Another Very Quiet Volume Day in Silver and Gold

14 March 2019 — Thursday


The gold price began to crawl unevenly higher two hours and change after trading commenced at 6:00 p.m. EDT in New York on Tuesday evening.  That lasted until around 10:30 a.m. China Standard Time on their Wednesday morning — and it then traded sideways until about fifteen minutes after the London open.  From that juncture it continued to edge unevenly higher until the high tick was set around 3:30 p.m. EDT in the thinly-traded after-hours market.  It was sold a few dollars lower into the close from there.

Once again, the low and high ticks aren’t worth looking up.

Gold finished the Wednesday session in New York at $1,308.90 spot, up $7.50 from Tuesday’s close.  Net volume was pretty quiet at something over 172,500 contracts — and there was a bit over 45,500 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in that precious metal.

The silver price didn’t do much of anything in Far East trading on their Wednesday, but was up a penny or so by the London open.  It crept quietly higher until around 10:30 a.m. GMT, which was the morning gold fix in London, but was sold a bit lower starting around noon GMT, which was the noon silver fix over there.  That tiny sell-off lasted until 9 a.m. in New York — and the price really didn’t do much of anything after that.

The low and high ticks aren’t worth looking up in this precious metal, either.

Silver was closed in New York yesterday at $15.415 spot, up 0.5 cents on the day.  Net volume was very quiet once again at a bit over 42,500 contracts — and there was 4,200 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.

The platinum price traded quietly and unevenly sideways in Far East trading yesterday — and began to tick unsteadily higher starting at the Zurich open.  That rally appeared to have been capped a few minutes before noon in New York — and it was sold unevenly lower into the 5:00 p.m. close of trading from there.  Platinum finished the Wednesday session at $841 spot, up 8 dollars on the day.

The palladium price action on Wednesday trading in the Far East was about the same as it was for platinum.  Its rally began shortly after the Zurich open — and it wandered unevenly higher until shortly after 3 p.m. in after-hours trading in New York.  Then, like the other precious metals, it was sold a bit lower into the 5:00 p.m. close.  Palladium closed yesterday at $1,535 spot, up 16 bucks from Tuesday.

The dollar index closed very late on Tuesday afternoon in New York at 96.94 — and opened up 8 basis points once trading began at 7:45 p.m. EDT on Wednesday evening.  From that point, it traded quietly sideways until exactly 8:00 a.m. GMT, which was the London open.  It began to chop quietly and unevenly lower from there — and that state of affairs lasted until around 2:38 p.m. EDT in New York.  It took a real header from there — and the 96.39 low tick was set at 4:32 p.m.  It recovered a few basis points into the close — and the dollar index finished the Wednesday session in New York at 96.55…down 39 basis points from Tuesday’s close.

Here’s the 6-month DXY chart courtesy of BloombergClick to enlarge.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart, courtesy of the folks over at the Internet site — and the delta between its close…96.51…and the close on the DXY chart above, was 4 basis points on Wednesday.  Click to enlarge.

The gold stocks opened about unchanged…then rallied a percent and change, but were back in negative territory by a bit by 12 o’clock noon in New York trading.  They crawled quietly higher from there into the close — and the HUI finished up a piddling 0.62 percent.  I was not overly impressed.

The price path for the silver equities was very similar to that of the gold shares.  Except once they rallied off their respective 12 o’clock EDT lows, they barely made it back into positive territory — and from around 1:50 p.m. onwards, they chopped quietly sideways for the remainder of the New York trading session.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed up 0.04 percent…so call it unchanged.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

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

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold and 128 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Friday.

In silver, the two short/issuers were ABN Amro and Advantage, with 70 and 58 contracts out of their respective client accounts.  The three long/stoppers were JPMorgan, The CME Group — and Advantage.  JPMorgan and Advantage picked up 83 and 13 contracts for their respective client accounts — and CME Group picked up 28 contracts for its own account.

They immediately reissued those contracts as 28×5=140 one-thousand ounce COMEX mini silver contracts — and ADM stopped 139 of them — and Advantage picked up the remaining one…all for their respective client accounts.

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

The CME Preliminary Report for the Wednesday trading session showed that gold open interest in March declined by 1 contract, leaving 37 still around.  Tuesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that only 1 gold contract was posted for delivery today, so the change in open interest and deliveries match for the second day in a row.  Silver o.i. in March dropped by 220 contracts, leaving 197 contracts still open, minus the 128 contracts mentioned a few paragraphs ago.  Tuesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 292 silver contracts are actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 292-220=72 more silver contracts were just added to the March delivery month.

And it was yet another day where total gold open interest rose — and silver open interest declined.

There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV yesterday.

There was a smallish sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday.  They sold 500 one-ounce platinum eagles — and 71,000 silver eagles.

The only activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Tuesday was 160.755 troy ounces/5 kilobars [SGE kilobar weight] that were shipped out of Brink’s, Inc.  I won’t bother linking this.

There was very little activity in silver as well.  There was 307,799 troy ounces received — and nothing was shipped out.  Of the amount received, there was 299,222 troy ounces dropped off at Brink’s, Inc. — and the remaining 8,576 troy ounces was picked up by Canada’s Scotia Mocatta.  The link to this is here.

There was very decent movement over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Tuesday.  They only received 39 of them, but shipped out 7,109.  All of this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. of course — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.

Here are two charts that I got from Nick yesterday — and I thought worth sharing.  They show the  total gold imports and exports into and out of Switzerland for the 2018 calendar year.  The first chart shows the total tonnage of gold received by Switzerland from the Top 25 countries they import from.  The second chart is the same, except it shows the Top 25 countries that they export re-refined gold to.  They’re worth a minute of your time…if you’re interested.  Click to enlarge for both.

It was another exceptionally quiet news day — and I have only four stories in total.


AOC’s “Solutions” Will Just Make Things Worse — Bill Bonner

First, the jobs report on Friday showed a big collapse in hiring. The official numbers showed 20,000 new jobs added in February, a far cry from the 170,000 that were expected.

Then, the Atlanta Fed said projected GDP growth for Q1 slowed to a crawl. It estimates Q1 growth will come in at just 0.2%.

And now this. The Washington Post:

Total household net worth in the fourth quarter of 2018 dropped by the largest amount since the fourth quarter of 2008 when the country was amid a steep recession, according to data released Thursday by the Federal Reserve.

Total household net worth is a measure of the assets – such as homes, stocks and bank accounts – owned by American families and nonprofits minus their debts. In the fourth quarter of 2018, it fell by about $3.7 trillion, a 3.5 percent quarterly decline. Going back to 1952, the start of the Fed’s data, only three quarters – the third and fourth quarters of 2008, and the second quarter of 1962 – posted bigger declines in household net worth, percentage-wise.

Yes, the “recovery” seems to be rolling over. But let’s wait to hear a few more notes before we “guess that tune.”

This commentary from Bill appeared on the Internet site on Wednesday morning sometime — and another link to it is here.

James Rickards on Central Banking and Investing — Interview

On today’s show, Preston and Stig talk to New York Times Best Selling Author, Dr. James Rickards.  Dr. Rickards talks about many of the decisions happening at the central banks around the world.
In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How and why the FED is preparing for the next recession
  • How the Fed Chairman is signaling to the market what he plans to do.
  • Why having a strong dollar is currently the least bad economic policy
  • Why the world is currently dependent on the US dollar, and how a new system is built not to include it
  • What happens if the stock market is made up by passive investors and the computers make the decisions

This 41-minute audio interview with Jim showed up on Internet site…but there’s no dateline, although I’m assuming that it’s current.  I thank Harold Jacobsen for pointing it out — and another link to it is here.

Germany’s Über Hypocrisy over Venezuela — Finian Cunningham

Germany has taken the lead among European Union member states to back Washington’s regime-change agenda for Venezuela. Berlin’s hypocrisy and double-think is quite astounding.

Only a few weeks ago, German politicians and media were up in arms protesting to the Trump administration for interfering in Berlin’s internal affairs. There were even outraged complaints that Washington was seeking “regime change” against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

Those protests were sparked when Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, warned German companies involved in the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline with Russia that they could be hit with American economic sanctions if they go ahead with the Baltic seabed project.

Earlier, Grenell provoked fury among Berlin’s political establishment when he openly gave his backing to opposition party Alternative for Germany. That led to consternation and denunciations of Washington’s perceived backing for regime change in Berlin. They were public calls for Grenell to be expelled over his apparent breach of diplomatic protocols.

Now, however, Germany is shamelessly kowtowing to an even more outrageous American regime-change plot against Venezuela.

This longish commentary by Finian showed up on the Internet site on Tuesday — and I found it in a Zero Hedge story that Brad Robertson sent our way.  Another link to it is here.

Rhodium Trading At 11-Year High, Up 35% YTD

Rhodium continues to be the unsung hero of the precious metals market as prices have pushed above $3,000 an ounce, hitting its highest level since early-October 2008. Currently, the price is up more than 35% since the start of the year with spot prices trading at a high of $3,120 an ounce.

Although rhodium prices remain extremely volatile because of its opaque marketplace, some analysts continue to see higher prices as the market continues to be dominated by growing demand and shrinking supply.

Bernard Sin, head of metals trading at MKS Group said that the same fundamental factors pushing palladium prices to record highs above $1,500 an ounce is also driving rhodium.

As long as palladium prices continue to push to new highs, you will continue to see rhodium rally,” he said.

This 3-chart news item put in an appearance on the Internet site on Tuesday sometime — and I plucked it off the Sharps Pixley website.  Another link to it is here.


These next two shots [25 November 2018] were taken on the old highway less than a kilometer north of Hope, B.C.…which, as I mentioned in yesterday’s column, was either bypassed or partially buried when they put in the new highway almost a century ago.  The first photo was taken in a breathtakingly beautiful spot — and no picture, including this one, can do it full justice.  Note the high-water mark on the left bank from the yearly spring run-offs.  And also note the tiny bit of old highway visible in the left-center part of the photo. The second photo was taken there — and it shows the old highway at that point, along with salmon-drying racks on the left — and the Fraser River in the background.  This particular spot is an important fishing place for the local natives when the salmon are running up river to spawn in the fall.  The tall skinny plant on the right side of the photo at the edge of the pavement is a common mulleinClick to enlarge for both.

This photo of the Fraser Canyon was taken a handful of kilometers/miles further north on the Trans-Canada Highway — and a bit above the river bed.  Note the CPR tracks in the foreground — and the CNR tracks on the other side of the river.  I waited a while for a train to appear on either track, so the shot would have a ‘point of interest’…but, alas….  Click to enlarge.


Humankind cannot bear very much reality.”– T.S. Eliot

I was happy to see the gold price close higher again yesterday — and in doing so, closed above its 50-day moving average by about five dollars.  However, I was more than underwhelmed by the performance of their respective equities.  Silver didn’t do much yesterday, or wasn’t allowed to do much…you choose — and the price activity in their underlying shares was about as expected…all things considered.  Platinum is now back above both its 50 and 200-day moving averages as of yesterday’s COMEX closing price.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, plus copper and WTIC — and all four precious metals closed higher yesterday, with silver being the laggard.  Click to enlarge for all.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:02 a.m. EDT, the London open is less than ten minutes away — and I note that the gold price didn’t do much for the first ninety minutes after trading began at 6:00 p.m. EDT in New York on Wednesday evening. At that juncture it began to head quietly and somewhat unevenly lower — and as London opens, gold is down $7.00 the ounce. Silver has been sold unsteadily lower as well — and is down 12 cents currently. Ditto for platinum, although its off its current low tick by a bit, but still down 9 bucks. Palladium was also sold lower along with the other three precious metals and, like platinum is off its current low as well — and still down 7 dollars as Zurich opens.

Gross gold volume is sitting around 60,000 contracts — and minus the decent amount of roll-over/switch volume, net HFT gold volume is 46,500 contracts. Net HFT silver volume is pretty heavy already at about 15,200 contracts — and there’s only 436 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal.

The dollar index opened down 7 basis points when trading commenced around 7:45 p.m. EDT on Wednesday evening in New York. It began to creep quietly higher right away — and its current 96.69 high tick was set at 2:06 p.m. China Standard Time on their Thursday afternoon, which was probably the time of the afternoon gold fix in Shanghai. It has been heading quietly lower since — and is up only 5 basis points as of 7:45 a.m. GMT in London/8:45 a.m. CET in Zurich.

NOTE: Because of the switch over to Daylight Saving Time in North America this past Sunday, I’m not staying up the extra hour to record the first hour of London/Zurich trading.  Britain and Europe don’t go on British Summer Time [BST] and Central European Summer Time [CEST] for another two weeks.  Once they do the switch-over to BST and CEST, then I’ll resume the usual routine of commenting on the first hour of trading in both those markets.

That’s it for today — and I didn’t have much — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.