The Silver Price Continues to Crawl Quietly Higher

24 July 2019 — Wednesday


The gold price began to edge quietly lower as soon as trading began at 6:00 p.m. on Monday evening in New York — and at 8 a.m. in Shanghai on their Tuesday morning, the sell-off became more pronounced.  The low tick of the day came around 1:40 p.m. CST on their Tuesday afternoon — and from there, the price began to edge higher.  It began to rally with more intensity starting at the noon silver fix in London — and it was capped at the afternoon gold fix over there.  From that juncture, it was sold unevenly lower until trading ended at 5:00 p.m. EDT in New York.

The high and low ticks were recorded by the CME Group as $1,431.40 and $1,414.60 in the August contract.

Gold was closed at $1,417.20 spot, down $6.80 from Monday.  Net volume was monstrous at 311,000 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume was, as expected, very heavy at a bit under 76,500 contracts.

Silver was forced to follow the same general price path as gold, except its rally off its 1:40 p.m. CST low tick was much more impressive — and it was turned a tad lower once the noon silver fix in London was put to bed.  That sell-off didn’t last long and, like gold, the high tick of the day came at the afternoon gold fix — and it was sold quietly and unevenly lower until trading ended at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

The high and low ticks in this precious metal were reported as $16.575 and $16.205 in the September contract.

Silver was closed at $16.37 spot, up 3.5 cents from Monday.  Net volume was absolutely enormous once again at a bit under 105,000 contracts — and there was 7,200 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.

The platinum price was also forced to follow the same price path as silver and gold.  After its 1:40 p.m. Shanghai low, it had a 4-hour long up/down move — and at that point it began to head higher.  It ran into lots of opposition on its way to its 1 p.m. New York high tick — and at that juncture it was sold down a few dollars into the 1:30 p.m. EDT COMEX close.  It didn’t do much after that.  Platinum finished the Tuesday session at $854 spot, up 8 bucks from its close on Monday.

It was generally the same price pattern for palladium, except from 1:40 p.m. China Standard Time onwards, it was forced to chop sideways for the remainder of the Tuesday trading session.  It did managed to close above $1,500 spot however, but only by 3 dollars.

The dollar index closed very late on Monday afternoon in New York at 97.26 — and opened up 6 basis points once trading commenced at 7:45 p.m. EDT on Monday evening, which was 7:45 a.m. CST on their Tuesday morning.  From that juncture it rallied quietly and unevenly higher until around 4:25 p.m. in New York on their Tuesday afternoon — and the 97.74 high tick was set around that time.  From there it sagged a small handful of basis points into the 5:30 p.m. EDT close.  The dollar index finished the day at 97.71…up 45 basis points from Monday.

The dollar index and precious metal prices appeared to be joined at the hip until 1:40 p.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday morning.  Then they went their separate ways for the remainder of the day.

Here’s the DXY chart from Bloomberg, as always.  Click to enlarge.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart, thanks to the good folks over at the Internet site.  The delta between its close…97.42…and the close on the DXY chart above, was 29 basis points on Tuesday.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

The gold shares opened unchanged once trading began at 9:30 a.m. in New York on Tuesday morning — and then rallied to their highs of the day, which came about fifteen minutes after the afternoon gold fix in London.  They were sold lower until around 11:40 a.m. EDT — and then edged quietly and unevenly higher until trading ended at 4:00 p.m. EDT.  The HUI closed down 1.05 percent…which I considered to be a rather impressive performance considering the price action in the underlying precious metal.  There certainly appeared to be big buyers in the market that were trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, but they weren’t.

The silver equities also opened unchanged — and their respective highs came around 10:45 a.m. in New York trading.  They were sold down hard from there until the same 11:40 a.m. time as the gold stocks.  They rallied rather impressively from there, but couldn’t quite squeeze a positive close.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed down an inconsequential 0.29 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.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 2 gold and 51 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Thursday.

In gold, Advantage and ADM issued one contract each — and Advantage stopped both of them.

In silver, the two short/issuers were ADM and Advantage as well, with 42 and 9 contracts.  The three long/stoppers were ABN Amro, Advantage and JPMorgan, with 21, 16 and 14 contracts respectively.  All contracts, both issued and stopped, 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 July declined by 1 contract, leaving 8 left, minus the 2 contracts mentioned a few paragraphs ago.  Monday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 1 gold contract was posted for delivery today, so the deliveries and change in open interest, match.  Silver o.i. in July fell by 243 contracts, leaving 156 still open, minus the 51 mentioned a few short paragraphs ago.  Monday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 293 silver contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 293-243=50 more silver contracts were just added to the July delivery month.

There was a withdrawal/conversion of shares for physical in GLD yesterday, as an authorized participant removed 66,027 troy ounces.  But there was another pretty decent-sized deposit in SLV, as an a.p. added 1,778,423 troy ounces.

The U.S. Mint had another piddling sales report on Tuesday.  They sold 500 troy ounces of gold eagles — and that was all.

There was no activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Monday.  There was a paper transfer of 493 troy ounces from the Registered category — and back into Eligible, which I won’t bother linking.

There was some activity in silver, as 897,581 troy ounces was received — and only 64,383 troy ounces were shipped out.  In the ‘in’ category, there was one truckload…596,693 troy ounces…received at CNT — and the remaining 300,887 troy ounces ended up at Brink’s, Inc.  In the ‘out’ category…60,454 troy ounces departed Brink’s, Inc. — and the remaining 3,929 troy ounces was shipped out of Delaware.  The link to this is here.

There was some activity over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Monday.  They reported receiving 100 of them — and shipped out 179.  This activity was at Brink’s, Inc. of course — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.

The Thetford Hoard (also known as the Thetford Treasure) is a hoard of Romano-British metalwork found by Arthur and Greta Brooks at Gallows Hill, near Thetford in Norfolk, England, in November 1979, and now in the British Museum. Dating from the mid-to-late 4th century A.D., this hoard is a collection of thirty-three silver spoons and three silver strainers, twenty-two gold finger rings, four gold bracelets, four necklace pendants, five gold chain necklaces and two pairs of necklace-clasps, a gold amulet designed as a pendant, an unmounted engraved gem, four beads (one emerald and three of glass), and a gold belt-buckle decorated with a dancing satyr. A small cylindrical lidded box made from shale also belonged to the hoard.

The find was made under very unfortunate circumstances. The finder was metal-detecting without the knowledge and permission of the owners of the site, which had recently been cleared for building work, and made his discovery late on a November day, in failing light. He recovered the material in great haste, probably overlooking some small items, and because he knew he had no legal right to search in that area, he did not, as the law requires, report his discovery to the authorities. Instead, he unwisely attempted to sell the objects he had found to private buyers. By the time archaeologists learned of the find several months later, the find spot had been built over, making proper archaeological investigation impossible. It was not even possible to question the finder about the circumstances, because by the time the material arrived at the British Museum for study, he was terminally ill, and he died about a month later, in July 1980. Persistent rumours that the treasure originally included coins have never been confirmed or convincingly rejected, but even if there were no coins, it is quite likely that the group as we see it now is incomplete. The full account of the circumstances of the discovery is related in the standard catalogue. This lack of information makes it particularly difficult to speculate on the nature of the hoard and the purpose of its concealment in antiquity.

The Thetford assemblage, in spite of the sadly inadequate details of its discovery and provenance, remains one of the most intriguing and unusual of the many late-Roman precious-metal hoards from Britain.  Click to enlarge.

I have an average number of stories for you today.


Richmond Fed Unexpectedly Crashes to Lowest in Over 6 Years as Order Backlogs Disintegrate

After a handful of mixed regional Fed survey, moments ago the Richmond Fed printed for the month of June, and if it serves as a tiebreaker, then the US economy is deep in a recession.

Expected to rebound modestly from already a near-contractionary print of 3 to 5 following the recent euphoric Philly Fed print, the mid-Atlantic index instead suffered its biggest drop in two years, dropping by 14 points to a whopping -12, the lowest print since January 2013…Click to enlarge.

The biggest reason behind the unexpected plunge – the order book has suddenly disintegrated as order backlogs fell to −26, the lowest reading since April 2009.

It gets worse: firms in the Richmond Fed region, which includes the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and most of West Virginia, reported worsening local business conditions, as this index dropped from 7 to −18, its largest one-month drop on record. Of course, there was optimism, and respondents remained somewhat optimistic that conditions would improve in the coming months.

This news item showed up on the Zero Hedge website at 10:22 a.m. EDT on Tuesday morning — and it’s the first offering of the day from Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.

Despite Plunging Rates, Existing Home Sales Slow For 16th Straight Month

After May’s surprise rebound, existing home sales were expected to slow in June and dropped more than expected (falling 1.7% MoM against expectations of a modest 0.4%) to 5.27mm SAAR.

Sales refuse to break out higher,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said at a briefing in Washington.

It doesn’t make economic sense” with job creation, rising wages and the stock market reaching records.

This is the 16th month of annual declines in existing home sales…Click to enlarge.

Home purchases declined in the South, the biggest region, to the slowest rate since January. Sales fell to a three-month low in the West. They increased in the Midwest and Northeast.

While rates have tumbled – helping affordability – the median home price rose 4.3% from last year to $285,700, erasing that affordability edge.

This brief, 3-chart Zero Hedge story appeared on their Internet site at 10:07 a.m. on Tuesday morning EDT — and it’s the second contribution in a row from Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.

Who Holds the $3.2 Trillion in “Leveraged Loans” and CLOs? — Wolf Richter

Murk everywhere. There isn’t even an agreement what “leveraged loans” are. No, banks are not off the hook. They hold 57% of these instruments, the Bank of England found.

Leveraged loans are risky. They’ve been issued by junk-rated over-leveraged companies that are often owned by private equity firms. These loans are often packaged into highly rated Collateralized Loan Obligations (CLOs). The Fed, the Bank of England, and other central banks are fretting about them publicly in their Financial Stability Reports. Leveraged loans are traded in slices like securities, but they’re loans, and not securities, and so securities regulators don’t regulate them, and no one regulates them. No one knows into whose balance sheets they can blow holes. And there is not even any agreement what exactly leveraged loans are.

In short, they’re risky and murky.

But investors have the hots for them all over the world. With about $13 trillion of global investment-grade debt trading at negative yields, thanks to idiotic central-bank policies focused on financial repression rather than a sound economy, institutional investors have to take on huge risks to get a little yield, and these leveraged loans and CLOs fit that bill perfectly.

Depending on whose definition of leveraged loan we use, there are either $1.3 trillion globally – these are the loans that are included in the S&P leveraged loan index – or, by a broader definition that Bloomberg uses and that the Bank of England (BOE) uses in its Financial Stability Report, $3.2 trillion.

Given the lack of a consistent definition of leveraged lending, there is uncertainty over the total stock of outstanding leveraged loans,” the BOE says.

This commentary from Wolf appeared on his website on Monday sometime — and I thank Richard Saler for sending it our way.  Another link to it is here.

It’s the Era of Inflate or Die — Bill Bonner

We follow up on yesterday’s prediction: The feds will not curb spending… they will not balance the budget or control runaway debt. They will jibber and jabber about debt ceilings and priorities.

They will blame each other. They will distract the public by calling each other “racists.” But they will all fall in line behind bigger budgets, not smaller ones… and more debt.


Because it’s Inflate or Die. Monetary inflation, fiscal inflation… any kind of inflation they can get. Here’s the commander in chief with his insights from yesterday:

With almost no inflation, our Country is needlessly being forced to pay a MUCH higher interest rate than other countries only because of a very misguided Federal Reserve. In addition, Quantitative Tightening is continuing, making it harder for our Country to compete. As good…

…as we have done, it could have been soooo much better[…] other countries manipulate their currencies and pump money in!

Condensed tweet: “We need more inflation!” That’s what inflation is – more money pumped into an economy.

This interesting and worthwhile commentary from Bill, filed from Paris, showed up on the Internet site early on Tuesday morning EDT — and another link to it is here.

JPMorgan: We Believe the Dollar Could Lose Its Status as World’s Reserve Currency

“Countries around the world are already developing payment mechanisms that would avoid using the dollar. These systems are small and still developing but this is likely to be a structural story that will extend beyond one particular administration. In a recent speech on the international role of the euro, Bank for International Settlements Chief Economist Claudio Borio brought up the benefits of pricing oil in the euro saying, “Trading and settling oil in the euro would move payments from dollars to euros and thereby shift ultimate settlement to the euro’s TARGET2 system. This could limit the reach of U.S. foreign policy insofar as it leverages dollar payments.” The European Central Bank also alluded to this theme in a recent report saying that “growing concerns about the impact of international trade tensions and challenges to multilateralism, including the imposition of unilateral sanctions seem to have lent support to the euro’s global standing.””

“We believe we are at an important juncture. On a real basis, the dollar stands currently more than 10% above its long-term average and on a nominal basis has actually been trending lower for 50 years.”  Click to enlarge.

“Given the persistent—and rising—deficits in the United States (in both fiscal and trade), we believe the U.S. dollar could become vulnerable to a loss of value relative to a more diversified basket of currencies, including gold. As we scan client portfolios, we see that many of them have far more U.S. dollar exposure than we feel is prudent. At this stage of the economic cycle, we believe this exposure should be more diversified. In many cases, our recommendation would likely be to place a higher weighting on other G10 currencies, currencies in Asia and gold.”

The source of this report from J.P. Morgan is dated June 13, 2019 — and is embedded in a Zero Hedge article that was posted on their website at 12:55 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon EDT.  I thank Brad Robertson for this one as well — and another link to it is here.

U.K. faces further Brexit turmoil as Boris Johnson wins P.M. race

Boris Johnson was elected leader of Britain’s governing Conservative Party and the country’s prime minister-in-waiting on Tuesday, tasked with following through on his “do or die” pledge to deliver Brexit in just over three months time.

He will formally take over as prime minister on Wednesday afternoon, succeeding Theresa May, who stepped down over her failure to get parliament to ratify her Brexit deal.

The former London mayor, who resigned as foreign minister a year ago over May’s Brexit plans, was the clear favourite to replace her, with several polls putting him on around 70 percent.
He inherits a political crisis over Britain’s exit from the European Union, currently due to take place on October 31.

Johnson must persuade the E.U. to revive talks on a withdrawal deal that it has been adamant cannot be reopened, or else lead Britain into the economic uncertainty of an unmanaged departure.

This news story put in an appearance on the Internet site at 7:36 a.m. CEST on their Tuesday morning, which was 1:36 a.m. in Washington — EDT plus 6 hours.  It was updated about six hours later.  I thank Roy Stephens for pointing it out — and another link to it is here.  In a parallel story is this one from the Internet site headlined “Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan shot down by E.U. within moments of him becoming Tory leader

Ukrainian President Clinches Majority in Shock Election Result

Comedian-turned President Volodymyr Zelenskiy won a crushing victory in Ukraine’s parliamentary ballot, capitalizing on pledges to crack down on corruption, fix the economy and end the conflict with Russian-backed separatists.

Zelenskiy’s party rode a wave of public anger over the lack of progress flushing dirty officials from state institutions. His Servant of the People party — named after the television show that propelled him to fame — unexpectedly clinched a full majority in the assembly for the first time in the country’s history, according to almost final results published on Monday.

Like the main character of his show, a teacher who’s thrust into the position of head of state, Zelenskiy had no political experience before scoring a landslide win in April’s presidential vote. Since then, support for his party has tripled after he vowed to sweep out a political establishment that has failed to convincingly bring progress to the country of 42 million people since it ousted a Kremlin-backed leader five years ago.

We will not let Ukrainians down,” Zelenskiy, 41, said after declaring victory. “For us, the main things are to end the war, to secure the return of prisoners and to win the fight against corruption.”

This Bloomberg story from Monday was picked up by the folks over at the Internet site — and it’s certainly worth reading…if you have the interest, that is.  I thank Larry Galearis for sharing it with us — and another link to it is here.

Trump: “OK” With a War Against Iran Now

Last month President Trump briefly described what in his vision war with Iran would look like if launched: it “wouldn’t last very long” and “we’re not talking boots on the ground,” he said in an interview. “I hope we don’t but we’re in a very strong position if something should happen,” he added as cited in Reuters. As we previously suggested, if things escalate to direct U.S. military assault on Iran, it would likely (at least initially) take place in the manner of a “one and done” major fireworks display — the idea being to hit hard, then declare a hasty “victory” and get out fast… at least in Trump’s ideal version of how things would play out, similar to the prior two strikes on Syria.

While President Trump’s position on Iran tends to change with little notice, he backed away from his insistence that he doesn’t want war with Iran on Monday, saying now of the war “it could go either way, and I’m OK either way it goes.”

Trump added that it’s “getting harder for me to want to make a deal with Iran” in the first place, because he views them as “behaving very badly,” and are “the number one state of terror in the world.”

Trump followed this up by announcing new sanctions against China, saying they were intended to punish them for “accepting crude oil.” This is likely to be a bigger problem for U.S.-China ties than Iran, as Iran is already heavily sanctioned.

If Trump’s new bellicose stance sticks, this could be a major shift in U.S. hostility toward Iran. President Trump has been one of the few top officials insisting he didn’t want a war as administration hawks continued to talk of a conflict as all but inevitable. If Trump is indeed “OK either way” on the war, it’s not going to be any secret that his top aides will be pushing him to choose war over peace.

This Zero Hedge story put in an appearance on their website at 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon EDT — another link to it is here.  Analyst Andrei Martyanov had an opinion piece on this topic — and it’s headlined “Trump–The Iran Conqueror“.  I thank Larry Galearis for pointing it out.

U.S. sanctions Chinese company, big buyer of Iranian oil

The U.S. has imposed sanctions against a Chinese company that is the biggest buyer of Iranian oil in the world, amid an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing and US threats against Tehran.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday that Washington will be imposing punitive measures against Zhuhai Zhenrong Ltd.  Along with China’s major oil refining company, Sinopec Corp, Zhuhai it is the largest buyer of Iranian oil in the world. Its chief executive, Youmin Li, was also placed on the U.S. blacklist.

They violated U.S. law by accepting crude oil,” Pompeo said in a speech. “We can’t tolerate more money going to ayatollahs, putting American soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, putting their lives at risk.”

This is the first time the U.S. has sanctioned a Chinese company in relation to its campaign of “maximum pressure” against Iran. The Chinese embassy in Washington condemned Pompeo’s remarks.

China firmly opposes the U.S. imposition of unilateral sanctions and so-called ‘long-arm jurisdiction’ on China and other countries, invoking its domestic law,” a spokesperson said to Reuters.

China received about 12 million tons of Iranian crude between January and May this year, when U.S. sanctions waivers that allowed some trade with Tehran expired, according to a Bloomberg report.

This Russia Today/Bloomberg story showed up on the Internet site at 12:46 a.m. Moscow time on their Tuesday morning, which was 5:46 p.m. in Washington on Monday afternoon — EDT plus 7 hours.  I thank Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl for finding it for us — and another link to it is here.

Nissan Slashing Over 10,000 Jobs Globally, 7% of Its Entire Workforce

What some auto manufacturers and industry experts were passing off as a slight hiccup for the auto industry is rapidly turning into a full-scale recession if not all out depression, one complete with a litany of layoffs in the global auto industry as sales in major countries like the United States and China have been steadily deteriorating for the last 18 months.

We’ve already seen massive planned layoffs from U.S. auto makers like Ford, and now Nissan is the latest to join the mass layoffs bandwagon, with Kyodo reporting that Nissan will cut over 10,000 jobs globally, or over 7% of its entire global workforce.

In some respects, it’s déjà vu of The Great Recession for Nissan. In 2009, the company slashed 20,000 jobs before forecasting a $2.6 billion loss. This represented about 8% of the company’s 235,000+ employee count at the time.

Today’s cuts are likely in response to the deteriorating automotive market in China: recall in early July we reported  that Nissan’s sales in China from January to June totaled 718,268 units, a 0.3% y/y decline.

In May, we reported that countries like China, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and the United States had all seen at least 38,000 job cuts over the last six months in the automotive sector. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said in May that “sweeping cost reductions” are ahead to prepare for what he is calling “unprecedented” industry disruption.

Furthermore, at the beginning of June we noted that Bank of America had said that “the auto cycle had peaked“.

This article was posted on the Zero Hedge Internet site at 10:45 a.m. on Tuesday morning — and is yet another story that comes to us courtesy of Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.

Sale of old Gold in India up 10-15% YoY

Indians are selling their old jewellery to take advantage of a rally in local gold prices. Jewellery shops and gold refiners in Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazaar, the country’s largest bullion market, told ET that the sale of household gold this month is up 10-15 per cent year on year. A further uptick in sale of old jewellery is likely in the coming weeks as bullion prices are expected to rise, experts said.

Gold prices have rallied 13 per cent so far in 2019, with COMEX gold prices staying above $1,420 per troy ounce and MCX gold prices hitting ₹35,100 per 10 gm. Gold has regained safe haven status due to the global economic growth worries from a prolonged US-China trade war, geopolitical tensions on Iran, and U.S. Federal Reserve rate jitters.

In the spot market, gold was available for ₹35,198 per 10 gm on Monday, up 17.73 per cent from the ₹29,895 per 10 gm recorded on July 22, 2018.

The expectation of monetary easing by major central banks has lowered investment confidence, which in turn has supported investors’ rush to safe haven assets like gold. Gold prices rallied sharply, being the favourite safe investment asset, with the fall in dollar index and a decline in U.S. bond yields.

This gold-related news item, filed from Kolkata, was posted on Economic Times of India website at 10:49 a.m. IST on their Tuesday morning, which was 1:49 a.m. in New York — EDT plus 9 hours.  I found it on the Sharps Pixley website — and another link to it is here.


While on our afternoon visit to Peachland on May 20…I took this photo looking northeast down Okanagan Lake towards Kelowna, which is just around the bend on the far left of the first shot.  We also discovered the residents in Peachland are allow to keep various and sundry animals on their properties within the boundaries of this tiny town.  We saw chickens, sheep — and this llama in photo #2.  The third photo is of a poppy growing wild amongst the weeds and the brome grass along a sidewalk.  Click to enlarge.


Up until 1:40 p.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday morning, it certainly appeared that the precious metals were responding to the concurrent rise in the U.S. dollar index.  But at that moment in time, things changed dramatically.  The precious metals and the dollar index rose together — and it became readily apparent as the trading session went along, that the precious metals were doing their own thing.

‘Da Boyz’ may have been using the dollar index ‘rally’…real or engineered…as a fig leaf to hide behind as they engineered the precious metal prices lower in Far East trading during most of their Tuesday session.  But all pretenses vanished after that — and with the exception of palladium, the other three were sold lower once that 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. EST afternoon gold fix was done in London.

Here are the 6-month charts for the Big 6 commodities — and except for the new closing highs in silver and platinum, there’s not a lot to see.  However, it should be noted that silver is now in an extremely overbought condition.  But whether that means anything now, remains to be seen.  Click to enlarge.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than a minute away — and I see that the gold price traded flat for two hours once trading began at 6:00 p.m. EDT in New York on Tuesday evening. It began to head higher shortly after 8 a.m. China Standard Time on their Wednesday morning — and that lasted until 11 a.m. CST. It then edged quietly sideways, but then ticked a bit higher — and is up $4.30 the ounce currently. The price path for silver in morning trading in the Far East was almost the same at it was for gold, at least up until 1:30 p.m. CST — and at that point it began to creep higher — and is up 11 cents at the moment, but off its current high tick by a bit. Platinum’s path was similar to silver’s — and it’s up 4 dollars. Palladium didn’t do much in Far East trading, but was sold down a few dollars going into the Zurich open — and is down 2 bucks currently.

Net HFT gold volume is very surprisingly light at 37,000 contracts — and there’s 7,300 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume out of August and into future months. Net HFT silver volume is very decent already at around 14,900 contracts — and there’s only 710 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal.

The dollar index opened up 1 basis point once trading commenced at 7:45 p.m. in New York on Tuesday evening, which was 7:45 a.m. China Standard Time on their Wednesday morning. It was up a handful of basis points until minutes before 1:30 p.m. CST, but headed sharply lower after that — and is down 3 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 in New York, was the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders — and looking at the last jive dojis in gold, I’m not about to hazard a guess as to what the COT Report will show in gold.  Silver is a shooting-fish-in-a-barrel easy call, as there certainly will be an increase in the Commercial net short position, but by how much I just don’t know.

Ted is the real authority on all things Commitment of Traders related.  We discussed it briefly on the phone yesterday — and I’ll certainly be looking forward to what he has to say in his mid-week commentary to his paying subscribers later today.

And as I post today’s column on the website, I note that gold is up $5.70…but silver is still off its pre-London open high tick — and is up 13 cents currently. Platinum is up 7 bucks — and palladium is now in the plus column by 3 dollars as the first hour of Zurich trading ends.

Gross gold volume is around 73,000 contracts — and minus roll-over/switch volume out of August and into future months, net HFT gold volume is about 55,500 contracts…quite a jump in the last hour. Net HFT silver volume is climbing steadily as well — and currently sits at around 19,800 contracts — and there’s 776 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in that precious metal.

The dollar index has jumped back above the unchanged mark by a bit during the last hour — and as of 8:45 a.m. in London/9:45 a.m. in Zurich, the index is up 6 basis points.

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