15 May 2019 — Wednesday
YESTERDAY in GOLD, SILVER, PLATINUM and PALLADIUM
The gold price crept a few dollars higher [and back above $1,300 spot] in very early morning trading in the Far East on their Tuesday — and its high of the day, such as it was, came shortly after 8 a.m. China Standard Time. From that juncture it was sold very quietly and unevenly lower [and back below $1,300 spot] until around noon in New York — and then edged equally unevenly higher until 4 p.m. EDT. It didn’t do anything in the last hour of trading.
The high and low ticks aren’t worth looking up.
Gold was closed at $1,296.30 spot, down $3.30 on the day, but still above its 50-day moving average. Net volume was nothing special at 199,000 contracts — and there was a hair over 24,000 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.
The silver price was forced to behave in a similar fashion until 9 a.m. in Shanghai — and from there it chopped quietly sideways until 9 a.m. in London. Its low tick in the spot month came a minute or so before 10 a.m. BST — and once the noon silver fix was in, it began to show some signs of life. That state of affairs was allowed to last until 9:40 a.m. in New York. The price was capped and turned sharply lower until 10:20 a.m. EDT — and it chopped quietly sideways until trading ended at 5:00 p.m.
The high and low ticks you see on the Kitco chart below, occurred in the spot month only, so they aren’t worth reporting on.
Silver was closed at $14.76 spot, up 1.5 cents on the day. Net volume was pretty quiet at a hair under 42,000 contracts — and there was about 6,100 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal.
Platinum’s rally was also capped shortly after 8 a.m. in Shanghai on their Tuesday morning — and from there it chopped sideways until 2 p.m. CST. It was sold lower until shortly before 11 a.m. in Zurich trading — and began to head higher from there. Its rally was capped and turned lower about twenty minutes of so after that COMEX open — and the engineered price decline lasted until minutes after the afternoon gold fix was done for the day in London. It ticked about five dollars higher until noon in New York — and then ticked a few dollars lower into the 5 p.m. EDT close from there. Platinum was closed at $853 spot, unchanged from Monday.
Palladium traded flat until 8 a.m. CST — and then rallied a bit for the next two hours before chopping sideways to a bit lower until the 10 a.m. EST afternoon gold fix in London. It was sold down to its low of the day shortly after that — and then rallied sharply until around 11:40 a.m. EDT. It then chopped unevenly sideways…except for that vicious down/up price spike at 2:20 p.m…until trading ended in New York. Palladium finished the Tuesday session at $1,319 spot, up 14 bucks on the day.
The dollar index closed very late on Monday afternoon in New York at 97.32 — and opened unchanged once trading commenced at 7:44 p.m. EDT on Monday evening. It then proceeded to trade unevenly sideways until around 12:45 p.m. BST in London, which was 7:45 a.m. in New York. It jumped up a bit over the next thirty minutes or so — and then edged very quietly and unevenly higher until trading ended at 5:28 p.m. EDT. The dollar index finished the Tuesday session at 97.53…up 21 basis points on the day.
Bloomberg finally fixed their DXY chart, so I’m back to that one again. Click to enlarge.
And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart courtesy of stockcharts.com — and the delta between its close…97.12…and the close on the DXY chart above, was 41 basis points on Tuesday. Click to enlarge as well.
The gold shares began to head unevenly lower as soon as trading commenced in New York at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Tuesday morning — and their respective lows came at exactly 12:00 o’clock noon EDT. I suspect a buying program of some kind kicked in at that point — and they rallied unevenly for the remainder of the day. But the HUI still closed down 0.52 percent.
It was almost exactly the same trading pattern in the silver equities, except after the noon rally started in their stocks, it only lasted until minutes before 2 p.m. in New York trading — and they then traded quietly and unevenly sideways until the market closed at 4:00 p.m. EDT. Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 1.75 percent…taking back a very decent chunk of Monday’s gains in the process. Click to enlarge if necessary.
And here’s Nick’s 1-year Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index, updated with Tuesday’s doji. Click to enlarge as well.
The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 1 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Thursday. Advantage issued the lone gold contract — and JPMorgan stopped it. Both transactions involved 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 May fell by 38 contracts, leaving 121 still around, minus the 1 contract mentioned in the previous paragraph. Monday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 43 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 43-38=5 more gold contracts were just added to the May delivery month. Silver o.i. in May declined by 12 contracts, leaving 295 still open. Monday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 13 silver contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 13-12=1 more silver contract was added to May.
There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV on Tuesday.
It was yet another day where there was no sales report from the U.S. Mint.
There was a tiny amount of activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on Monday. Nothing was reported received — and the only ‘out’ activity was 8,219 troy ounces that departed Canada’s Scotiabank. I won’t bother linking this.
There was some activity in silver, most of which occurred at CNT. All of the ‘in’ activity was there, one truckload…599,952 troy ounces. There was a total of 644,111 troy ounces shipped out — and one truckload…600,132 troy ounces…departed Canada’s Scotiabank. There was also 39,984 troy ounces shipped out of CNT — and the remaining 3,994 troy ounces left the vault over at Brink’s, Inc. There was also a paper transfer of 39,365 troy ounces that was moved from the Eligible category — and into Registered over at CNT. The link to all this is here.
There was no in/out activity reported over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Monday.
Here are three charts that Nick Laird sent around late on Monday evening, that I was just too lazy to stick in Tuesday’s column, as I already had the weekly transparent gold and silver holding charts in this spot…so here they are now. It shows the amount of gold that was withdrawn from the Shanghai Gold Exchange in April — and in that month they took out 151.89 tonnes. Here’s Nick’s chart updated with the April data point. Click to enlarge.
This next chart shows total SGE withdrawals up to and including Month 4 [April] of 2019 — and although SGE withdrawals are not on par with with demand in Month 4 of 2018…they’re still way up there. Click to enlarge.
This third SGE chart needs no further explanation, as that is included in the chart name. Click to enlarge as well.
It should also be noted that since the exchange’s inception in 2008…there has been 17,801 tonnes withdrawn over that time period.
I don’t have all that much for you in the way of stories/articles today.
Here we have a most interesting collection of signage. Some low-level civil servant who’s in charge of deciding what the motorist may do at this particular junction has become quite thorough in creating restrictions.
The motorist may not proceed, may not turn left or right, and, most interestingly, in the second sign from the bottom, may not reverse out. In essence, “You’re stuck here and whatever you do to get out, you’re in violation of the rules we’ve placed upon you.”
Of course, if we were to encounter this particular intersection, we might say, “That’s absurd – they can’t possibly hold me to this.”
But, interestingly, under the traffic laws, a policeman can cite us for violating the signage. If we’re lucky, he might agree that it’s absurd and give us a break, but his job is to enforce it, regardless of its absurdity. And if he enjoys his position of authority, as many in his position do, he just may choose to demonstrate his power.
And, if we defy him, we’re in real trouble.
How many laws exist in the U.S. today? The answer is that no one knows. It’s too complex to define. There are roughly 20,000 laws regarding gun control alone – and that’s just the federal laws. State, county and city laws also exist in abundance.
This interesting commentary from Jeff appeared on the internationalman.com Internet site on Tuesday morning EDT — and another link to it is here.
[W]e have no time to stop and smell the flowers. We have dots to connect… and the breakdown of Western civilization to reckon with.
Yes, Dear Reader, gloom is what we see… doom is what we foretell. And if you are smart, you will vamoose out of the danger zone… if you can.
Alas, that will be hard to do, because civilization itself is at risk. And herewith, we begin to connect some big, squishy dots.
One of the most cherished lessons humans ever learned is that wars are dangerous, destructive, and rarely profitable. The war-makers are wealth (and happiness) destroyers; they need to be kept on a leash.
That was the central insight of conservatism for generations: The feds may be useful servants, but they are bad masters. They have the brute force to take away life, liberty, and property. And they’ll do it, if you let them.
But before we even begin to connect the dots, we will describe the broader tableau…
This commentary from Bill showed up on the bonnerandpartners.com Internet site early on Tuesday morning EDT — and another link to it is here.
With the Venezuela crisis making regime change once again the talk of the town in Washington, the U.S. Special Operations Command has published a paper chronicling the highs and lows of seven decades of foreign interference.
The 250-page study, entitled “Support to Resistance: Strategic Purpose and Effectiveness,” was penned by Army Special Forces veteran Will Irwin, and published by the Joint Special Operations University, where Irwin is a resident senior fellow.
Few nations have universities dedicated to the art of the coup, but few nations have a history of foreign intervention quite like the U.S. Since the end of World War II, the United States has brought its military might to bear on dozens of countries and sponsored scores of insurgencies and regime change operations worldwide. Irwin was first faced with the task of whittling down the list to something manageable.
After discounting coups that involved no resistance movements – like those in Iran in 1953 and Guatemala in 1954 – as well as those that involved actions against non-state actors, the researcher was left with 47 cases. Recent U.S. proxy wars, like those in Syria, Ukraine and Libya, were also discounted.
Sponsoring foreign resistance movements transcends partisan divisions. “Even presidents who, prior to their election, looked upon such activity with disfavor, found themselves compelled to use it after taking office,” Irwin wrote glowingly.
That’s the power of the deep state, dear reader. Kennedy fought it — and we all know what they did to him. This article, along with a embedded link to the 250-page study, was posted on the rt.com Internet site on Tuesday afternoon Moscow time — and it comes to us courtesy of George Whyte. I was going to save it for Saturday, but changed my mind. Another link to it is here.
Pressure is building on Theresa May ahead of talks with the opposition Labour Party aimed at reaching a deal on leaving the European Union, as opinion polls showed support for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party soaring and members of her own side urged her to change strategy.
The government has been in talks with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour for a month in search of a Brexit compromise, but with no deal in sight and Brexit delayed to October, May’s Tory party has been hemorrhaging voters. According to an Opinium survey for the Observer newspaper, the Brexit Party would take 34% of the vote in the May 23 European Parliament elections, compared with 21% for Labour and just 11% for the Conservatives.
The poll follows a disastrous showing in this month’s local elections, and the Tory clamor for May to jettison her plan for a soft Brexit deal with Labour has been growing. Former Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, fired following an inquiry into a national security leak, was the latest to criticize May for talking to the opposition.
“It is a grave mistake for any prime minister to fail to recognize when a plan will not work and it is fatal to press on regardless,” Williamson wrote in a newspaper op-ed.
But her ministers came out fighting on Sunday, saying the government was focused on securing a “stable majority” to get its Brexit bill through Parliament, and that meant dealing with the opposition.
This Bloomberg story from Sunday was picked up by the news.yahoo.com Internet site — and I thank I thank Jim Gullo for pointing it out. Another link to it is here.
In yet another sign of Washington getting its partners (vassals) in order (going completely off the rails)–some funny news from El Pais.
“Más gasto en armamento, sí. Pero independencia estratégica, no. Estados Unidos ha advertido por escrito a la Unión Europea de que sus planes actuales de defensa están poniendo en peligro décadas de integración de la industria de defensa transatlántica y de cooperación militar a través de la OTAN. La misiva, fechada el pasado 1 de mayo y a la que ha tenido acceso EL PAÍS, llega cargada de amenazas, más o menos veladas, de posibles represalias políticas y comerciales si Bruselas mantiene su intención de desarrollar proyectos europeos de armamento sin apenas contar con países terceros, ni siquiera con EE UU. La diatriba del Departamento de Defensa contra los planes europeos agrava la tensión entre Europa y la Administración de Donald Trump cuando los ánimos ya estaban soliviantados por la negativa de Alemania y Reino Unido a impedir la participación de la empresa china Huawei en el desarrollo de la telefonía de quinta generación.”
Translation (Google): More spending on weapons, yes. But strategic independence, no. The United States has warned in writing to the European Union that its current defense plans are endangering decades of integration of the transatlantic defense industry and military cooperation through NATO.The letter, dated on May 1 and which has been accessed by EL PAÍS, comes loaded with threats, more or less veiled, of possible political and commercial reprisals if Brussels maintains its intention to develop European armaments projects with hardly any countries. third parties, not even with the United States. The diatribe of the Department of Defense against the European plans aggravates the tension between Europe and the Administration of Donald Trump when the spirits were already soured by the refusal of Germany and the United Kingdom to prevent the participation of the Chinese company Huawei in the development of the telephony of fifth generation.
Well, I feel the pain, of course (not really;)) but, dear Europe, allow me to quote to you none other than Lord Ismay about the nature of NATO, which, in his words, was needed: “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down“. Does anyone see here anything about “Democracy”, defense or sovereignty? I don’t see anything. Of course, those dumb Soviets who lost 27 million defending themselves from this very Europe (actually, since middle ages) never really cared about attacking NATO and wanted to be left alone, but, of course, Europeans are not that good with serious military-political analysis, especially when this “analysis” is controlled from Washington, but never mind. So, now is the time to reap what one sowed–Europe wanted “defense” from mythical Russian threat, so let Europe be “defended”.
This rather brief, but very interesting commentary from Andrei was posted on the smoothiex2.blogspot.com Internet site on Tuesday sometime — and I thank Larry Galearis for sharing it with us. Another link to it is here.
Just as everyone with half a frontal lobe had expected, the WSJ reported late on Monday that according to an initial U.S. assessment, “Iran was likely behind the attack” on the two Saudi Arabian oil tankers and two other vessels damaged over the weekend near the Strait of Hormuz, a U.S. official said, a finding that, whether confirmed or not, will certainly inflame military tensions in the Gulf and likely result in a global proxy war that drags in the U.S., China and Russia. Oh, and that would be the Persian Gulf for those wondering, not the Gulf of Tonkin, which is where another famous False Flag naval incident occurred.
Furthermore, as we predicted would happen on Sunday, this “official assessment“, was the first suggestion by any nation that Iran was responsible for the attack and follows a series of U.S. warnings against “aggression” by Iran or its allies and proxies against military or commercial vessels in the region. Some more details from the WSJ:
The U.S. official, who declined to be identified, didn’t offer details about what led to the assessment or its implications for a possible U.S. response. The U.S. has said in the past week that it was sending an aircraft carrier, an amphibious assault ship, a bomber task force and an antimissile system to the region after it alleged intelligence showed Iran posed a threat to its troops.
“If they do anything, they will suffer greatly. We’ll see what happens with Iran,” President Trump said while meeting with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the White House earlier on Monday.
The assessment, predictable from a mile away, squares perfectly with CIA veteran Mike Pompeo’s warning from just two days before the alleged attack, in which he said that “The regime in Tehran should understand that any attacks by them or their proxies of any identity against U.S. interests or citizens will be answered with a swift and decisive U.S. response,” the U.S. Secretary of State wrote in a statement warning that Iran should not mistake U.S. “restraint” for a “lack of resolve,” and criticizing Iran for “an escalating series of threatening actions and statements in recent weeks.”
Two days later Iran – according to U.S. officials – staged the most brazen attack on oil tankers in the Straits of Hormuz in years.
No surprises here — and you can bet your entire net worth on the fact that Iran had nothing to do with these so-called ‘events’. False flag setups like this are designed for only one purpose…a Casus belli for war.
This news item was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 3:45 a.m. EDT on Tuesday morning — and I lifted it from a story on the duran.com Internet site that Roy Stephens sent our way. Another link to it is here.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov concluded the Sochi talks by agreeing to cooperate on nuclear arms control. The two diplomats, however, could not reach agreement on Venezuela.
After emerging from a sit-down in the Russian Black Sea resort on Tuesday, Pompeo and Lavrov both talked of their governments’ desire to improve relations, currently at a low ebb. Lavrov described the meeting as “frank and useful,” while Pompeo said the U.S. “stands ready to find common ground” with Russia.
As predicted, nuclear arms control was top of the agenda, following the Trump administration’s recent withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Pompeo and Lavrov seemed open to cooperation on establishing new arms control pacts, with Pompeo restating President Donald Trump’s desire to bring China into any future deal.
With the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty set to expire in February 2021, Pompeo said that Washington is willing to work towards extending the deal by five years, while the Russian FM said he hopes any future agreements will be “positively received by both nations.”
Larry Galearis, who sent me this story, had his own headline for it…”Lavrov and Pompeo exchange empty statements“. That’s far closer to the truth. This story put in an appearance on the rt.com Internet site at 3:41 p.m. Moscow time on their Tuesday afternoon, which was 8:41 a.m. in Washington — EDT plus 7 hours. Another link to it is here.
The April figures for Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) gold withdrawals show a sharp fall year on year which could indicate a significant downturn in the Chinese economy, although it is probably still too early to confirm this given withdrawals last year fell sharply from May onwards. However the cumulative total to date is very close to that of 2017.
The latest total gives withdrawal figures ample time to recover through the remainder of the year. But even so the figures may show that the Trump imposed tariffs are beginning to bite as far as gold imports and consumption are concerned.
We have always looked upon the SGE withdrawal figures as being a strong indicator of Chinese gold consumption and imports and to an extent the latest figure confirms the slowdown in gold imports we have seen from key gold exporters like Switzerland so far this year. But as far as global gold demand is concerned it appears that demand is picking up nicely in India and is strong in Europe (particularly in Germany and Austria) and this should counterbalance any Chinese shortfall this year.
But – and it is a big but – the world could be heading for a trade war-stimulated recession which could have a somewhat mixed impact on global gold demand. On the one hand it could stimulate safe haven buying from those with deep pockets, but also adversely affect purchases from the huge numbers of small gold accumulators, particularly in countries like China, which tend to have a significant impact on global gold demand. It could also stimulate sales of gold related investment holdings as people use their built-up gold accumulations to alleviate any recession-related income downturns and also revive what has been a flat to falling gold scrap supply sector.
This worthwhile commentary from Lawrie appeared on the Sharps Pixley website on Tuesday sometime — and another link to it is here.
The PHOTOS and the FUNNIES
These next three photos were taken further down the road from where I got that shot of the yellow-bellied marmot that appeared in Tuesday’s column. This first shot of is a spring lamb…being carefully watched over by its mother. The next two shots were also taken on this same valley road — and its the same herd of cattle in both shots, but the second photo was taken from about two or three hundred meters/yards further down the road — and looking east up the valley, instead of south down the valley, which is what you see in the first shot. These photos were taken on April 13 — and spring was just getting started at this altitude. Click to enlarge for all.
Not only were the precious metal rallies capped in New York on Monday, their tiny follow-through rallies in early morning trading in the Far East, weren’t allowed to get anywhere, either.
And whether Monday’s rally was another on of Ted’s “scams within a scam“…where his raptors, the small commercial traders other than the Big 8, forced the Managed Money traders to cover their latest short positions for their loss — and the commercials gain, remains to be seen. We won’t know for sure until Ted has a look at this Friday’s COT numbers which, as he said on the phone yesterday, will certainly show an increase in the commercial net short position in gold, but probably not in silver.
Here are the charts for the four precious metals, plus copper and WTIC. Gold has now closed above its 50-day moving average for the second day in a row — and silver is still well contained below its 200-day. Platinum has now been closed below its 50-day moving average for five consecutive days — and the same can be said of copper and its 200-day moving average. WTIC is still doing the dos-à-dos with its 50 and 200-day moving averages. 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 was up a dollar or so by around 9 a.m. China Standard Time on their Wednesday morning, but has drifted quietly lower since — and is currently down $3.40 an ounce. Silver didn’t do much of anything in Far East trading on their Wednesday, but was turned a bit lower starting around 2:40 p.m. CST — and is now down 3 cents at the moment. Platinum was up a few dollars by 10 a.m. CST, but has given all that back — and is now sitting at unchanged. Palladium chopped quietly sideways until shortly before 2 p.m. CST, but then was tapped a bit lower — and is down 3 dollars the ounce as Zurich opens.
Net HFT gold volume is nothing special at around 34,500 contracts — and there’s a tad under 4,000 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal. Net HFT silver volume is a tiny bit over 6,800 contracts — and there’s only 87 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.
The dollar index opened unchanged once trading began at 7:45 p.m. EDT in New York on Tuesday evening, which was 7:45 a.m. CST on their Wednesday morning. It has been doing precisely nothing since then — and is still sitting at unchanged as of 7:45 a.m. BST in London/8:45 a.m. in Zurich.
Yesterday, at the close of COMEX trading, was the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report. I expect a decent increase in the commercial net short position in gold because it rallied above — and then closed above its 50-day moving average on Monday. I shan’t bother with an estimate on silver as it’s just not possible to tell, but would tickled pink if it came in at unchanged. And, like Ted, I’m more than interested in seeing what JPMorgan did during the reporting week.
And as I post today’s efforts on the website at 4:02 a.m. EDT, I see that both silver and gold have rallied a bit off their London opening lows. Gold is down only 10 cents the ounce now — and silver is now up 2 cents. Platinum is down only a dollar. Palladium got smacked for 14 bucks, but is off that low by a bit — and down 11 dollars as the first hour of Zurich trading draws to a close.
Gross gold volume is a bit over 54,000 contracts — and minus roll-over/switch volume out of June and into future months, net HFT gold volume is a bit under 45,500 contracts. Net HFT silver volume is a bit over 9,400 contracts — and there’s still only 92 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in that precious metal.
The dollar index continued to chop very quietly sideways during the last hour — and as of 8:45 a.m. BST in London/9:45 a.m. CEST in Zurich, the index is down 3 basis points.
That’s all I have for today’s column — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.