Precious Metal Equities Close Higher in Quiet Trading

26 March 2019 — Tuesday

YESTERDAY in GOLD, SILVER, PLATINUM and PALLADIUM


The gold price crept a few dollars lower once trading began in New York at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday evening — and then began to crawl higher from there.  That lasted until a few minutes after 2 p.m. in New York yesterday afternoon — and the tiny price spike at that point was capped and sold lower immediately.  From 3:00 p.m. EDT onwards, the price didn’t do much.

You can tell from the saw-tooth price pattern during the New York trading session that ‘someone’ was there to cap every budding rally before it got out of hand to the upside.  This is typical ‘care and maintenance’ behavior…aided and abetted by the fact that there was very low volume…making it easy for anyone with an agenda to keep a lid on the price gains.

The low and high ticks for gold were recorded as $1,310.60 and $1,322.90 in the April contract…not even a one percent intraday move.

Gold was closed at $1,321.40 spot, up at even $8.00 on the day.  Net volume, as just mentioned, was pretty quiet at at bit over 156,000 contracts but, not surprisingly, roll-over/switch volume out of April and into future months was very heavy at a bit over 96,000 contracts.  This was the third day in a row that gold closed above its 50-day moving average…albeit not by much.

In most respects, the price path for silver was mostly similar to gold’s, complete with the post 2 p.m. EDT price spike in the thinly-traded after-hours market.

The low and high ticks in this precious metal are barely worth looking up.  The CME Group reported them as $15.385 and $15.585 in the May contact.

Silver finished the Monday session in New York at $15.515 spot, up 11 cents on the day — and was closed a penny below its 50-day moving average.  Net volume was pretty quiet at a bit over 46,000 contracts — and there was 4,510 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal.

Platinum was also sold down a bit during the first two hours once trading began in New York at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday evening as well.  Then like gold and silver, it began to edge quietly and unevenly higher until shortly after 2 p.m. EDT in after-hours trading in New York on Monday afternoon..  It was sold a dollar or so lower into the close from there.  Platinum finished the Monday session at $856 spot, up 11 bucks from Friday’s close.

Palladium jumped up about five bucks once trading began in New York on Sunday evening, but ran into ‘resistance’ right away — and was then sold quietly lower until shortly before 9 a.m. China Standard Time on their Monday morning.  It crept a bit higher until minutes after the Zurich open — and then was sold down to its low tick of the day, which came at precisely 12 o’clock noon Central European Summer Time [CEST] in Zurich trading.  A rather spirited rally began at that point, but ran into some ‘resistance’ during the COMEX trading session in New York.  And, like the other three precious metals, was sold lower a few minutes after 2 p.m. in the thinly-traded after-hours market.  It didn’t do much after that going into the 5:00 p.m. EDT close.  Platinum was closed at $1,553 spot, up 14 bucks on the day — and at least nine dollars off its high tick.

The dollar index closed very late on Friday afternoon in New York at 96.65 — and opened virtually unchanged once trading began at 6:40 p.m. EDT in New York on Sunday evening.  It chopped quietly sideways until 9:20 a.m. BST [British Summer Time] on their Monday morning — and the index then chopped lower in a rather broad range from there.  The 96.41 low tick of the day came at 11:28 a.m. EDT in New York — and shortly after that it jumped higher by a bit.  However, an hour later it began to edge unevenly lower — and finished the Monday session at 96.57…down 8 basis points from Friday’s close.

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

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart, courtesy of the folks over at stockcharts.com — and the delta between its close…96.07…and the close on the DXY chart above, was 50 basis points on Monday. Click to enlarge.

The gold stocks began to rally unevenly higher as soon as trading began at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Monday morning in New York — and their respective highs were printed at gold’s high tick, which came a few minutes after 2 p.m.  From there they edged a bit lower into the close.  The HUI finished higher by 2.33 percent.

The rally in the silver equities was almost identical to the rally in the gold shares, so I shan’t bother with the play-by-play on them.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed up 2.19 percent.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

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

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 11 gold and 4 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Wednesday.

In gold, the Advantage and ADM were the two short/issuers with 8 and 3 contracts out of their respective client accounts.  Advantage, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley stopped 7, 2 and 2 contracts for their respective client accounts as well.

In silver, Advantage and ADM issued 2 contracts each out of their respective client accounts — and the CME Group stopped all four for their own account.  They immediately reissued them as 4×5=20 one-thousand ounce COMEX mini silver contracts and, as usual, ADM stopped them all.

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 3 contracts, leaving 12 left, minus the 11 mentioned a few short paragraphs ago.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold contracts were reported for delivery today, so that means that 3 gold contracts vanished from the March delivery month.  Silver o.i. in March remained unchanged at 44 contracts, minus the 4 contracts mentioned a few paragraphs ago.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that zero silver contracts were posted for delivery today, so the change in open interest and deliveries match.


There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV on Monday.

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 COMEX trading on Friday, March 22 — and this is what they had to report.  They added 5,490 troy ounces of gold — and 90,215 troy ounces of silver.

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

The only activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Friday, was 4,932 troy ounces that was shipped out of JPMorgan.  I won’t bother linking this amount.

It was fairly quiet in silver, as well.  The only ‘in’ activity was 999 troy ounces/one good delivery bar that was dropped off at CNT.  There was 659,014 troy ounces shipped out.  Of that amount, one very large truckload…658,001 troy ounces…departed Brink’s, Inc. — and the remaining 1,014 troy ounces…one good delivery bar…was shipped out of Delaware.  The link to this activity is here.

There wasn’t much happening over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Friday.  Nothing was reported received — and only 201 were shipped out.  All of this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. of course — and I won’t bother linking this, either.


Nick passed around a whole pile of charts on the weekend — and here are the first three.  The first shows the net gold imports and exports for Switzerland, updated with February’s dataThey imported 85 tonnes — and shipped out 68 tonnes.  Here’s his chart with the February data added.  Click to enlarge.

The first of the next two charts shows what countries [and amounts] that they received gold from — and the second charts shows the countries [and tonnage] that they shipped gold to.   In the second chart, China and Hong Kong didn’t take much, but the U.K. took a fair bit.  Click to enlarge for both, if necessary.

I have an average number of stories for you today — but nothing precious metal-related at all.


CRITICAL READS

A Bomb Cyclone Is Headed for Stocks — Bill Bonner

Oh, Dear Reader… last week’s news from the Fed reminded us of those home videos where someone gets hurt.

Fun to watch. But painful if you’re in the picture.

And now, front and center, is the U.S. financial system. Have a seat. Get a beer. How often do we get to see the world’s leading economy blow its brains out?

Yes, the pieces are starting to fall into place. The puzzle is coming together, faster than we expected.

We thought the Fed would at least have the decency to wait for a crisis before it caved in to the Deep State. And we were surprised, too, how fast Mr. Trump has moved to pack the Fed with political hacks… who are sure to pull the trigger when the pistol is offered to them.

But these moves… such as they are… help us to see more clearly how the feds made a mess of the economy… and how Congress, AOC, Trump, the Fed, and the whole company of Deep State heaven will turn it into a real catastrophe.

This worthwhile commentary from Bill showed up on the bonnerandpartners.com Internet site early on Monday morning EDT — and another link to it is here.


“Toto, I Don’t Think We’re in Kansas Anymore” — Jeff Thomas

Recently, an American colleague commented to me, “We no longer live in a democracy but a dictatorship disguised as a democracy.”

Is he correct? Well, a dictatorship may be defined as “a form of government in which absolute authority is exercised by a dictator.”

The U.S. today is not be ruled by dictatorship (although, to some, it may well feel that way.)
But, if that’s the case, what form of rule does exist in the U.S.?

At its formation, the founding fathers argued over whether the United States should be a republic or a democracy. Those founders who later formed the Federalist Party felt that it should be a democracy – rule by representatives elected by the people. Thomas Jefferson, who created the Democratic Republican Party, argued that it should be a republic – a state in which the method of governance is democracy, but the principle of governance is that the rights of the individual are paramount.

He argued that, “Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty one percent can vote away the rights of the other forty nine.”

This very interesting and worthwhile commentary from Jeff appeared on the internationalman.com Internet site on Monday morning EDT — and another link to it is here.


Fed Can’t Get Out: Buy Gold Now – Jim Rickards

This 51-minute video interview with host Greg Hunter was posted on the usawatchdog.com Internet site on Sunday sometime.  I didn’t have time to watch the whole thing, but what I did listen to, makes it worth your while.  I thank Brad Robertson for sending it our way.


Russia Gives U.S. Red Line on Venezuela

At a high-level meeting in Rome this week, it seems that Russia reiterated a grave warning to the U.S. – Moscow will not tolerate American military intervention to topple the Venezuelan government with whom it is allied.

Meanwhile, back in Washington D.C., President Donald Trump was again bragging that the military option was still on the table, in his press conference with Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro. Trump is bluffing or not yet up to speed with being apprised of Russia’s red line.

The meeting in the Italian capital between U.S. “special envoy” on Venezuelan affairs Elliot Abrams and Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov had an air of urgency in its arrangement. The U.S. State Department announced the tête-à-tête only three days beforehand. The two officials also reportedly held their two-hour discussions in a Rome hotel, a venue indicating ad hoc arrangement.

Abrams is no ordinary diplomat. He is a regime-change specialist with a criminal record for sponsoring terrorist operations, specifically the infamous Iran-Contra affair to destabilize Nicaragua during the 1980s. His appointment by President Trump to the “Venezuela file” only underscores the serious intent in Washington for regime change in Caracas. Whether it gets away with that intent is another matter.

Moscow’s interlocutor, Sergei Ryabkov, is known to not mince his words, having earlier castigated Washington for seeking global military domination. He calls a spade a spade, and presumably a criminal a criminal.

This very worthwhile commentary by Finian…if you have the interest that is…put in an appearance on the strategic-culture.com Internet site last Friday — and it comes to us courtesy of Larry Galearis — and another link to it is here.  There was a parallel BBC story about this headlined “Venezuela crisis: Russian military planes land near Caracas” — and that’s courtesy of George Whyte.  Then there’s this ZH piece from Brad headlined “Venezuela Military Deploys S-300 Missiles Following Russian Troop Arrival“.


U.S.-Germany Rift Set to Blow — Finian Cunningham

This is going to get very ugly. Germany is openly defying U.S. President Trump’s demands to spend more on its NATO budget. Already the American ambassador to the country, Richard Grenell, is crying foul, prompting German calls for his expulsion.

Of all the countries in the European Union, it is Germany that’s been mostly on the receiving end of Trump’s wrath since he entered the White House. In two years, the bilateral relation between Washington and Berlin has plummeted under the weight of Trump’s withering verbal attacks.

The American president has assailed Germany for unfair trading practices over its lucrative auto exports; and he has virtually accused Berlin of treason in its dealings with Russia for natural gas supply, threatening to slap economic sanctions on German firms over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project under the Baltic Sea.

Grenell’s condemnations this week regarding Germany’s military budget have again sparked furor among the country’s politicians and media, eliciting further public calls for the envoy to be expelled owing to his alleged gross interference in Berlin’s internal affairs. “An ambassador is not supposed to act like the spokesman of an occupying power,” said Wolfgang Kubicki, the deputy leader of the Free Democrat Party.

The New York Times this week reported “the timing couldn’t be worse” for U.S.-German relations. Next month marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the NATO alliance. A major celebration is due to take place in Washington D.C. for the occasion. The atmosphere will be severely chilled by Germany’s truculent defiance of Trump to boost its commitment to NATO.

This commentary/opinion piece by Finian is also worth reading if you have the interest.  It was posted on the rt.com Internet site last Thursday — and it’s the first offering of the day from Roy Stephens.  Another link to it is here.


The Impending Collision: Rome vs. Brussels — Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage, member of European Parliament for South East England, is synonymous with Brexit. He is a former head and founding member of the U.K. Independence Party. In this interview with Bear Traps Report founder Larry McDonald, Farage outlines why he became a eurosceptic, and why he thinks Britain will eventually leave the E.U. He also forecasts a general rise in confrontations in Europe ahead, as national politicians’ interests collide with those of the E.U.

This 9:12 minute video clip with Nigel, which is hosted by Larry McDonald, is part of a larger 48-minute interview, which requires you to subscribe to Real Vision if you wish to watch the rest.  The interview was conducted on February 12, 2019 — and the above clip appeared on the youtube.com Internet site on March 11. 2019. I thank Brad Robertson for sending it along — and another link to this is here.


All roads Lead to Rome for Xi — Pepe Escobar

All (silk) roads do lead to Rome, as this Saturday Chinese President Xi Jinping and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will sign a memorandum to adhere to the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Afterward, Xi becomes a magnanimous version of The Sicilian, visiting the port of Palermo, with Beijing intent on investing in local infrastructure.

Atlanticist hysteria has been raging wildly – with the simplistic narrative focused on the fact that Italy is a G7 member, at the heart of the Mediterranean “mare nostrum”, and crammed with NATO bases. Thus, it cannot “sell out” to China.

Conte and diplomats in Rome have confirmed that this is strictly about economic cooperation, and signing a memorandum is non-binding. Italy has, in fact, been informally aligned with the Belt and Road scheme since 2015 when it became one of the founding members of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which finances scores of BRI projects.

E.U. members Greece, Portugal and Malta have also signed BRI agreements. Berlin and Paris have not – at least not yet. Same with London, but post-Brexit that will inevitably happen as trade with China will become even more important for the U.K.

This interesting commentary from Pepe showed up on the asiatimes.com Internet site last Tuesday sometime — and I thank Roy Stephens for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.  In a very related story this rt.com offering from Monday headlined “Italy signs massive deal with China despite cautions from France and Germany” — and I thank Roy for that one as well.


Trump signs declaration recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over disputed Golan Heights

U.S. President Donald Trump has signed a declaration recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, seized from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War.

In a joint press conference with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, Trump hailed the “powerful” relationship between the U.S. and Israel, while Netanyahu called the signing “historic justice” and a “diplomatic victory.”

The announcement comes less than a week after Trump tweeted support for Israel’s claim to the territory, despite the U.N. ruling the annexation “null and void.” The Golan Heights is home to some 27,000 Syrians, and the Israeli occupation of the area has been blasted as “completely beyond international law” by the Arab League.

Netanyahu’s visit to Washington was cut short on Monday morning, after a Palestinian rocket struck a house in a town near Tel Aviv, injuring seven people. As the P.M. and Trump spoke to the press, Israeli helicopters and jets began pounding Hamas targets in the Gaza strip in retaliation.

This rt.com news item put in an appearance on their Internet site at 4:18 p.m. Moscow time on their Monday afternoon, which was 9:18 a.m. in Washington — EDT plus 7 hours.  I thank George Whyte for sending it our way — and another link to it is here.


I saw no precious metal-related news items that I thought worth posting.


The PHOTOS and the FUNNIES

Here’s Otter Lake in the ‘town’ of Tulameen.  This is cottage country — and although jam-packed in the summer time, it’s quiet this time of year, as most cottages/home owners live elsewhere.  The road into this town is picturesque, but it’s certainly not one that I would wish to drive everyday on a ‘commute’ into Princeton…especially in the winter.  This photo was take on December 9…just before the snow and the cold weather really got serious.  Click to enlarge.

This second shot, also in Tulameen, was taken on the rail bed of the long-defunct Kettle Valley Railway — and now part of the Trans Canada Trail.  Behind me is the trail to Princeton — and in front, the rail bed leads to Merritt — and then on to Spence’s BridgeClick to enlarge.


The WRAP

A tyrant is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.” — Plato


It was another very light volume day in both gold and silver on Monday…although — and not surprisingly — roll-over/switch volume out of April and into future months in gold was pretty heavy.

And because of the upcoming delivery month in gold staring next Monday, I’m not really expecting that ‘da boyz’ will allow to much in the way of price activity between now and Friday.  They certainly weren’t allowing much in gold yesterday.

All the large traders that aren’t standing for delivery in April, have to roll or sell their remaining April contracts before the close of COMEX trading on Wednesday — and the rest of the traders have to be out by the close of COMEX trading on Thursday.  First Day Notice numbers will be posted on the CME’s website around midnight EDT on Thursday — and I’ll have them for you in Friday’s missive.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metal, plus copper and WTIC. The only things worth pointing out are that silver was closed right at its 50-day moving average — and gold was closed above its for the third day in row…but not by a significant amount.  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 made a tiny rally attempt starting shortly after trading began at 6 p.m. EDT in New York on Monday evening, but that was turned lower minutes before 8 a.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday morning. It has been sliding quietly and unevenly lower since, with the current low tick set a few minutes before 2 p.m. CST on their Tuesday afternoon. It has bounced off that low by a bit — and is currently down $3.80 the ounce. Silver traded mostly sideways until shortly after 12 o’clock noon CST — and from there, it has slid to down 7 cents an ounce. Platinum traded flat for an hour — and its four dollar rally also got capped and turned lower minutes before 8 a.m. China Standard Time. That lasted until shortly before 11 a.m. over there — and it hasn’t done much since — and is down 6 bucks. Palladium was also up a bit in early morning trading in the Far East, but it was sold lower as well — and is down 4 dollars as Zurich opens.

Net HFT gold volume is pretty quiet at only 26,000 contracts or so — and there’s already a bit over 16,000 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal. Net HFT silver volume is around 9,100 contracts — and there’s 361 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.

The dollar index opened down 7 basis points once trading began around 7:45 p.m. EDT on Monday evening in New York, which was 7:45 a.m. CST in Shanghai. It chopped quietly sideways until 12:10 p.m. CST on their Tuesday afternoon — and then began to head a bit higher, with the current high tick coming at 1:52 p.m. over there. It has sold off a bit at that juncture — and back below unchanged by 1 basis point as a of 7:45 a.m. BST [British Summer Time] in London.


Today, at the close of COMEX trading, is the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report — and I’ll wait until tomorrow’s column before deciding to risk taking a guess at what that report might contain.

And as I post today’s efforts on the website at 4:02 a.m. EDT, I see that Ted’s “midnight moves” in the very-thinly-traded overseas market is ongoing.  Gold is now down $5.70 an ounce — and silver is down 8 cents.  Platinum and palladium are lower by 6 dollars each.

Gross gold volume is coming up on 77,000 contracts — but minus the already considerable roll-over/switch volume, net HFT gold volume is nothing special at just under 35,500 contracts.  Net HFT silver volume is now up to around 12,100 contracts — and there’s only 566 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in that precious metal.

The dollar index is down a bit more over the last forty-five minutes — and is lower by 5 basis points as of 8:45 a.m. BST in London/9:45 a.m. CEST in Zurich.

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

Ed