17 July 2019 — Wednesday
YESTERDAY in GOLD, SILVER, PLATINUM and PALLADIUM
Gold’s rally at the 6:00 p.m. EDT open in New York on Monday evening, was capped and sold lower within a very few minutes — and the Far East low was set shortly after 9 a.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday morning. From there it rallied unevenly higher until the 10:30 a.m. morning gold fix in London — and it crept lower until 8:30 a.m. in New York. Then ‘da boyz’ showed up. After a spike lower around noon EDT, gold rallied back sharply, but was capped once again and sold sharply lower starting a minute or so after 1 p.m. The low tick was set around 2:35 p.m. in after-hours trading — and it rallied a bit into the 5:00 p.m. close of trading from there.
The high and low ticks were reported by the CME Group as $1,420.00 and $1,402.10 in the August contract.
Gold was closed in New York on Tuesday at $1,405.60 spot, down $8.00 on the day. Net volume was very heavy indeed at just under 306,500 contracts — and there was a hair under 29,000 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume out of August and into future months.
It was mostly the same price pattern for silver in Far East trading as it was for gold. The rally that began around 1 p.m. CST ran into ‘something’ shortly after the London open — and then it didn’t do much until 8:30 a.m. in New York. It was sold a few pennies lower at that juncture, but then really began to sail starting minutes after 9 a.m. EDT. It ran into another ‘something’ shortly before the afternoon gold fix in London — and its high tick came at 10:45 a.m. Like gold, it had a bit of a down move around noon — and its rally after that was capped and sold lower starting at 1:15 p.m. EDT. Silver was sold quietly lower until shortly before 4 p.m. in after-hours trading — and it tacked on a few pennies going into the 5:00 p.m. close from there.
The low and high ticks in this precious metal were recorded as $15.34 and $15.735 in the September contract.
Silver was closed at $15.535 spot, up 18.5 cents from Monday. Net volume was extremely heavy at a bit under 123,000 contracts — and there was just under 6,700 contracts worth of roll/over switch volume in this precious metal.
Platinum also a had a down/up move in morning trading in the Far East on their Tuesday — and was back about the unchanged mark by the Zurich open. It really didn’t do much of anything from that point until a few minutes before 9 a.m. in New York. The ensuing rally ran into an $850 spot price ceiling, which it was never allowed to penetrate. Then, like the other three precious metals, a vicious sell-off occurred at noon EDT — and the price was down 9 dollars in just a few minutes — and back below unchanged by a buck. It was edged a bit lower from there — and into after-hours trading. Platinum finished the day at $839 spot, down 2 bucks from Monday’s close.
Palladium had a down/up move in early Tuesday morning trading in the Far East, but was back at the unchanged mark by shortly after 10 a.m. CST. The selling pressure commence shortly before 1:30 p.m. CST — and it chopped quietly sideways once the 2:15 p.m. afternoon gold fix was put to bed in Shanghai. JPMorgan et al showed up in earnest at 9:30 a.m. in New York — and beat the living snot out of the price until the COMEX close. It rallied a decent amount in after-hours trading — and finished the Tuesday session at $1,508 spot, down 36 dollars on the day. I’m ignoring the down/up price spike that happened about an hour after the COMEX close, because I’m sure it only occurred in the spot month.
The dollar index closed very late on Monday afternoon in New York at 96.93 — and opened down 1 basis point once trading commenced at 7:45 p.m. EDT on Monday evening, which was 7:45 a.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday morning. From that juncture, it crawled very quietly sideways until a ‘rally’ developed at the 2:15 p.m. CST afternoon gold fix in Shanghai. That ‘rally’ lasted until about 2:30 p.m. in New York — and the 96.92 high tick occurred at that point. It edged a handful of basis points lower into the 5:30 p.m. EDT close from there. The dollar index finished the Tuesday session at 97.40…up 47 basis points from Wednesday’s close.
Well, dear reader, the precious metals only declined yesterday because they had a lot of help — and what was going on in the currencies was completely irrelevant. This was all paper trading in the GLOBEX/COMEX markets.
Here’s the DXY chart from Bloomberg, as always. Click to enlarge.
And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart, courtesy of the folks over at the stockcharts.com Internet site. The delta between its close…97.04…and the close on the DXY chart above, was 36 basis points on Tuesday. Click to enlarge as well.
The gold shares opened down a hair — and then proceeded to chop around about one percent either side of unchanged for the entire New York trading session. The HUI closed down only 0.21 percent, so call it unchanged on the day.
The silver equities also opened down a bit once trading commenced at 9:30 a.m. in New York, but were on their way higher very shortly after that. They topped out just before the 1:30 p.m. COMEX close, which was when silver’s rally was capped and turned lower for the second time during the COMEX trading session. The shares followed, but with little enthusiasm. Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed by higher by 2.73 percent. Click to enlarge if necessary.
Here’s Nick’s 1-year Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index chart, updated with Tuesday’s doji. Click to enlarge as well.
I was certainly happy to see the silver shares do well yesterday. But the performance put in by the gold stocks, considering the price action in the underlying metal before the 4:00 p.m. close, was even more impressive…even though they close down a bit on the day.
The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 6 gold and 23 silver contracts were posted for delivery today within the COMEX-approved depositories on Thursday.
In gold, there were three short/issuers and two long stoppers — and the break-outs aren’t worth mentioning except for Advantage, which stopped 5 contracts for its client account.
In silver, the two short/issuers were Advantage and ADM, with 20 and 3 contracts from their respective client accounts. The four long/stoppers were HSBC USA with 7 for its own account — and the other three were Morgan Stanley, Advantage and JPMorgan, with 7, 5 and 4 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 July declined by 13 contracts, leaving 17 still around, minus the 6 contracts mentioned a few paragraphs ago. Monday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 19 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 19-13=6 more gold contracts were added to the July delivery month. Silver o.i. in July fell by 106 contracts, leaving 414 still open, minus the 23 mentioned a few paragraphs ago. Monday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 122 silver contracts were posted for delivery today, so that means that 122-106=16 more silver contracts were added to July.
There was a small withdrawal from GLD on Tuesday, as an authorized participant took out 37,732 troy ounces. There were no reported changes in SLV.
There was a tiny sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday. They sold 75,000 silver eagles — and that was all.
There was another tiny amount of gold shipped out of the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Monday. Nothing was reported received — and only 265 troy ounces was shipped out. I won’t bother breaking these amounts down, or linking this activity.
There was a bit of activity in silver, as one truckload…599,065 troy ounces…was received — and that was dropped off at CNT. There was 7,053 troy ounces shipped out…6,099 at HSBC USA — and 954 at Brink’s, Inc. The link to that is here.
There was a small amount of activity over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Monday. They received 30 of them — and shipped out 89. All of this occurred at Brink’s, Inc. of course — and I won’t bother linking this, either.
The Silverdale Hoard is a collection of over 200 pieces of silver jewellery and coins discovered near Silverdale, Lancashire, England, in September 2011. The items were deposited together in and under a lead container buried about 16 inches (41 cm) underground which was found in a field by a metal detectorist. It is believed to date to around A.D. 900, a time of intense conflict between the Anglo-Saxons and the Danish settlers of northern England. The hoard is one of the largest Viking hoards ever discovered in the U.K.
The hoard consists of a variety of silver items including 27 coins, 10 arm-rings, 2 finger-rings, 14 ingots, 6 brooch fragments, a fine wire braid and 141 fragments of arm-rings and ingots which had been chopped up and turned into hacksilver, which was used as a form of currency in Viking times. Together they weigh a little over two pounds (1 kg). The hoard includes Arabic, Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Viking and Viking coins. They date to around A.D. 900 and include coins of Alfred the Great and the Danish-ruled Kingdom of Northumbria. Some of the other items appear to have been intended for personal ornamentation, perhaps to indicate the owner’s rank. The arm bands would have been given by a leader to a warrior as a reward for services rendered. One of the bands is particularly notable for its unusual combination of Irish, Anglo-Saxon and Carolingian-style decoration. Click to enlarge.
I don’t have all that much in the way of stories/articles for you today.
Treasury could run out of cash in early September, urges Congress to raise debt ceiling before recess
The Treasury Department said it could run out of cash in two months, asking Congress to increase the debt ceiling before lawmakers leave for a six-week recess.
“Based on updated projections, there is a scenario in which we run out of cash in early September, before Congress reconvenes,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday.
“As such, I request that Congress increase the debt ceiling before Congress leaves for summer recess,” Mnuchin said.
Lawmakers and the Trump administration are rushing to pass a spending deal and raise the U.S. borrowing limit to avoid another government shutdown. Mnuchin previously said the White House will offer a one-year continuing resolution and debt ceiling increase if the two sides cannot strike a deal.
Funding for the current fiscal year runs out Sept. 30. The government partially shut down for a record 35 days in December and January after funding lapsed.
This brief news item showed up on the cnbc.com Internet site last Friday — and I thank Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl for pointing it out. Another link to it is here.
We’ve seen that all forms of “stimulus” are mutant varieties of fraud. Whether we’re talking about unfunded tax cuts, bigger deficits, giveaway checks, quantitative easing (QE), zero interest-rate policy (ZIRP), or lower interest rates – they all work the same way.
That is, they all lie. They tell us that there is more demand (money) around than there really is. And they “work” by misleading people into doing things they shouldn’t do. Consumers overspend. Businesses overproduce. And investors buy stocks that are overpriced.
Depending on how it is delivered, this inflation of the money supply causes over- and adverse reactions that can easily be mistaken for real growth. More consumer spending. More business expansion. Higher stock prices.
But it is all a lie. And as the lying goes on, the economy gets more and more out of kilter… more and more dependent on inflation… And the feds need to tell bigger and bigger whoppers to keep it from collapsing.
This is the big financial story of our time: Inflate or Die. Either the feds continue to lie persuasively by inflating prices… or the truth comes out and the bubble deflates.
This commentary from Bill put in an appearance on the bonnerandpartners.com Internet site early on Tuesday morning EDT — and another link to it is here.
Foreigners Dump U.S. Treasurys, Liquidate a Record $216 Billion in U.S. Stocks in 13 Consecutive Months
The latest TIC data for the month of May, released just after the close, showed that China continued to sell U.S. Treasurys for the third straight month, bringing its total to just $1.11 trillion, down another $3 billion, and the lowest since May 2017…Click to enlarge.
… Even as Japan bought a whopping $37 billion in US paper in May, its largest monthly purchase since August 2013, and bringing its total to $1.101 trillion, just $9BN shy of China’s $1.110 trillion. Click to enlarge.
Meanwhile, in a surprising development, the U.K. – which has been aggressively buying U.S. paper either for itself, or in proxy for other purchasers – saw its holdings jump once again, rising to $323.1 billion, an increase of $22.3 billion in the month.
Similar to Belgium and Euroclear, it is far more likely that this surge is simply the result of some offshore fund serving a sovereign, but based in the U.K., is doing the buying. Whether it’s China or someone else, will be revealed in due course.
Yet despite the occasional purchaser, foreign official institutions (central banks, reserve managers, sovereign wealth funds) have seen their holdings of U.S. Treasuries slide by another $22 billion, the 9th consecutive drop in the holdings of foreign official institutions, and yet because the decline this May was smaller than the drop in May of 2018, the LTM [last twelve months] net sales posted a modest drop.
Overall, May – and the past 12 months in general – were not good for U.S. Treasurys, as foreigners, both public and private sold a total of $33.8 billion in U.S. Treasurys and $1.4 billion in corporate stocks, offset by purchases of $15.1 billion in Agencies and $14.9 billion in Corporate bonds.
This article showed up on the Zero Hedge website at 4:28 p.m. EDT on Tuesday afternoon — and it comes to us courtesy of Brad Robertson. Another link to it is here.
According to Cass, “Freight shipments signal economic contraction“.
The Economic Outlook from Freight’s Perspective is not promising.
- With the -5.3% drop in June following the -6.0% drop in May, we repeat our message from last month: the shipments index has gone from “warning of a potential slowdown” to “signaling an economic contraction.”
- May and June’s drops are significant enough to pose the question, “Will the Q2 ’19 GDP be negative?”
- We acknowledge that all of these negative percentages are against extremely tough comparisons; and the Cass Shipments Index has gone negative before without being followed by a negative GDP.
- The weakness in spot market pricing for many transportation services, especially trucking, is consistent with the negative Cass Shipments Index and, along with airfreight and railroad volume data, strengthens our concerns about the economy and the risk of ongoing trade policy disputes. Weakness in commodity prices and the decline in interest rates have joined the chorus of signals calling for an economic contraction.
- We are concerned about the severe declines in international airfreight volumes (especially in Asia) and the ongoing swoon in railroad volumes, especially in auto and building materials.
This long, chart-filled article from Mike Shedlock found a home over at the Zero Hedge website at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning EDT — and it’s another contribution from Brad Robertson. Another link to it is here.
The State always works in its own favour. The political class will always seek out greater power and wealth for themselves. Although the electorate may see politicians as elected representatives, politicians rarely see themselves in this light. They regard themselves as the keepers of the cookie jar and it’s a rare keeper indeed who doesn’t (eventually) decide to start taking cookies for himself, without the approval of the electorate. Collectivism maximizes the opportunities for raiding the cookie jar, since it places the State in charge of commerce and the holding of wealth.
Whether the State calls itself capitalist, socialist, communist or fascist, its aim will be collectivist – central control of commerce and wealth by the State.
The longer a country has existed and the more complex its government, the more likely it’ll be that the taking of cookies will become systemic and the level of purloinment will become both universal amongst all parties and irreversible. The U.S. is well past this point and there will be no return to the “founder’s values,” no matter how much wishful thinking may exist amongst the electorate.
The U.S. is now in the Post-Constitutional Era and all parties will be moving more rapidly toward collectivism, even those who claim to be staunch conservatives. (They’ll claim to be capitalists, but their actions will prove them to be “socialist lite.”)
If a socio-political-economic collapse is in the wings, as it now is in the U.S., it matters little whether it’s possible to deliver on such impossible promises.
When a country or empire is about to undergo its equivalent of a “going out of business sale,” there’s always a final “grab and run” period amongst the political class.
This longish, but very worthwhile commentary from Jeff appeared on the internationalman.com Internet site on Monday sometime — and another link to it is here.
Questions about the viability of Deutsche Bank are swirling – yes, it won’t be insolvent overnight, but like the world’s biggest melting ice cube, there is simply no equity value there any more – everyone else has decided to cut their counterparty risk with the bank with the €45 trillion in derivatives, and according to Bloomberg, Deutsche Bank clients, mostly hedge funds, have started a “bank run” which has culminated with about $1 billion per day being pulled from the bank.
As a result of the modern version of this “bank run”, where it’s not depositors but counterparties that are pulling their liquid exposure from DB on fears another Lehman-style lock up could freeze their funds indefinitely, Deutsche Bank is considering how to transfer some €150 billion ($168 billion) of balances held in it prime-brokerage unit – along with technology and potentially hundreds of staff – to French banking giant BNP Paribas.
Here are the dynamics in a nutshell, (via Bloomberg): Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing is pulling back from catering to risky hedge-fund clients, i.e. running a prime brokerage, as he attempts to radically overhaul the troubled German lender while BNP CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafe wants to expand in the industry. A deal of this magnitude would be a stark example of the German firm’s retreat from global investment banking while potentially transforming its French rival from a small player in the so-called prime-brokerage industry to one of Europe’s biggest.
Of course, publicly telegraphing that DB is in dire liquidity straits and needs an in-kind transfer of its prime brokerage book would spark an outright panic, and so instead the story has been spun far more palatably, i.e., “BNP is providing “continuity of service” to Deutsche Bank’s prime-brokerage and electronic-equity clients as the two companies discuss transferring over technology and staff“, according to a July 7 statement. The ultimate goal of the talks is for BNP to take over the vast majority of client balances, which are slightly less than $200 billion currently.
In an attempt to stop the bank run, BNP executives are meeting with U.S. hedge-fund clients this week to convince them to stay following similar sit-downs with European funds last week, Bloomberg sources said.
Now that the bank jog has become a bank run, the next question is how much liquidity reserves does DB really have and what happen if hedge funds clients – suddenly spooked they will be the last bag-holders standing – pull the remaining €150 billion all at once.
This very interesting and worthwhile article was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 10:51 a.m. on Tuesday morning EDT — and the first person through the door with it was Jim Gullo. Another link to it is here.
Should U.S. foreign-exchange policy spur a global currency conflict, Deutsche Bank AG sees gold as the ultimate victor.
The possibility of U.S. FX intervention has created some buzz among Wall Street analysts after President Donald Trump took aim at China and Europe this month, saying they’re playing a “big currency manipulation game.” A U.S. attempt to weaken the dollar — a step it hasn’t taken since 2000 — could prompt other nations to combat the intervention, sparking a “true currency war” probably involving the yuan and euro, according to Deutsche Bank strategist Alan Ruskin.
“With a currency war most likely to be fought on USD/CNY and EUR/USD terrain, one approach would be to steer clear of the direct conflict,” Ruskin wrote in a note Monday. “By far the most direct and simple way to trade the complexities of a currency war is by going long gold.”
Gold has climbed 10% this year amid deepening U.S.-China trade tensions and climbing wagers on a Federal Reserve rate cut. The metal touched a six-year high last month, and hedge funds are close to their most bullish levels since 2017.
This Bloomberg article story showed up on their website at 8:24 a.m. PDT on Tuesday morning — and it’s the second offering of the day from Patrik Ekdahl. Another link to it is here.
Following last Thursday’s article on silver (A whale is accumulating silver futures), Ted Butler, an analyst who specifically follows silver futures on Comex, responded in an article posted on Silverseek.com, entitled “Wrong Whale”.
I have decided I must refute his allegation that what I wrote is factually incorrect. The problem right from the start is there are very few facts to go on, something which I made clear in my article. In the absence of hard facts, it therefore amounts to one conspiracy theorist’s view against another’s. The difference is that in my article, for the avoidance of doubt I clearly admitted this role for myself while Butler does not.
It is also important to understand that the real market for silver derivatives is in London forwards, which has only recently started to offer end-of-day clearing and vaulting figures. As I wrote in my article, looking at Comex is like observing the dog’s tail and not seeing the dog.
There may have been things I could have emphasised more. For example, the whale’s dealings on Comex are entirely financial in US dollars involving hedging only, with physical deliveries not a factor. This is why I concluded that the Peoples’ Bank of China was likely to be the whale, representing China’s government-owned and controlled processers and refiners. I could have stated that the PBOC is likely to have used a special purpose vehicle to accumulate long positions, concealing its true identity.
I leave it to the reader to decide which of us is the greater whack-job tin-foil conspirator.
That’s an easy call for me, dear reader. I’ll stick with Ted. And if you understood what Alasdair had to say in this commentary, then you’re a smarter person than me. There’s an old saying that goes “Bulls hit baffles brains” — and that certainly appears to be the case here…at least in my opinion. I’ve been reading Ted’s commentaries for twenty years — and the one from Alasdair the other day, was the first one about silver that I’d ever read from him. Ted’s been at this for over 30 years, plus he worked as a commodities broker for 20+ years — and has hands-on experience. Plus he’s been pouring over the COT Report since back in 1973. I found this in a GATA dispatch yesterday — and another link to it is here.
The PHOTOS and the FUNNIES
The first two shots are of the Nicola Valley where Merritt is nestled. The first was taken from the just north of the town — and on the edge of B.C. Highway 5/The Coquihalla looking mostly due east. That’s Nicola Lake in the background, with the old [and far more scenic] B.C. Highway 5A to Kamloops winding its way along the south shore. The second photo was taken a few miles further up the highway — and higher in altitude, looking due south. Nicola Lake is out of sight behind the mountain on the left side of the shot. The third photo was taken about 16 kilometers/10 miles west of Kamloops looking east. We were on our way to Duffy Lake — and this was the view from the dirt/mud forestry service road on the climb up. The fourth shot is of the lake itself. Although pretty, it wasn’t really worth the trip, as lakes like this are a dime a dozen around here. Click to enlarge.
“I would rather be without a state, than without a voice.” — Edward Snowden
It was a really strange trading session, with silver attempting to break out to the upside, but that ran into ‘something’. Then there was the mostly unrelenting selling pressure in the other three precious metals. There was a lot of COMEX paper thrown about — and as I’ve already noted, volumes in both silver and gold were enormous.
‘Da boyz’ were busy yesterday that’s for sure — and they’re certainly continuing to lean on palladium in an attempt to stampede the Managed Money traders off the long side.
I’m not sure what to make all of this, especially considering that it’s just a single trading day out of many. All we can do is sit back and watch how everything develops…or is allowed to develop.
Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, plus copper and WTIC. The small change in the gold doji gives no hint of the price/volume drama in that precious metal, but it certainly does in silver. Platinum would have closed much higher than it did, but that obviously wasn’t allowed — and palladium was crushed, with probably more to come.
Copper didn’t do much, but WTIC was hammered back — and was closed below both its 50 and 200-day moving averages on Tuesday. Click to enlarge for all.
And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than a minute away — and I see that gold was sold down a bit in the first couple of hours once trading began at 6:00 p.m. EDT in New York yesterday evening — and has been chopping quietly sideways since — and is down $1.40 at the moment. Silver has been edging very quietly and unevenly higher in Far East trading on their Wednesday — and is currently up 9 cents the ounce. Platinum didn’t do much until around 1 p.m. CST on their Wednesday afternoon. It has been sold a bit lower since then — and is down a dollar. The selling pressure in palladium has been more intense, but it’s off its low at the moment — and down 6 bucks as Zurich opens.
Net HFT gold volume is pretty quiet at a bit over 33,000 contracts — and there’s only 2,138 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume out of August and into future months. Net HFT silver volume is 14,000 contracts already — and there’s 917 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.
The dollar index opened down 3 basis points once trading commenced at 7:45 p.m. EDT in New York on Tuesday evening, which was 7:45 a.m. China Standard Time on their Wednesday morning. It poked its nose above the unchanged mark very briefly about forty-five minutes later — and it then crawled unevenly lower until a few minutes after 1 p.m. CST on their Wednesday afternoon. It’s off that low — and now up 1 basis point as of 7:45 a.m. BST in London/8:45 a.m. CEST in Zurich.
Yesterday, at the close of COMEX trading, was the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report. I’m hesitant to make any kind of call in gold, but it certainly appears that there will be a very chunky increase in the commercial net short position in silver, especially after yesterday’s price action. Ted’s the only real authority on all this — and I’m sure he’ll have something to say about it in his mid-week commentary to his paying subscribers this afternoon. I’ll ‘borrow’ a couple of sentences for my Friday missive.
And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:02 a.m. EDT, I note that all four precious metals are a bit lower as the first hour of London and Zurich trading draw to a close. Gold is now down $2.70 — and silver is only up 6 cents. Platinum is now down a dollar — and palladium by 8.
Gross gold volume is around 48,500 contracts — and minus roll-over/switch volume out of August and into future months, net HFT gold volume is 43,500 contracts. Net HFT silver volume is now up to about 16,500 contracts — and there’s still only 945 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.
The dollar index is off its current 7:52 a.m. BST high tick — and is back at unchanged as of 8:45 a.m. in London/9:45 a.m. in Zurich.
That’s all for today — and I’ll see you here again tomorrow.