bass: Chinese Economy Is a “Mirage

Kyle Bass, founder of Hayman Capital Management, recently spoke with Real Vision to reiterate his concerns about the Chinese economy.

Kyle Bass on China’s dwindling FX reserves:

We think the number is closer to $2 trillion, instead of $3.2 trillion, which is dangerously below adequate levels. The broad measure of credit in China’s financial system is $48 trillion worth of RMB (Chinese Yuan). They only have $2 trillion of reserves… In their last banking crisis, which was between 1998 and 2002, the loss given defaults were 80% of loans that defaulted and at one point in time… 35% of their entire system was non-paying.”

What brings this to a head is the current account. When the current account goes negative and the reserve balance is going the other way (going negative), the rubber meets the road there. As long as that balance is increasing annual along with GDP in RMB terms, they can keep going… Now their fiscal balance is… -9.5%. Their current account balance goes negative, and its a secular negativity, then they have more money leaving then coming in and they have to desperately borrow and now they’re changing their laws. They’re saying ‘You know what? Now Westerners can own more than half of our banks. Not a problem…’ Without Western capital flowing into China, China can’t hold this all together… (Chinese President Xi) has made the West think somehow his economic model is superior to that of Western capitalism and it’s all a facade. The whole thing is a mirage. The whole thing is made up with a printing press, keeping a closed capital account, and hoping the world doesn’t notice it…

This 10:11 minute video clip is a short excerpt from a Real Vision interview.  I found it interesting — and although Kyle is 100 percent correct in what he says, he is talking his book, as he’s massively short their equity market, the yuan, or both.  It was posted on the Internet site on Monday — and I thank Brad Robertson for sending it along.  Another link to it is here.

It Begins: China’s Largest Property Developer Will Sell All Homes at a 10% Discount

Back in 2017, we explained why the “fate of the world economy is in the hands of China’s housing bubble.” The answer was simple: for the Chinese population, and growing middle class, to keep spending vibrant and borrowing elevated, it had to feel comfortable and confident that its wealth would keep rising. However, unlike the U.S. where the stock market is the ultimate barometer of the confidence boosting “wealth effect”, in China it has always been about housing as three quarters of Chinese household assets are parked in real estate, compared to only 28% in the U.S., with the remainder invested in financial assets.

Property accounts for roughly 70 per cent of urban Chinese families’ total assets – a home is both wealth and status. People don’t want prices to increase too fast, but they don’t want them to fall too quickly either,” said Shao Yu, chief economist at Oriental Securities. “People are so used to rising prices that it never occurred to them that they can fall too. We shouldn’t add to this illusion,” Shao added, echoing Ben Bernanke circa 2005.

The bottom line is that just like true price discovery for U.S. capital markets is prohibited (and sees Fed intervention any time there is an even modest, 10-20% drop in asset prices) or else the risk of an all out panic is all too real, in China true price discovery is also not permitted, however when it comes to the country’s all important, and wealth effect boosting, real estate.

Which is a problem, because whereas China suddenly appears to be suffering from all the conventional signs of deflation in the auto retail sector, where as we noted previously, neither lower prices nor easier loans have managed to put a dent the ongoing demand plunge…

… the same ominous price cuts – which are clearly meant to boost flagging demand — are starting to emerge in China’s housing sector.

Case in point, according to China’s Paper, Hui Ka Yan, the Chairman of Evergrande, China’s biggest property developer, and China’s second richest person announced it must ramp up home sales and to do that it would sell all its properties at a 10% discount after its home sales tumbled in January amid a cooling market.

Now that Evergrande is rushing to slash prices, it appears that runaway home prices are no longer a concern for Beijing, and in fact, a far greater concern is how Beijing may intervene to prevent what could soon be a price plunge spiral; many have already speculated that Beijing will have no choice but to bar Evergrande’s sales. If it doesn’t, or if homeowners have already figured out that their home prices are floating in the sky on a bubbly foundation that has now burst, the knock on effect could be devastating as instead of an asset, China’s most popular and aspirational “wealth effect” product could turn into a liability overnight.

If that happens, no amount of intervention by Beijing could stop the avalanche of selling that would ensue, not to mention the deflationary shock wave that a hard landing – i.e. crash – in China’s housing market would launch across the entire world…

No surprises here.  This long but worthwhile chart-filled news story was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 6:56 p.m. EST yesterday evening — and another link to it is here.  Another ZH article about China showed up on their website at  10:35 p.m. last night — and it’s headlined “Deflationary Red Alert: Chinese Car Dealers Are Slashing Prices, and It’s Not Helping“.

Trump Sabotages North Korea Summit to Appease the Hawks — Mike Whitney

The U.S.-North Korea Summit in Hanoi has ended in failure just as all previous attempts at peace have ended in failure. This is by design. Washington has refused to incrementally lift the sanctions on the DPRK because sanctions are Washington’s way of prosecuting an economic war against an enemy who, for the last six and a half decades, has been the target of U.S. hostility.

In case you hadn’t noticed, U.S. policy towards North Korea is regime change, the same as it is towards Iran, Cuba, Russia, Venezuela and any other country that doesn’t accept Washington’s moral superiority and divine right to rule the world. Economic strangulation (sanctions) is just one way that Washington cracks down on the dissidents and imposes its will with an iron fist. But don’t kid yourself, this isn’t about nuclear weapons, in fact, the Trump administration hasn’t even bothered to assemble a team of weapons inspectors to investigate probable nuclear sites. Why? Because it isn’t about nuclear weapons, it’s about regime change, it’s about inflicting maximum pain and suffering on the Korean people so they take up arms against the government and violently depose Kim and his cabinet. That’s the goal. That’s always been the goal. The blocking of heating oil, essential medicines and vital food supplies are all being used to promote social unrest, fratricidal warfare, and political anarchy. Sound familiar? It should, Washington has it down to an art.

Kim Jong Un attended the summit in Hanoi hoping that Trump could be persuaded to keep up his end of the bargain. He hoped that Trump would overrule the warmongering political class and honor the agreement he made in Singapore in June, 2018.

This longish, but very interesting [if you have the interest, that is] commentary appeared on the Internet site last Friday — and I thank Brad Robertson for sharing it with us.  Another link to it is here.  In a parallel story of equal interest…at least in my humble opinion…is this article that appeared on Internet site on Sunday headlined “For Bolton, Diplomatic Success Is Failure — and Failure Is Success” — and I thank Roy Stephens for that one.

Newmont’s board rejects Barrick’s hostile offer

Barrick Gold Corp. plans to proceed with a formal takeover offer for Newmont Mining Corp., undeterred by a rebuff from the target company.

Newmont’s board unanimously rejected Barrick’s $17.8 billion unsolicited proposal, saying it would not be better than Newmont’s previously announced takeover of Goldcorp Inc. Instead, Newmont submitted a joint venture proposal to Barrick that would encompass the two companies’ Nevada operations, saying it would pursue that as well as its Goldcorp takeover.

Barrick is “definitely not” going to withdraw its hostile bid, Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow said Monday in response to the statement and letter Newmont released earlier in the day. Barrick will take its offer to Newmont shareholders, and at the same time will try to advance talks about the possibility of a Nevada joint venture, Bristow said.

Time is of the essence,” he said in a telephone interview, adding that Barrick plans to speak to Newmont “ASAP.”

In response, Newmont spokesman Omar Jabara said by e-mail that “we look forward to hearing back from Barrick on our letter and joint venture proposal.”

Newmont had raised serious doubts about Toronto-based Barrick’s full merger proposal — a hostile all-share no-premium bid — from the day it was made public Feb. 25. The Barrick bid also led to a round of acrimony from both sides. Goldberg characterized Barrick’s bid as “desperate” and “bizarre.” On the same day, Bristow said his team could run Newmont better than Goldberg’s managers: “I have spent a lot of time in Nevada, and I have no doubt that I can do a better job than Newmont.”

This story has had ‘page 1 rewrite’ since it first appeared on the Bloomberg website at 4:43 a.m. PST [Pacific Standard Time] on Monday morning.  It’s had two headline changes…the  first being “Newmont is said to reject Barrick hostile bid as soon as Monday — and the current being “Barrick CEO Vows to Press On With Bid for Newmont After Rebuff“.  The first four paragraphs of the original story can be found in the GATA dispatch linked here — and the current rewrite is linked here.

317 tonnes? That’s just gold for Australian miners

Australia’s gold miners are on fire, producing a record 317 tonnes of the precious metal as jittery investors around the world scramble for the ultimate safe-haven investment.

Last year’s production eclipsed the 314.5 tonnes mined in 1997 and shows the industry has shaken off the malaise of 10 years ago when just 220 tonnes was pulled out of the ground.

Yesterday’s figures from respected gold mining consultants Surbiton Associates are sure to further bolster confidence in a sector which has been at the heart of the WA economy since gold was discovered in Halls Creek in 1885.

The record output last year was worth $17.3 billion at the average spot price,” Surbiton Associates director Sandra Close said.

Production would have been higher had it not been for a slower-than-expected start to the year because of wet weather and a pit wall collapse at Kalgoorlie’s Super Pit.

It took 21 years to break the old calendar year record and the outlook for the near term looks positive,” Dr. Close said.

This gold-related news item put in an appearance on Internet site on Sunday morning ‘down under’ — and it comes to us courtesy of Australian reader Garry Robinson.  Another link to it is here.

Whither peak gold? Australian 2018 output at new record — Lawrie Williams

Predictions of the timing of peak gold (when global annual gold output starts to come down) keep on falling by the wayside and the latest nail in its coffin may well prove to be the apparent rise in last year’s gold output from Australia – currently the world’s No. 2 producer of new mined gold.  There seems to be an ongoing battle for the No. 2 spot between Australia and Russia and figures emanating from both countries suggest that their outputs of gold last year are both still on the upwards path.

We reported here that the Russian Finance Ministry put that nation’s 2018 output at around 314 tonnes and now Australian consultancy, Surbiton Associates, has come up with a report estimating the down-under 2018 figure for gold output was a new annual record of 317 tonnes, keeping it in the No. 2 spot (still just ahead of Russia).  Now the Russian Finance Ministry and Surbiton Associates figures will probably both be a little above the year-end estimates from the two big U.K.-based precious metals consultancies, Metals Focus and GFMS when they publish their assessments in around a month’s time, as we believe they both include categories of gold output not taken into account by the big U.K. consultancies, but regardless new mined output in both nations continues to rise and may carry on doing so for the next couple of years at least.

In Russia both the the country’s largest gold miners (Polyus Gold and Polymetal) are on the expansion trail while Australia’s future output growth also looks to be positive. Indeed Dr Sandra Close, a director of Surbiton Assoiciates, comments  “It took 21 years to break the old calendar year record and the outlook for the near term looks positive but of course there can always be surprises,” she said. “Following a fall to just 220 tonnes in calendar 2008, the industry has bounced back, helped in part by the weakening of the Australian dollar against the U.S. dollar, as it has fallen from around parity to near U.S. 70 cents in the last decade.”

This commentary from Lawrie appeared on the Sharps Pixley website on Sunday sometime — and another link to it is here.

Unique 98.8 carat diamond unearthed in Russia’s Far North

Russian-based world leader in diamond mining, Alrosa, has mined a gem-quality diamond weighing almost 100 carats at its deposit in the northeastern region of Yakutia. It is the second-largest gem ever found at the facility.

The diamond, which has an octahedral shape, was found at the Zapolyarnaya kimberlite pipe, which is the part of the Verkhne-Munskoye diamond deposit, on February 17. Despite having some inclusions, the rough diamond is transparent with a visible yellow shade.

The recently mined trove proves that the diamond mine in Yakutia, which is Alrosa’s largest investment project, has great potential, according to the company.

This brief, but interesting 2-photo story showed up on the Internet site at 9:59 a.m. on Sunday morning Moscow time, which was 1:59 a.m. in New York — EST plus 8 hours.  I thank Larry Galearis for finding it for us — and another link to it is here.


It may seem hard to believe that these next three shots were taken less than three miles/5 kilometers from downtown Lillooet…the photos that were featured in Saturday’s missive.  Seton Lake is tucked out of sight between and behind the two big mountains just west of the town.  It’s a freshwater fjord draining east via the Seton River into the Fraser River at the town.  It’s about 22 km long and 243 meters in elevation — and 26.2 square kilometres in area. Its depth is 460 meters/1,500 feet. The lake is natural in origin but was raised slightly as part of the Bridge River Power Project.  It’s a jewel set in a stunning vista — and the first two photos hardly do it justice.  The third photo was taken on the highway around the lake just outside of town — and is the northern access to Vancouver via Whistler.  That road trip is on my bucket list of things to do when spring/summer arrives.  Click to enlarge.


It was the second day in a row where the powers-that-be were very active in the Dow — and the precious metals.  The Dow was turned higher around 1:10 p.m. EST — and the precious metals ran into more of Ted’s “night moves” in the thinly-traded afternoon trading session in the Far East.  It was all down hill for them from there going into the afternoon gold fix in London…with the exception being palladium, where it ran into ‘something’ a few minutes before noon in New York.

Quoting Bill King from his King Report for today…”stocks tanked on Monday despite the WSJ story that many operators believe was another leak from Team Mnuchin.  Perhaps, enough is enough with the U.S.-China trade deal hope and hype stories.  They not only appear regularly, but seem to be released quite often on Sunday night near the time when the equity futures begin trading.  Please note that over the past few weeks, when stocks are down sharply in the morning, someone appeared at midday or the early afternoon and forced ESHs higher.”

And as reader Mark Barooshian said in an e-mail to me yesterday…”Is this orchestrated sell-off over in the metals?… Why is it always baby steps up — and freight train on the way down?”  The answer to the first question is…I don’t know,  nor does anyone else.  The answer to the second is that it’s what ‘da boyz’ do to maximize their profits…trapping as many Managed Money longs on the losing side as possible.

There are no markets anymore…only interventions.”

Here are the 6-month charts for the Big 6 commodities — and with the exception of WTIC, all were down on the day.  And it should be pointed out that gold was closed below its 50-day moving average for the second day in a row — and silver was closed below both its 50 and 200-day moving averages for the second day in a row as well.  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 crawled a few dollars unsteadily higher until around 11:30 a.m. CST on their Tuesday morning — and the usual “night move” appeared shortly before 3 p.m. on their Tuesday afternoon.  At the moment gold is down $2.10 the ounce.  Silver was up 8 cents at one point, but ‘da boyz’ have it down 1 cent currently.  Platinum was up 4 bucks, but has been engineered back to unchanged.  Palladium was trading flat until shortly after 1 p.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday morning — and Ted’s “night move” began at that point — and they now have the price down 8 bucks as Zurich opens.

Net HFT gold volume is coming up on 39,000 contracts — and there’s only 819 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in that precious metal.  Net HFT silver volume is sitting at 17,000 contracts already — and there’s only 572 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.

The dollar index traded sideways until around 11:22 a.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday morning — and at that juncture began to rally very unsteadily higher.  It’s current high tick, such as it is, came at 3:30 p.m. CST — and it’s off that by a bit — and up 9 basis points as of 7:45 a.m. GMT in London.

Today we get another Commitment of Traders Report, this one for positions held at the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday, February 26.  The dojis on the 6-month gold and silver charts posted above would seem to indicate that there will be a decrease in the commercial net short positions in both metals — and that’s as far as my guesstimate goes.

But none of the engineered price declines that began last Wednesday, the day after the February 26 cut-off date, will be in this report — and it’s a given that it wasn’t accidental.  It’s a move that ‘da boyz’ have pulled countless times over the last fifteen years or so, when they wish to hide their tracks from public view for as long as possible.

But whatever the numbers are, I’ll have them for you in Wednesday’s missive.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:02 a.m. EST, I see that the gold price continued a bit lower until a few minutes after the London open — and had a tiny up/down move during the first hour of trading — and is currently down $2.00. Ditto for silver — and it’s down a penny. And after a tiny down/up move at the Zurich open, platinum is now up 2 dollars. But palladium really got roasted at the Zurich open — and is barely off its low. It’s down 22 dollars as the first hour of trading coming to an end.

Gross gold volume is a bit over 51,000 contracts — and minus what little roll-over/switch volume there is, net HFT gold volume is just over 48,500 contracts. Net HFT silver volume is now up to a hair over 19,500 contracts — and there’s 912 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.

The dollar index has chopped quietly sideways during the first hour of London/Zurich trading — and as of 8:45 a.m. GMT/9:45 a.m. CET, it’s up 6 basis points.

Today, at the close of COMEX trading, is the cut-off for this Friday’s COT Report — and with that report, we’ll be all caught up from the government shut-down in December of 2018.  Also on Friday, we get the March Bank Participation Report for positions held by the world’s banks during February — and they’re always up to something…especially the U.S ones.

That’s all I have for today, which is more than enough — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.