No Easter Bunny For Silver and Gold Yesterday

24 April 2019 — Wednesday

YESTERDAY in GOLD, SILVER, PLATINUM and PALLADIUM


The gold price traded unevenly sideways until around noon China Standard Time on their Tuesday — and then Ted’s “midnight moves” began.  It was sold quietly lower from there until shortly after the COMEX open — and ‘da boyz’ showed up at that point.  The low tick was set a few minutes before the London close — and the price managed to rally a bit until 1 p.m. EDT in New York.  It didn’t do much after that.

Despite the down/up move in COMEX trading, the high and low ticks aren’t worth looking up.

Gold was closed at $1,272.20 spot, down $2.20 on the day — and also set a new intraday low for this move down.  Net volume was pretty decent at a bit over 256,000 contracts — and there was around 25,500 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.

It was generally the same price pattern in silver, at least up until the noon silver fix in London.  The price pressure began at that juncture…and then really got kicked downstairs the same time as gold…a hair before 8:30 a.m. in New York.  Its low tick came thirty minutes later and, like gold, rallied a bit until shortly before the 1:30 p.m. EDT COMEX close — and it didn’t do a lot after that.

The high and low ticks in silver were recorded by the CME Group as $14.995 and $14.70 in the May contract.

Silver was closed in New York on Tuesday afternoon at $14.81 spot, down 19 cents from Monday — and also a new low for this engineered price decline.  Net volume was pretty quiet at just over 42,000 contracts, but roll-over/switch volume out of May and into future months was very chunky at a bit over 44,500 contracts.  I’ll have more to say about all this in The Wrap.

Platinum’s “midnight price move” also began around noon in Shanghai on their Tuesday — and the low tick in that precious metal was set a few minutes after 1 p.m. in Zurich.  It rallied unsteadily higher until the afternoon gold fix in London, but was sold down a bit going into the Zurich close — and it chopped quietly sideways until trading ended at 5:00 p.m. EDT in New York.  Platinum was closed at $887 spot, down 8 bucks on the day.

The palladium price managed to hang in there until around 1:30 p.m. CST — and it was sold quietly lower…with its Tuesday low tick coming shortly after 10 a.m. CEST in Zurich.  From that juncture it crawled quietly and unsteadily higher until the 1:30 p.m. EDT COMEX close and, like the other three precious metals, didn’t do much after that.  Palladium finished the day at $1,376 spot, up 3 dollars from Monday’s close.

The dollar index closed very late on Monday afternoon in New York at 97.29 — and after edging about 5 basis points higher once trading began at 7:44 p.m. EDT on Monday evening…didn’t really do much of anything until a few minutes after 10:40 a.m. in London.  It began to creep higher from there, but really began to sail starting a few minutes before 8:30 a.m. in New York.  The 97.78 high came around 10:30 a.m. EDT — and it inched lower into the close from there.  The dollar index finished the Tuesday session at 97.64…up 35 basis points from Monday’s close.

Although most of the engineered price declines in gold and silver came during that morning ‘rally’ in the dollar index, the actually price declines began long before that with Ted’s “midnight moves” starting at noon in Shanghai/midnight in New York.  Of course platinum and palladium weren’t affected at all by that ‘rally’ in the dollar index.

Here’s the DXY chart for Tuesday, courtesy of BloombergClick to enlarge.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart, courtesy of the folks over at the stockcharts.com Internet site — and the delta between its close…96.77…and the close on the DXY chart above, was 87 basis points on Tuesday.  Click to enlarge as well.

The gold shares gapped down about a percent at the open — and then went on a bit of a roller coaster ride until 11:30 a.m. in New York trading.  They began to chop higher from there — and actually made it into positive territory by a hair shortly after 1 p.m. EDT.  But that’s about the time that the gold rally was capped — and the shares were sold quietly lower until around 3:15 p.m. — and they ticked a bit higher into the close from there.  The HUI closed down only 0.78 percent.

The wild ride was also evident in the silver equities until about 12:35 p.m. in New York trading — and after that they followed a similar path as the gold equities, complete with the tick higher into the close that started around 3:15 p.m. EDT as well.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed down 1.07 percent.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

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

Despite all the early selling in the precious metal stocks on Tuesday morning, it was apparent that strong hands were scarfing up everything that was being sold in a panic — and I’m very encouraged by that.


The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 225 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. on Thursday.

In gold, the two short/issuers were Citigroup and Advantage, with the former issuing 200 contracts out of its in-house/proprietary trading account — and the latter, with 25 contracts out of its client account.  There were four long/stoppers in total — and the two largest by far were JPMorgan and Advantage, with 123 and 85 contracts for their respective client accounts.

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

The CME Preliminary Report for the Tuesday trading session showed that gold open interest in April rose by another 57 contracts, leaving 347 still open, minus the 225 mentioned a few paragraphs ago.  Monday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 69 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 57+69=126 gold contracts were added to the April Delivery month.  Silver o.i. in April remains at zero, with no deliveries scheduled for today.


There was another withdrawal from GLD yesterday, as an authorized participant took out 66,091 troy ounces of gold.  There were no reported changes in SLV.

With the folks over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank back at work after the Easter break, they reported the changes in their gold and silver ETFs as of the close of business on Thursday, April 18 — and both showed declines.  Their gold ETF dropped by 9,512 troy ounces — and their silver ETF by 71,053 troy ounces.

There was a report from the U.S. Mint yesterday.  They actually took away some of Monday’s gold eagle sales.  They reported 4,000 troy ounces of gold eagles sold on that day, but reduced that sales number to 2,500 yesterday.  They also reported selling another 900 one-ounce platinum coins.

It’s now been three months and three weeks that have passed — and still no Q4/2018 annual report from the Royal Canadian Mint.

There was no in/out movement in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Monday.  But there was a transfer of 69,365 troy ounces from the Registered category — and back into Eligible over at JPMorgan.  I won’t bother linking this.

There was very little physical activity in silver, as nothing was reported received — and only 56,495 troy ounces were shipped out.  There different depositories were involved in that, so I won’t bother breaking down these small amounts.  The other activity was 596,847 troy ounces that was transferred to from the Eligible category — and into Registered.  I would suspect that this in preparation for delivery in May.  The link to to this is here.

There was no in/out activity over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Monday.


The Bredon Hill Hoard (also known as the Bredon Hill Roman Coin Hoard) is a hoard of 3,784 debased silver Roman coins discovered in June 2011 by two metal detectorists at Woollas Hall Farm on Bredon Hill in Worcestershire, approximately 400 metres north of Kemerton Camp, an Iron Age hill fort. The 11 kilograms of coins were found in a clay pot that had been buried around the middle of the 4th century in a Roman villa, identified by the subsequent archaeological excavation. The coins include the reigns of sixteen different emperors during the mid-to-late 3rd century, and are the largest hoard of Roman coins to have been discovered in Worcestershire to date.

Although all the coins in the hoard are nominally silver coins, and should have about 90% silver content, most of them are severely debased, containing as little as 1% silver. Some of the coins issued after a reform of the coinage system by Aurelian in 274 are marked with the letters PXXI, and these have a slightly higher silver content, about 5% silver and 95% copper.  Click to enlarge.

It was quiet news day on Monday — and I only have four stories for you.


CRITICAL READS

Should Jesus Have Gone to College? — Bill Bonner

In a recent survey, Americans favored more education spending over all other categories of the federal budget. Spend enough of other people’s money on their little Jimmy, people must believe, and he’ll turn into Einstein, Erasmus, and Elvis, all rolled into one.

But where’s the evidence? Imagine that you had studied under one of the greatest economists of the 20th century, Paul Samuelson, a Nobel Memorial Prize winner.

Or another Nobel-winner, Paul Krugman. You might as well have studied surgery under the Boston Slasher or ethics under Heinrich Himmler.

Neither Samuelson nor Krugman ever understood how an economy worked.

Studies show that people with more education earn more money. But this is entirely misleading. People with private jets earn more money, too, but that doesn’t mean that you will get richer if you buy a Gulfstream.

Still, a lot of people think school is worth the money.

This particular commentary by Bill, which I wouldn’t normally post if I had more stories for you, put in an appearance on the bonnerandpartners.com Internet site on Tuesday morning EDT — and another link to it is here.


Oil hits 2019 high on U.S. plan to tighten squeeze on Iran

Oil prices jumped more than 2 percent on Monday to a near six-month high, on growing concern about tight global supplies after the United States announced a further clampdown on Iranian oil exports.

Washington said it will eliminate in May all waivers allowing eight economies to buy Iranian oil without facing U.S. sanctions.

The geopolitical risk premium is back in the oil market, in a big way,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC in New York. “Most, if not all, legitimate commercial interests will avoid Iran oil purchases. Iran’s flow will be reduced to a trickle.”

In November the United States reimposed sanctions on exports of Iranian oil but granted waivers to Iran’s eight main buyers: China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece. They were allowed to keep making limited purchases for six months.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated that Washington’s goal was to bring down exports of Iranian oil to zero and said there were no plans for a grace period beyond May 1.

This Reuters story, filed from New York on Monday, was picked up by the finance.yahoo.com Internet site — and it’s something I found in yesterday’s edition of the King Report.  Another link to it is here.  There was a parallel story to this in The Washington Post — and it’s headlined “U.S. to impose sanctions on allies in drive to push Iranian oil sales to zero” — and I found that in Tuesday’s King Report as well.


Iran Vows to Bust U.S. Crude Sanctions

Tehran officials have vowed that White House plans for taking Iran’s oil exports down to zero will never materialize, as the Islamic Republic, along with its regional allies and crude customers – most notably China – plan to bust U.S. sanctions. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told parliament on Tuesday: the “U.S. dream to cut Iran’s crude exports to zero won’t be fulfilled,” according to Bloomberg. The minister also said, “We will act wholeheartedly to break the U.S. sanctions,” and cited export deals with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq and Turkey.

He described the U.S. gamble to end the waiver program by bringing the full force of the “oil weapon” as a “big mistake” — referencing the fragility of the market and inflated claims of regional countries to have more reserves than what they actually do.

The decision to completely eliminate waivers was a surprise, as the market expectation was for a more gradual reduction,” Credit Suisse said in a research note, after Monday’s statement that the waiver program to allow eight countries to purchase limited supplies of Iranian crude would not be extended. The dramatic policy shift saw Brent surge 3 percent on the news, and WTI popped 2.7% during the previous session.

Currently China, India, Turkey, South Korea and Japan – Iran’s biggest oil clients – have been taking advantage of the exemptions, and Iraq is on its own 90-day waiver program granted last month by the State Department.

This Zero Hedge article showed up on their website at 7:45 p.m. EDT on Tuesday evening — and another link to it is here.


Amateur treasure hunters in U.K. stumble across £150,000 hoard of 14th century gold coins

A group of amateur metal detectorists dug up a hoard of more than 550 rare gold and silver coins dating back to the 14th century. The treasure was found in a field in Buckinghamshire and is worth an estimated £150,000.

The four men originally found 12 ornately decorated silver Edward I and II coins.

But over the next few days, they found hundreds of coins – including 12 ultra-rare full gold nobles from the time of the Black Death.

The hoard is being kept safe in a museum and will be independently evaluated before being sold, with the value split with the landowner in Hambleden, Buckinghamshire.

The find – dubbed the Hambleden Hoard – is the biggest gold and silver collection found in the U.K. for around a decade.

This very interesting news item was posted on the metro.co.uk Internet site at 9:00 a.m. BST on Tuesday morning — and I thank Jim Gullo for pointing it out.  Another link to this article is here.


The PHOTOS and the FUNNIES

These four trumpeter swans were sitting on the ice at the confluence of the South and North Thompson Rivers in Kamloops.  I switched from my ‘walk around’ zoom lens, to my 70-300mm zoom lens — and both these photos were taken at its maximum zoom — and cropped severely, as they were at least 125 meters/400 feet away.  Click to enlarge for both.


The WRAP

Well, ‘da boyz’ were in fine form yesterday after a 4-day long weekend — and didn’t waste any time…starting with Ted’s “midnight moves” in Far East trading on their Tuesday.  I suppose the surprise for me was that silver got hit harder than gold.

If they are in fact gunning for gold’s 200-day moving average…still 20 bucks away…it seems to me that they would have been far more aggressive about it than they were.

Both gold and silver are now back at prices we haven’t seen since Christmas of last year.

I note that Zero Hedge posted another one of their always misleading stories about what happened to gold during morning trading on the COMEX on Tuesday in a story that Richard Saler sent me headlined “Gold Bounces Off Key Technical Level, Erases Earlier Plunge“.  In part, the article stated “Gold futures suddenly took a turn for the worse this morning as ‘someone’ once again decided that 0830ET was the perfect time to puke over $1.5 billion notional of the precious metal into the market…over 11,500 gold futures contracts suddenly dumped into the market…

Here’s what silver analyst Ted Butler had to say about this [about a similar ZH article from a week ago] in his Saturday column…”two things were borne out in this week’s COT report. One, on every big price decline, the commercials are always big buyers. For some reason, many (such as Zero Hedge) can’t seem to comprehend that simple fact, as commercial selling is always implied when the market gets bombed. The commercials are always behind the price spikes down, but only in inducing managed money selling, which the commercials then buy. Two, JPMorgan is always a buyer on big down moves and that’s always an encouraging sign since these crooks control the gold and silver market.”

You think would think that the folks over at Zero Hedge would know better by now after all these years, but obviously not.  Considering the number of hits this story has had, there are lots of people who read this and take it as The Gospel.  It’s sad, but true.

Here are the 6-month charts for the four precious metals, plus copper and WTIC — and the new intraday lows in silver and gold should be noted.  Copper was closed below its 50-day moving average by a small amount yesterday — and the new high for WTIC should be noted as well.  Click to enlarge.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away — and I see that the gold price was guided quietly lower until shortly before noon China Standard Time on their Wednesday morning — and it has edged a bit higher since. It’s only down $2.00 at the moment. In most respects, it’s been the same for silver — and it’s down 4 cents currently. Platinum hasn’t done much — and it’s down 2 bucks at the moment. The palladium price crawled higher until 10 a.m. CST — and then was sold quietly lower until shortly before 12 o’clock noon CST as well It has traded flat since — and is down 5 dollars as Zurich opens.

Net HFT gold volume is pretty light…coming up on 33,000 contracts — and there’s only 570 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal. Net HFT silver volume is a bit over 9,400 contracts — and there’s already 3,408 contracts on top of that.

The dollar index opened down 5 basis points once trading began at 7:44 p.m. EDT on Tuesday evening in New York, which was 7:44 a.m. China Standard Time on their Wednesday morning. It has been edging very quietly and very unevenly higher since — and is currently up 5 basis points.


With the April delivery month in gold now winding down, the activity in the upcoming May delivery month for silver is now getting cranked up.  As I have been pointing out for the last few days, the roll-over/switch volume out of May and into future months is starting to get more intense.

All the large traders in May silver [those holding 150 COMEX contracts or more] that aren’t standing for delivery, have to roll or sell those positions by the close of COMEX trading this Friday — and the rest have to be out by the close of COMEX trading the following Monday.  First Day Notice for silver deliveries in May will be posted on the CME’s website around 10 p.m. EDT on Tuesday evening.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:02 a.m. EDT, I note that the four precious metals have rallied a bit during the first hour of London/Zurich trading. Gold is down only 30 cents the ounce — and silver is back at unchanged. Platinum is now up 2 dollars — and palladium is down only a buck currently.

Gross gold volume is just under 41,000 contracts — and minus what little roll-over/switch volume there is, net HFT gold volume is a bit over 39,500 contracts. Net HFT silver volume is around 11,300 contracts — and there’s already 4,308 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal.

The dollar index has been chopping quietly sideways for the last hour — and as of 8:45 a.m. BST in London/9:45 a.m. CEST in Zurich, it’s up 3 basis points.

If there was a good thing about yesterday’s engineered price declines in both silver and gold, it happened before the COMEX close — and all of that data should be in this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report.  There should be decent declines in the commercial net short positions in both these precious metals.

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

Ed