Gold Closes Above Its 50-Day Moving Average

14 May 2019 — Tuesday

YESTERDAY in GOLD, SILVER, PLATINUM and PALLADIUM


The gold price was up a couple of dollars by minutes before 9 a.m. China Standard Time on their Monday morning — and at that time, Ted’s “midnight move” began.  The price was sold quietly lower, with the low tick of the day coming at the London open.  It didn’t do much of anything from that juncture until around 1:05 p.m. BST in London, which was about fifteen minutes before the COMEX open…then away it went to the upside.  That rally stopped, or was capped at the 9:30 a.m. open of the equity markets in New York on their Monday morning.  It crawled quietly higher from there, breaking above $1,300 spot by the COMEX close, but was carefully closed below it in the thinly-traded after-hours market.

The low and high tick in gold were reported by the CME Group as $1,282.40 and $1,302.20 in the June contract.

Gold was closed in New York on Monday at $1,299.60 spot, up $13.80 from Friday — and back above its 50-day moving average by a decent amount.  Not surprisingly, net volume was absolutely enormous at 328,500 contracts — and there was a very heavy 58,700 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.

Ted’s “midnight move” in silver began at the same time as it did for gold — and it was sold lower until a few minutes after 1 p.m. BST in London.  With a brief blip at the COMEX open, it powered higher as well — and its price path was handled in a similar manner to gold’s after that.

The low and high ticks in this precious metal were recorded by the CME Group as $14.615 and $14.815 in the July contract.

Silver was closed at $14.745 spot, up 1 whole penny on the day.  Net volume was a bit higher than normal, but not by much at just over 59,000 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume was a bit over 5,300 contracts.

Platinum was hammered lower the moment that trading began at 6:00 p.m. EDT in New York on Sunday evening.  Its low came about fifteen minutes before the Zurich open — and it began to chop unevenly higher from there.  It made it back within three bucks of unchanged, but was then sold lower starting shortly after 9 a.m. in New York.  That sell-off lasted until the COMEX close — and the price didn’t do much of anything after that.  Platinum was closed at $853 spot, down 10 dollars on the day.

The engineered price decline began in palladium at the same time as it did for platinum — and from around 10:30 a.m. CST in Shanghai, the price really didn’t do much of anything until the afternoon gold fix in London.  It was sold a bit lower until around 11:30 a.m. in New York — and really didn’t do much after that going into the 5:00 p.m. EDT close of trading.  Palladium was closed at $1,305 spot, down 28 dollars from Friday.

The dollar index closed very late on Friday afternoon in New York at 97.32 — and opened down 2 basis points once trading commenced in New York on Sunday evening.  It began to chop quietly and unevenly sideways — and didn’t do much until something ‘happened’ a few minutes after 8 a.m. in New York on Monday.  Then down it went.  The index was saved by the usual ‘gentle hands’ either at 9:00 a.m. or 9:25 a.m. EDT…you choose.  The 97.03 low tick came at one of those times — and the subsequent rally had it back at around the unchanged mark by around 11:25 a.m. EDT.  It began to creep very quietly and unevenly higher starting shortly before the 1:30 p.m. COMEX close — and the 97.38 high tick came at precisely 5:00 p.m. EDT — and it sold off a few basis points into the close from there.  The dollar index finished the Monday session at 97.35…up 3 basis points from Friday’s close.

And despite the ‘rally’ back to unchanged in the dollar index in morning trading in New York, the precious metals were allowed to hang onto their gains they made during the precipitous decline in the dollar index that began earlier in the morning.

Here’s the intraday DXY chart from the folks over at the ino.com Internet site — and the ‘click to enlarge’ feature does not help with this chart.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart — and the delta between its close…97.12…and the close on the DXY chart above, was 23 basis points on Monday.  Click to enlarge.

The gold shares jumped up a bit at the 9:30 a.m. open of trading in New York yesterday morning, then dipped a bit until shortly after 10 a.m. EDT — and began to head steadily higher from there.  The gold stocks came very close to finishing on their respective highs of the day, as the HUI closed higher by 3.56 percent.

The rally in the silver equities was about the same as it was for their golden brethren, except they dipped a bit into negative territory before beginning to chop higher.  They really caught a bit starting around 2:20 p.m. EDT — and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index basically closed on its high tick of the day as well…up 2.24 percent.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

And here’s the 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 43 gold and 13 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Wednesday.

In gold, of the two short/issuers in total, the only one that mattered was JPMorgan, with 42 contracts.  The three long/stoppers were JPMorgan, Advantage and Morgan Stanley…with 28, 12 and 3 contracts.  All contracts, both issued and stopped, involved their respective client accounts.

In silver, ADM and Advantage issued 8 and 5 contracts out of their respective client accounts.  JPMorgan picked up 8 in total…6 for its client account, plus another 2 for its own account.  Advantage came in second with 4 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 May rose by 40 contracts, leaving 159 still open, minus the 43 mentioned a few paragraphs ago.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 2 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 40+2=42 more gold contracts were just added to the May delivery month.  I suspect that the 42 contracts that JPMorgan issued  in the above Daily Delivery Report represents these same 42 contracts.  Silver o.i. in May dropped by 16 contracts, leaving 307 still around, minus the 13 mentioned a few paragraphs ago.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 19 silver contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 19-16=3 more silver contracts were added to May.


After about six weeks of straight withdrawals, there was finally a deposit of some size into GLD on Friday, as an authorized participant added 103,835 troy ounces of gold.  There were no reported changes in SLV.

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, April 10 — and this is what they had to report.  Their gold ETF rose by 19,772 troy ounces, but their silver ETF only added 3,630 troy ounces.

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

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

There was some activity in silver, as 73,149 troy ounces were reported received — and 596,053 troy ounces were shipped out.  All of the ‘in’ activity was at CNT.  In the ‘out’ category, there was one truckload…594,030 troy ounces that departed CNT — and the remaining 2,022 troy ounces…two good delivery bars…was shipped out of Delaware.  The link to this is here.

Over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Friday, they reported receiving 1,354 of them — and shipped out another 3,053.  All of this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.


Here are the usual two charts that Nick Laird passes around every weekend.  They show the amount of gold and silver in all know depositories, ETFs and mutual funds, as of the close of business on Friday, May 10.  For the week just past, these charts show that 331,000 troy ounces of gold was withdrawn on a net basis basis.  But in silver, there was 730,000 troy ounces added over the same period of time.  The dichotomy continues.  Click to enlarge for both.

I have a decent number of stories/articles for you today.


CRITICAL READS

Markets Tumble As China Strikes Back, May Dump “Some Treasuries”

After vowing over the weekend to “never surrender to external pressure“, Beijing has defied President Trump’s demands that it not resort to retaliatory tariffs and announced plans to slap new levies on $60 billion in U.S. goods.

  • CHINA SAYS TO RAISE TARIFFS ON SOME U.S. GOODS FROM JUNE 1
  • CHINA SAYS TO RAISE TARIFFS ON $60B OF U.S. GOODS
  • CHINA SAYS TO RAISE TARIFFS ON 2493 U.S. GOODS TO 25%
  • CHINA MAY STOP PURCHASING U.S. AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS:GLOBAL TIMES
  • CHINA MAY REDUCE BOEING ORDERS: GLOBAL TIMES
  • CHINA ADDITIONAL TARIFFS DO NOT INCLUDE U.S. CRUDE OIL
  • CHINA RAISES TARIFF ON U.S. LNG TO 25% EFFECTIVE JUNE 1
  • CHINA TO RAISE TARIFFS ON IMPORTS OF U.S. RARE EARTHS TO 25%

China’s announcement comes after the White House raised tariffs on some $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25% from 10% on Friday (however, the new rates will only apply to goods leaving Chinese ports on or after the date where the new tariffs took effect).

This slightly longish chart-filled commentary appeared on the Zero Hedge website at 2:14 p.m. on Monday afternoon EDT — and another link to it is here.  There was this companion piece from the ZH website as well headlined “Trump: Beijing “Will Be Hurt Very Badly” If They Retaliate With More Tariffs” — and I thank Brad Robertson for that one.


White House Considers Economist Judy Shelton for Fed Board

The White House is considering conservative economist Judy Shelton to fill one of the two vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors that President Donald Trump has struggled to fill.

Shelton has been contacted by the White House regarding the position, according to two people familiar with the matter who described the outreach on condition of anonymity.

She declined a request for comment, but on Saturday responded “Thank you, sir” to a tweet from Representative Jim Banks, Republican of Indiana, saying she’d be a “great pick” for the central bank.

Shelton, who’s served as an informal adviser to Trump, holds a Ph.D. in business administration with an emphasis on finance and international economics from the University of Utah.

She’s currently U.S. executive director for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and previously worked for the Sound Money Project, which was founded to promote awareness about monetary stability and financial privacy.

In April, Shelton wrote a commentary for The Wall Street Journal entitled “The Case for Monetary Regime Change.” She said it was “entirely prudent to question the infallibility of the Federal Reserve in calibrating the money supply to the needs of the economy.”

This Bloomberg article showed up on their Internet site at 3:24 p.m. PDT on Friday afternoon — and was updated about fifteen hours later.  I found it in a GATA dispatch on Monday — and another link to it is here.


Should Alabama Impose Tariffs on California? — Bill Bonner

We bet that Trump would never go full retard in his trade war with China. Were we wrong?  Maybe.

Last week, our no-real-trade-war bet was moving further and further out of the money. Team Trump didn’t yet go full retard, but – raising tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports – it was losing I.Q. points fast.

Our prediction was based on the guess that Trump cares more about stock prices than trade policy. A real trade war would cause the stock market to sink… we thought… and the president wasn’t fool enough to risk it.

He’s setting up the Fed to take the blame for the next sell-off. He doesn’t want fingers pointing at him.

But in the most recent tweets, it looks like tariffs were never a negotiating tactic, but an end in themselves:

“Tariffs will bring in FAR MORE wealth to our Country than even a phenomenal deal of the traditional kind. Also, much easier and quicker to do. Our Farmers will do better, faster, and starving nations can now be helped.

Tariffs will make our Country MUCH STRONGER, not weaker. Just sit back and watch!”

If this were true, of course – that you could tax imports and make yourself richer and stronger – there would be many more tariffs in the world. And not just for countries. States… and even counties… would close their borders to imports.

This commentary from Bill was posted on the bonnerandpartners.com Internet site on Monday morning EDT — and another link to it is here.


Taxes: Slightly Up From Slavery — Doug Casey

To eliminate misunderstanding as to what taxes are, it is helpful to define the word “theft.” One good definition is “the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods of another.” The definition does not go on to say, “unless you’re the government.”

There is no difference, in principle, between the State taking property and a street gang doing so, except that the State’s theft is “legal” and its agents are immune from prosecution. Many people do not accept that analogy, because the government is widely viewed as being of, for, and by the people, even though it’s also acknowledged as acting badly from time to time.

Every year at tax time promoters of big government haul out an assortment of nostrums to sedate the lambs as they are shorn. One of the worst is “Taxes are the price we pay for civilization,” a statement of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. It is a splendid example of how, if a lie is big enough and is repeated often enough, it can come to be accepted.

Actually, the truth is almost exactly the opposite. As Mark Skousen, economist and author, has pointed out: “Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state is a complete failure of civilization, while a totally voluntary society is its ultimate success.”

This commentary by Doug appeared on the internationalman.com Internet site on Monday sometime — and another link to it is here.


The Colleges Are Training Tomorrow’s Board Room Executives — Dennis Miller

Good friend Ronnie (fictitious name) has owned a popular bar near a prestigious university for decades. He has me convinced the colleges are doing a great job of preparing the executives of tomorrow.

As I sipped on my iced tea, I noticed young folks in line at his cash machines waiting to withdraw cash. I asked, “why two machines?” He told me when they get packed the lines are long.

Ronnie explained the cash machines only dispense $20 bills. You can withdraw anywhere from $20 to $400. Regardless of the amount, the service charge is $3.99. Withdraw $20 – your credit card gets charged $23.99.

He continued, “It’s very common to see the same credit card being used to withdraw $20 bucks 3-5 times a night.” He continued, “We sell $20 buckets of beer. Every time it’s their turn to buy they go to the cash machine, take out $20 and order another bucket. What do they teach them in college?

What a great lesson for these young people. They are learning the value of “instant gratification”. Go to a cash machine, charge your credit card, get about $.80 on a dollar, party all night and worry about it later. If you are lucky, maybe someone else will clean up your mess.

Do you have to be in the MBA program to learn to pay the minimum balance each month? If you hit your credit limit, just get another card and continue the process – party on!

This commentary from Dennis showed up on his Internet site early on Monday morning EDT — and another link to it is here.


U.S. police raid Venezuelan embassy to evict pro-Maduro activists defending it from ‘illegal seizure

Pro-Maduro activists occupying the Venezuelan embassy in Washington have refused to vacate the premises in defiance of a notice threatening them with arrest and police entering the building but stopping short of evicting everyone.

We are expecting the police to come in and violate the Vienna convention with their fictional government, non-government claiming that we should leave,” the Embassy Civilian Protection Collective said in a video message shortly before the police arrived at the doors of the diplomatic premises to the cheers of the pro-Guaido camp outside.

We’re going to be prepared to be arrested. We’re not going to leave voluntarily.”

Amid the standoff for control of the building, Venezuela’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs for North America reminded Washington that an intrusion would be a breach of international law. “The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has not authorized the entry of police officers into the former Embassy building in Washington, DC. This intrusion is yet another violation of international law by U.S. authorities and aggression against Venezuela,” Carlos Ron said on Twitter.

The crisis surrounding the Venezuelan embassy in Washington began after U.S. authorities forced diplomats loyal to President Maduro to leave the premises more than one month ago. Just before departing for Caracas, the diplomats appointed by Maduro allowed the peace activists to occupy the building.

A failed U.S.-backed coup attempt in Venezuela inflamed the situation at the embassy, with the pro-Guaido camp blocking any attempts by activists to sneak supplies inside. Several people were arrested as they attempted to throw food and hygiene products through the open windows, while authorities cut the power and water supply to the diplomatic compound.

Another international law broken by the U.S.  This news item put in an appearance on the rt.com Internet site at 12:43 a.m. Moscow time on their Tuesday morning, which was 5:43 p.m. in Washington — EDT plus 7 hours.  I thank George Whyte for sharing it with us — and another link is here.


Pompeo Skips Moscow Trip to Pressure E.U. Officials in Brussels on Iran

It seems for the State Department lately it’s all Iran and Venezuela all the time, or perhaps there’s just an aversion to real diplomatic work.

After snubbing Germany’s Merkel last week to make an unplanned stop in Iraq to pressure leaders there into resisting cooperation with Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday scrapped a scheduled trip to Moscow, diverting his plane for a surprise visit to Brussels to presumably crash an E.U. meeting exploring ways of salvaging the Iran nuclear deal.

It appears the “maximum pressure” campaign involves America’s top diplomat throwing his weight around in person anywhere around the globe there might be dissent among U.S. allies.

This news item was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 10:20 a.m. EDT on Monday morning — and another link to it is here.


Bomb Iran Half Way Back to the Stone Age — Eric Margolis

Is it just a coincidence that TV networks are re-running old ‘Dirty Harry’ films just as a powerful U.S. Naval armada and Air Force B-52 bombers are headed for what could be a clash with Iran? Here we go again with the ‘good guys’ versus the ‘bad guys,’ and ‘make my day.’

Maybe it’s more bluffing? The current U.S. military deployment was scheduled before the latest flare-up with Iran, but the bellicose threats of White House neocon crusaders like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo certainly create the impression that the U.S. wants war.

Adding to the warlike excitement, President Trump just ordered seizure of a large North Korean bulk cargo ship. This was clearly a brazen act of war and violation of international law. More dangerous brinkmanship by administration war-mongers who increasingly appear besotted by power and hubris.

So much for the president who vowed to avoid foreign wars – and so much for the millions of anti-war voters who believed him.

Why does Trump let his two horsemen of the apocalypse get away with this?

This brief, but very worthwhile commentary from Eric was posted on the unz.com Internet set on Saturday sometime — and I thank Larry Galearis for bringing it to our attention.  Another link to it is here.  There was also this article in The New Yorker that Patricia Caulfield sent out way — and it’s headlined “Is Trump Yet Another U.S. President Provoking a War?


U.S. “smart enough” not to want war against Iran unless Pompeo & Bolton get their way

The U.S. is “smart enough” not to ignite a war with Iran because it will push the world to the brink of economic disaster and lead to a shortage of oil. But Washington and Gulf hawks could get their way, an analyst told RT.

Tensions in the already troubled Persian Gulf ratcheted up again after the United Arab Emirates claimed that four commercial ships – among them two Saudi tankers – were targeted in what they loosely called a “sabotage operation.” The UAE and Iran called to investigate the incident which is still surrounded by mystery.

But could the alleged “act of sabotage” be conveniently used to pin the blame on Iran – an arch-rival of many Gulf monarchies – and eventually become a prelude to military action against the country?

Some regional powers are eager to take aim at Iran but the U.S. is not, believes Mohammad Marandi, a professor at the University of Tehran. “I think that the Israeli regime, the Saudis and the Emiratis are looking for a war but the US government doesn’t want a war except for [John] Bolton and maybe [Mike] Pompeo,” he told RT.

The United States knows that if there is a war, all the oil and gas [facilities] in the Persian Gulf and all the tankers will be destroyed.

These facilities are located close to each other which makes them especially vulnerable in case of war. If annihilated, they will not be rebuilt for years, plunging the world into “a great economic depression.”

This interesting and worthwhile news item was posted on the rt.com Internet site at 3:34 p.m. Moscow time on their Monday afternoon, which was 8:34 a.m. in Washington — EDT plus 7 hours.  I thank George Whyte for sending it our way — and another link to it is here.


QE Party Over, Bank of Japan Stealth-Tapers Further — Wolf Richter

Total assets on the balance sheet of the Bank of Japan at the end of April ticked up from March but were flat with the record in February: ¥562 trillion ($5.1 trillion). This amounts to a gigantic 102.2% of nominal GDP. But the BOJ has been tapering its asset purchases since peak QE at the end of 2016, and the growth has slowed to a snail’s pace, by Abenomics QE standards.

Despite the BOJs repeated promises of adding ¥85 trillion to its balance sheet every year, the BOJ hasn’t done that since peak QE in 2016 when it added ¥93 trillion. The additions have consistently decreased since then. Over the 12 months through April, it has added merely ¥27 trillion, the lowest 12-month increase since early days of ramping up Abenomics in March 2013. This amounts to a stealth taper:

Meanwhile, the government of Japan has been borrowing and issuing new debt with reckless abandon, and the gross national debt outstanding has ballooned to ¥1.12 quadrillion, or 203% of nominal GDP (measured in yen).

But no problem: the BOJ started buying every Japanese government security that wasn’t nailed down, with the government selling new securities to the banks, and the banks selling them to the BOJ for a small profit. In addition the BOJ mopped up what was coming on the market. The BOJ now holds 43% of all outstanding Japanese government securities, up from 25% in January 2015.

This very interesting 6-chart article from Wolf put in an appearance on his website on Saturday sometime — and I thank Richard Saler for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.


Ed Steer Gold & Silver Daily: If JP Morgan Allows It…

Ed Steer joins us from Metals & Markets this week, where we are talking market manipulation and a whole lot more…

Ed Steer of Ed Steer’s Gold & Silver Digest interviewed by James Anderson for SD Bullion
This week we are welcoming a first-time guest to the show, a man with multiple decades of investing experience and documentation of the precious metals markets, Mr. Ed Steer.

Ed has been an outspoken critic of the precious metals price discovery complex and commercial bank concentration. His comments on the ongoing Department of Justice prosecution of ex-JP Morgan precious metals traders is worthy of your ears.

What did Ed think of former CFTC commissioner Bart Chilton’s recent admissions about JP Morgan’s involvement in the silver and precious metal complex?

What has surprised Ed over the years, and what does he believe is in store for the monetary metals in the coming decade?

Tune-in to the interview in its entirety below for the answers to those questions and a whole lot more:

I did this 15-minute audio interview with host James Anderson for the folks over at the silverdoctors.com Internet site last Wednesday — and it showed up on their website on Saturday.  The interview begins at the 2:20 minute mark — and another link to it is here.


Platinum supply may move into deficit this year — Lawrie Williams

Platinum has probably been vying with silver as the worst performing precious metal over the past few years, but the latest pgm specialist Johnson Matthey analysis paints a more positive picture for the metal’s future.  It has been hugely overshadowed on the pricing front by its much more volatile sister metal, palladium, over which it has traditionally held a strong price advantage. However the platinum price premium over palladium has reversed in the past couple of years which have seen the latter metal’s price surge dramatically on what, on the face of things, appear to be much stronger supply/demand fundamentals.

In short, palladium became the go-to catalytic metal of choice for gasoline (petrol) fuelled engines, due to its historic lower price and in the light vehicle market gasoline is the dominant fuel for internal combustion engine vehicles.  Platinum had retained its dominance in the diesel sector, but the VW scandal, and the targeting of diesel as the more dangerous environmental polluter has reduced the mass market end in this sector and platinum had appeared to be heading for several years of production surpluses, with the price suffering accordingly.  Consequently the palladium price surged ahead of that of platinum at end-September2017 and hasn’t looked back since then with analysts predicting big platinum production surpluses and palladium deficits.

However the latest analysis from Johnson Matthey in its just released PGM Market Report, suggests platinum supply could also move into deficit in the current year.  The report notes that a surge in investment buying and higher automotive consumption (primarily from an ever-growing diesel truck market)  will underpin a 9% demand gain for platinum in 2019, offsetting weakness in the Chinese platinum jewellery market, where platinum faces increased competition from karat gold jewellery.

Johnson Matthey reckons overall automotive demand for platinum will rise by 3% this year, primarily due to greater platinum use on trucks. In China, the company states,  “platinum consumption on heavy duty vehicles will increase sharply, with strict China 6 emissions legislation due to be implemented in some provinces and cities starting in July 2019. The new regulations will apply nationwide from July 2020, while India will also introduce strict emissions regulations for trucks next year.

This commentary from Lawrie put in an appearance on the Sharp Pixley website on Monday — and another link to it is here.


Biggest ever” treasure trove of Roman coins found in Britain

A hoard of early fourth-century Roman coins, which was discovered by two metal-detecting enthusiasts, is thought to be the largest haul of its kind to be found in Britain.

The discovery was made in July 2017 near the village of Rauceby in Lincolnshire, which 59-year-old Rob Jones and his friend Craig Paul, 32, had searched for years.

Lincolnshire County Council archaeologist Dr Adam Daubney said the coins may have been buried as part of a ceremonial ritual.

The coins were found in a ceramic pot, which was buried in the centre of a large oval pit – lined with quarried limestone,” he said.

What we found during the excavation suggests to me that the hoard was not put in the ground in secret, but rather was perhaps a ceremonial or votive offering.”

The Rauceby hoard is giving us further evidence for so-called ‘ritual’ hoarding in Roman Britain.”

This news item appeared on the msn.com Internet site on Saturday sometime — and another link to it is here.


The PHOTOS and the FUNNIES

This first photo is one I posted on Saturday….a telephoto shot of some cattle in a pasture a few miles northeast of Merritt.  I’m posting it again so you can see the difference between the image taken with a telephoto vs. a wide-angle lens in the second photo.  It hardly looks like the same place.   Both were taken from the same spot within minutes of each other.  The choice of lens and cropping techniques can significantly alter one’s perspective of any given scene.  The last photo of a yellow-bellied marmot was taken about a week later a handful of miles south of Kamloops.  Note how its lower incisor teeth have grown unnaturally long.  One wonders how it is able eat.  I though these were rare animals when I first arrived here because I’d never seen one before, but have discovered that they are not.  Click to enlarge for all three.


The WRAP

As I already carefully noted at the top of today’s missive, gold did close above its 50-day moving average, but was carefully closed below the $1,300 spot mark.  Of course silver wasn’t allowed even a sniff of its 200-day — and came awfully close to setting a new low for this engineered price decline on an intraday basis yesterday.  Platinum was hauled down below its 50-day moving average yesterday, after breaking above it intraday on Friday — and that’s despite the bullish supply/demand fundamentals the Lawrie Williams spoke of in his commentary in today’s Critical Reads section.

Copper also took a hit yesterday — and is now below its 200-day moving average by 6 cents or so.  WTIC was closed a tad below its 50-day moving average yesterday — and also broke below its 200-day on an intraday basis.  Those two moving averages are only fifty cents apart, so it wasn’t a herculean task to accomplish that feat.

Here are the 6-month charts for the Big 6 commodities — and you can check out all these changes for yourself.  Click to enlarge.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away — and I see that the rather unimpressive rallies in all four precious metals that began in early Tuesday morning trading in the Far East were capped and then turned lower starting at various times during that period. At the moment ‘da boyz’ have gold down $2.70 — and they now have silver back at unchanged on the day. Platinum is now up only 5 bucks — and palladium is up only 4 dollars as Zurich opens.

Net HFT gold volume is getting up there…coming up on 54,000 contracts — and there’s 3,600 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal. Net HFT silver volume is nothing out of the ordinary at something over 8,700 contracts — and there’s 2,700 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.

The dollar index opened down 3 basis points once trading commenced in New York on Monday evening — and has been chopping unevenly sideways since — and is down 4 basis points as of 7:45 a.m. in London/8:45 a.m. in Zurich.


Today, at the close of COMEX trading, is the cut-off for this week’s Commitment of Traders Report — and unless ‘da boyz’ can completely reverse Monday’s rally — and then some, then there will undoubtedly be a rather large increase in the commercial net short position in gold in that report, as last night’s Preliminary Report showed an alarming increase in the total open interest in gold yesterday. But the jury is still out on silver.


And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:02 a.m. EDT, I note that both gold and silver are off their post-London opens by a bit. Gold is down $1.70 an ounce — and silver is now up 3 cents. Noting much has happened in platinum, as it’s up dollars, but palladium is now higher by 8 bucks.

Gross gold volume is pretty beefy at around 65,500 contracts — and minus roll-over/switch volume, net HFT gold volume is around 57,300 contracts. Net HFT silver volume is a bit over 9,800 contracts — and there’s 3,232 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal.

The dollar index began to edge higher about half an hour before the London/Zurich opens — and is now up 3 basis point as the first hour of London and Zurich trading draw to a close.

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

Ed