Physical Silver Funds Add 56.8 Million Oz in Last Four Weeks

26 July 2019 — Friday


The gold price was sold quietly lower starting about an hour after trading began in New York at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday evening — and that lasted until around 11:30 a.m. China Standard Time on their Thursday morning.  It began to crawl higher starting around 1:40 p.m. CST — and that ended at the 10:30 a.m. BST morning gold fix in London.  It proceed to creep sideways until shortly before 1 p.m. BST — and the it blasted higher, only to run into ‘something’ about ten minutes later.  The price was capped at that juncture — and ‘da boyz’ worked their magic at 8:30 a.m.  when the ‘Durable Goods Orders’ economic news hit the tape.  The low tick of the day was set a few minutes after 1 p.m. — and it inched higher until around 2:15 p.m. in after-hours trading — and was then sold quietly lower until about an hour before the market closed at 5:00 p.m. EDT.

The high and low ticks in gold were recorded by the CME Group as $1,434.10 and $1,411.10 in the August contract.

Gold was closed on Thursday at $1,414.00 spot, down $11.30 from Wednesday.  Net volume was ginormous once again at 347,000 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume out of August and into future months was a mind-boggling 145,000 contracts.

In every respect that mattered for anything, the silver price was guided on a similar path as gold’s and, like in Thursday’s column, I’ll spare you the play-by-play, as you can read the Kitco chart below as well as I can.

The high and low ticks in this precious metal were reported as $16.685 and $16.345 in the September contract.

Silver was closed in New York yesterday at $16.375 spot, down 19.5 cents from Wednesday.  Net volume was sky high at a bit under 114,000 contracts — and there was a hair over 8,000 contracts of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.

The platinum price crept quietly and somewhat unevenly sideways in morning trading in the Far East — and then began to edge extremely quietly and very evenly higher starting around 1:30 p.m. CST on their Thursday afternoon.  JPMorgan et al put the kibosh on that precious metal starting at 8:30 a.m. in New York as well — and it was sold lower until the afternoon gold fix in London.  It tacked on a couple of dollars over the next few hours, before being quietly turned lower once again — and it continued on that quiet downward path until the market closed at 5:00 p.m. EDT.  Platinum was closed at $867 spot, down 9 dollars on the day.

The palladium price was taken on a bit of a roller coaster ride on Thursday — and was up about 2 bucks by minutes before 8 a.m. in New York.  Selling pressure appeared at that juncture — and after a down/up/down move that ended a few minutes after 1 p.m. EDT…it edged a few more dollars lower into the 5:00 p.m. close.  Palladium finished the Thursday session in New York at $1,511 spot, down an even 10 bucks on the day.

The dollar index closed very late on Wednesday afternoon in New York at 97.73 — and opened down 5 basis points once trading commenced at 7:45 p.m. EDT in New York on Wednesday evening, which was 7:45 a.m. China Standard Time on their Thursday morning.  From that point, it didn’t do a whole lot of anything until about 12:45 a.m. in London.  There there was an up/down move that matched the price antics in both silver and gold exactly — and the 97.50 low tick was set about 9:05 a.m. in New York.  A ‘rally’ began at that point — and the 97.92 high tick came minutes before 1:10 p.m. EDT.  It sold off a bunch over the next ninety minutes — and didn’t do much from there until trading ended at 5:30 p.m.  The dollar index finished the Thursday session at 97.82…up 9 whole basis points from Wednesday’s close.

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

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart, courtesy of the good folks over at the Internet site.  The delta between its close…97.55…and the close on the DXY chart above, was 27 basis points on Thursday.  Click to enlarge as well.

The gold stocks were sold lower starting the moment that trading began at 9:30 a.m. in New York on Thursday morning, with their respective low ticks coming a minute or so after 1 p.m…which coincided precisely with the high tick in the U.S. dollar index — and the low tick in the gold price.  They edged unevenly higher from there, closing off their lows of the day, as the HUI closed down 2.15 percent.

It was another day where the silver equities followed the gold shares almost like a shadow, except their sell-off in morning trading in New York was somewhat more severe — and Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver7 Index close down 3.53 percent.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

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

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 4 gold and 56 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Monday.

In gold, ADM issued all four from its client account…and Advantage and JPMorgan picked up 3 and 1 contracts for their respective client accounts as well.

In silver, the three short/issuers were ADM, JPMorgan and ABN Amro, with 26, 25 and 5 contracts…all out of their respective client accounts.  The two long/stoppers were Advantage, picking up 54 for its client accounts — and the CME Group stopped the other 2 for its own account, which they immediately reissued as 2×5=10 one-thousand ounce COMEX mini silver contracts.  ADM stopped them all.

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

The CME Preliminary Report for the Thursday trading session showed that gold open interest in July declined by 7 contracts, leaving just 9 left, minus the 4 mentioned a few short paragraphs ago.  Wednesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 11 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 11-7=4 more gold contracts were added to the July delivery month. Silver o.i. in July dropped by 36 contracts, leaving 77 still around, minus the 56 mentioned a few paragraphs ago.  Wednesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 90 silver contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 90-36=54 more silver contracts just got added to July.

There were withdrawals from both GLD and SLV on Thursday.  From the former ETF, there was 94,323 troy ounces of gold taken out.  That’s the third straight day that there’s been a withdrawal from GLD.  And in the latter, an authorized participant removed 1,169,988 troy ounces of silver from SLV.

And just as a point of interest, there has been 56.78 million troy ounces of silver added to all the known depositories, precious metal mutual funds and ETFs over the last four week.

And why that sort of buying pressure hasn’t driven the silver price to the moon and the stars is something that Ted wrote about in his Wednesday commentary to his paying subscriber?  I was shocked when I saw his explanation — and you will be too when it becomes public knowledge.

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

There was no in/out activity in gold over at the COMEX/approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Wednesday.  There was a tiny bit of paper activity, as 97 troy ounces was transferred from the Eligible category — and into Registered — and I won’t bother linking this.

There was a bit of activity in silver, as 612,020 troy ounces was received, but only 2,081 were shipped out.  Almost all of the ‘in’ activity was one truckload…611,020 troy ounces…that was left outside the door at CNT — and the remaining 1,000 troy ounces/one good delivery bar, was dropped off at Delaware.  All the ‘out’ activity was at Delaware as well.  There was a paper transfer of 220,652 troy ounces from the Eligible category — and into Registered.  That occurred at CNT.   The link to all this is here.

There was some decent activity over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Wednesday.  They reported receiving 1,800 of them, but didn’t ship out anything.  All of this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.

Here are three charts that Nick passed around on Wednesday night, but had to wait for today’s column.  The first shows gold imports and exports into and out of Switzerland, updated with June’s data.  During that month they imported 152.0 tonnes — and shipped out only 45.0 tonnesClick to enlarge.

These next two charts show the countries and tonnage that they imported gold from — and the second shows the countries that they exported gold to — and the weights involvedClick to enlarge for both.

It was a fairly busy news day — and I have have a decent stories/articles for you.


Durable Goods Tumble Year-Over-Year Despite June Rebound

After May’s unexpected plunge, U.S. Durable Goods Orders were expected to rebound modestly but instead, thanks to huge downward revision, Durable Goods surged 2.0% MoM… but at the weakest in 3 years on a YoY basis

This is the biggest MoM jump since Aug 2018…Click to enlarge.

The noisy aircraft orders segment continues to oscillate, affected by Boeing also.

  • Non-defense aircraft new orders +75.5%
  • Defense aircraft new orders -32.1%

But we note that year-over-year, Durable Goods Orders (NSA) are down 4.5% – the weakest in 3 years…Click to enlarge.

However, under the hood suggests some silver linings that The Fed is going to struggle to explain away.

This brief news item was the cover that JPMorgan et al used to bash the precious metals yesterday, as the Durable Goods news was released at exactly 8:30 a.m. in Washington.  It showed up on the Zero Hedge website at 8:37 a.m. EDT on Thursday morning — and is the first offering of the day from Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.

I Got it, Nothing Matters. Tesla, Boeing, Other Stocks: It’s Like the Whole Market Has Gone Nuts — Wolf Richter

Story stocks, momentum stocks, hyperventilation stocks, consensual hallucination stocks, financial engineering stocks: anything but reality.

You see, Tesla is different. It just reported another doozie, a loss of $408 million in the second quarter, after its $702 million loss in the first quarter, for a total loss in the first half of $1.1 billion. In its 14-year history, it has never generated an annual profit.

It has real and popular products and surging sales, but it subsidizes each of those sales with investor money. And here’s where it’s different this time: investors don’t care. They dig how the company has been consistently over-promising and under-delivering. They dig the chaos at the top. They dig everything that should scare them off.

Yeah, its shares plunged [TSLA] 11% after-hours today, but that takes those shares only down to where they’d been on May 1. Big deal. Shares are down 32% from the peak. But their peak should have been a small fraction of that. Even today, the company is still valued at over $40 billion.

Tesla lacks a viable business model in the classic sense. Its business model is a new business model of just burning investor cash that it raises via debt and equity offerings on a near-annual basis because investors encourage it to do that, and love it for it, and eagerly hand it more money to burn, and they’re rewarding each other by keeping the share price high. It’s just a game, you see. And nothing else matters.

Then there is Boeing [BA]. It just reported the largest quarterly loss in its history of $2.9 billion due to a nearly $5-billion charge related to its newest bestselling all-important 737 Max, two of which crashed, killing 346 people, due to the way the plane is designed. The flight-control software that is supposed to mitigate this design issue is not working properly. And a software fix that is acceptable to regulators remains elusive.

The plane has been grounded globally since March. No one, especially not the regulators, can afford a third crash. So today, Boeing announced that it may further cut production of the plane or suspend it altogether if the delays continue to drag out. This is big enough to start impacting U.S. GDP.

This interesting commentary from Wolf appeared on his Internet site on Monday sometime — and I thank Richard Saler for sending it our way.  Another link to it is here.  In a somewhat related item from the Internet site, is this article headlined “A storm warning for the U.S. stock market” — and I thank Tolling Jennings for sharing it with us.

Free-Riding Investors Set up Markets for a Major Collapse — Jim Rickards

The biggest free riders in the financial system are bank executives such as Jamie Dimon, the CEO of J.P. Morgan. Bank liabilities are guaranteed by the FDIC up to $250,000 per account.

Liabilities in excess of that are implicitly guaranteed by the “too big to fail” policy of the Federal Reserve. The big banks can engage in swap and other derivative contracts “off the books” without providing adequate capital for the market risk involved.

Interest rates were held near zero for years by the Fed to help the banks earn profits by not passing the benefits of low rates along to their borrowers.

Put all of this (and more) together and it’s a recipe for billions of dollars in bank profits and huge paychecks and bonuses for the top executives like Dimon. What is the executives’ contribution to the system?

Nothing. They just sit there like parasites and collect the benefits while offering nothing in return.
Given all of these federal subsidies to the banks, a trained pet could be CEO of J.P. Morgan and the profits would be the same. This is the essence of parasitic behavior.

Yet there’s another parasite problem affecting markets that is harder to see and may be even more dangerous that the bank CEO free riders. This is the problem of “active” versus “passive” investors.

Of course there’s that silver thingy that Jamie watches over.  That will certainly make them tens of billions.  This commentary from Jim, dated 19 July, was posted on the Internet site on Thursday sometime — and another link to it is here.

The Pentagon’s Reckless Spending Has Weakened America — Bill Bonner

Bring out the confetti. Hang the red, white, and blue crepe. Strike up the band. Our Great Military has won another shazam victory!

Yes, it was a battle to remember. Thousands of lobbyists, cronies, and “retired” military officers now on the payroll of Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing swarmed over the meager forces of fiscal prudence and common sense – and routed them completely.

The Hill reports the spoils of victory:

When Trump was voted into office, military spending stood at roughly $611 billion a year. In 2020, it will be $738 billion.”

All that is left to do is a little “mopping up” of a few diehards on Capitol Hill, wearing MAGA hats and dreaming of balanced budgets. This morning, we found only one of them still holding out. The Arizona Republic:

Sen. Michael Braun, R-Ind., said the [debt deal] legislation was an “embarrassment” that would burden future generations with debt.

Braun said he wanted to see Republicans “go back to our conservative roots of paying for things as we spend.”

It’s our kids and our grand kids that are going to be sorting this all out and paying for it,” he added.

Yes, of course he is right. But who cares about kids and grand kids? In the here and now, we want mo..o..ney.

This commentary from Bill, filed from Poitou in France, was posted on the Internet site early on Thursday morning EDT — and another link to it is here.

Europe is Dying on a Cross of Gold — Tom Luongo

Gold is calling out the insanity of the European Union. It is also calling out the insanity of the global economy. But really it’s all about the euro at this point.

Since breaking through the post-Brexit high of $1,375 per ounce, gold has pushed higher. Yes, it’s been volatile. Yes, the forces of control keep trying to stuff gold back inside the box, as it were.
And they keep failing.

Last week’s price action was impressive, even if the close was less than stellar. In the world of financial commentary everyone is looking for proximate causes for spikes and dips.

But most of that is simply noise. I don’t care why gold touched $1,450 last week, only that it did.

Because a bull market that shakes off a number of big intra-week corrections to then blast to a new near-term high is a healthy one; one climbing the proverbial wall of worry.

And what’s important here is that this is not an anti-dollar trade. It is an anti-euro one. The U.S. Dollar Index has fully shaken off all attempts by the Fed to talk it down, trading at 97.6, and threatening a back-to-back monthly reversal at 97.8.

This commentary from Tom showed up on his Internet site on Tuesday — and it appeared on the Zero Hedge website on Wednesday.  I thank Tolling Jennings for his second contribution to today’s column — and another link to it is here.

Entire Swiss Curve Goes Sub-Zero — Global Negative-Yielding Debt Spikes to New Record High

WTF is going on!!

The yield on the 2064 securities fell for its 9th straight day, down 4 bps to -0.019%.  Click to enlarge.

And has added to the new record high – over $13.7 trillion – in global negative-yielding debt…(and that includes some junk European bonds!)  Click to enlarge.

Time to buy some more gold?  Click to enlarge.

This is madness

Yes, dear reader, it is — and it’s even gone beyond that now…bordering on insanity.  This brief chart-filled commentary was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 1:12 p.m. EDT on Thursday afternoon — and I thank Brad Robertson for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.

Zelenskii’s dilemma — The Saker

The recent elections to the Ukrainian Rada have yielded two most interesting results:

First, almost all the nationalist parties failed to get even one representative elected to the Rada (Poroshenko’s and Timoshenko’s parties did get some seats, but only 25 each)

Second, for the first time since the independence of the Ukraine, the country’s President will have an absolute majority in the Rada.

These are the results as reported by the Unian information agency:

The Servant of the People Party with 43.17% remains in the lead. The Opposition Platform – For Life Party ranks second with 13.01%, Yulia Tymoshenko’s Batkivshchyna Party ranks third with 8.18%, Petro Poroshenko’s European Solidarity Party has 8.11%, and Svyatoslav Vakarchuk’s Holos (Voice) Party has 5.83%. All the other parties failed to get a representative into the Rada.

Also of interest is the score of the “Opposition Platform – for Life” party (Rabinovich, Boyko, Medvedchuk) which got a total of 44 seats.

In plain English what this means is that the war parties have suffered a crushing electoral defeat.

One might be forgiven in thinking that this is fantastic news for Zelenskii, but in fact it is quite the opposite: this election result creates an extremely dangerous situation for him.

This commentary about the current political situation in the Ukraine, written by the Saker, put in an appearance on his Internet site on Thursday sometime.  I thank Larry Galearis for pointing it out — and another link to it is here.  In a directly rated story is this headline from Zero Hedge…”Ukraine Seizes Russian Oil Tanker, Moscow Threatens “Consequences” — and I thank Larry Galearis for sending this our way as well.

How to kill 10 million Afghans and not win — Pepe Escobar

We’re like policemen. We’re not fighting a war. If we wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan and win it, I could win that war in a week. But I don’t want to kill 10 million people. Afghanistan could be wiped off the face of the Earth. I don’t want to go that route.”

Even considering the rolling annals of demented Trumpism, bolstered every single day by a torrent of outrageous tweets and quotes, what you’ve just read is simply astonishing. Here we have the President of the United States asserting that, 1) The U.S. is not fighting a war in Afghanistan;  2) If the U.S. wanted a war, the President would win it in a week; 3) He would kill 10 million people – although he doesn’t want it; 4) “Afghanistan” as a whole, for no meaningful reason, could be wiped off the face of the Earth.

Trump said all of the above while sitting alongside Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan [downwind from any nuclear fall-out from Afghanistan] – who, in a deft move, is trying to appease the White House even as he carefully positions Pakistan as a solid node of Eurasia integration alongside Russia, China and Iran.

When Trump says the U.S. is not fighting a war in Afghanistan, he’s on to something, although it’s doubtful that Team Trump have told the boss that the real game in town, from the beginning, is the CIA heroin rat line.

This commentary from Pepe showed up on the Internet site on Wednesday sometime — and it’s the second offering of the day from Larry Galearis.  Another link to it is here.

Chinese Bank With $100 Billion in Assets is About to Collapse

While the western world (and much of the eastern) has been preoccupied with predicting the consequences of Trump’s accelerating global trade/tech war and whether the Fed will launch QE before or after it sends rates back to zero, Beijing has quietly had its hands full with avoiding a bank run in the aftermath of Baoshang Bank’s failure and keeping the inter-bank market – which has been on the verge of freezing – alive.

Unfortunately for the PBOC, Beijing was racing against time to prevent a widespread panic after it opened the Pandora’s box when it seized Baoshang Bank, the first official bank failure in an odd replay of what happened with Bear Stearns back in 2008, when JPMorgan was gifted the historic bank for pennies on the dollar.

And with domino #1 down, the question turned to who is next, and could it be China’s Lehman.

As a reminder, back in May, shortly after the shocking failure of China’s Baoshang Bank (BSB), and its subsequent seizure by the government – the first takeover of a commercial bank since the Hainan Development Bank 20 years ago – the PBOC panicked and injected a whopping 250 billion yuan via an open-market operation, the largest since January. Alas, as we said at the time, it was too little to late, and with the interbank market roiling, with Negotiable Certificates of Deposit (NCD) and repo rates soaring (in some occult cases as high as 1000%) we said that it’s just a matter of time before another major Chinese bank collapses.

We were right, because not even two months later, the second biggest bank on the list, Bank of Jinzhou has crawled in Baoshang’s foosteps and is about to be seized by the government.

According to Reuters and Bloomberg, Bank of Jinzhou recently met financial institutions in its home Liaoning province to discuss measures to deal with liquidity problems, and in a parallel bailout to that of Baoshang, the bank was in talks to “introduce strategic investors” after a report that China’s financial regulators are seeking to resolve its liquidity problems sent its dollar-denominated debt plunging.

This longish Zero Hedge news item appeared on their website at 11:40 a.m. on Thursday morning EDT — and it comes to us courtesy of Brad Robertson as well.  Another link to it is here.

Ex-Scotia Capital, Bear Stearns precious metals trader pleads guilty, will cooperate with feds in ‘spoofing’ probe

A former trader at Scotia Capital and Bear Stearns pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal crime and admitted manipulating precious metals markets for nine years — the latest in a series of crackdowns in the commodities markets by the Justice Department.

The trader, Corey Flaum, 41, of Mount Kisco, New York, is cooperating with an ongoing federal criminal investigation, officials said as they announced his guilty plea to one count of attempted commodities price manipulation in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

Flaum during his guilty plea admitted that from approximately June 2007 and July 2016 he “placed thousands of orders to manipulate the prices of gold, silver, platinum and palladium futures contracts,” according to the Justice Department.

Flaum worked at Scotia Capital from 2010 to 2016, and the defunct investment bank Bear Stearns from 2006 to 2008, according to FINRA’s BrokerCheck system. He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 29.

Scotia Capital declined to comment when contacted by CNBC. Flaum did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This news item put in an appearance on the Internet site around 5 p.m. EDT on Thursday afternoon — and I thank George Whyte for sending it our way.  Another link to it is here.  The CFTC press release on this subject appeared on their website early yesterday morning — and Ted mentioned it to me on the phone yesterday.  It’s headlined “In CFTC Actions, Two Former Precious Metals Traders Admit To Engaging in Spoofing and Manipulation at New York Banks

Silver Manipulation Confirmed: 2008 Price Plunge From $21 to $9 Explained

Over the past few years there’s been rampant speculation as to whether the silver market is manipulated. Finally, I believe it’s safe to say that we can remove all doubt.

Because in the process of recording a series of interviews with the world’s top silver experts for an upcoming book called “The Big Silver Short”, some rather stunning verification of the manipulation has been uncovered.

As well as evidence that the manipulation has most certainly affected the price.

First, is Bart’s confirmation that when Bear Stearns failed in March of 2008, they did indeed have a large silver short position.

He also confirms that position was then transferred to JP Morgan.

The more I reread and re-listen to Bart’s comments, there more stunned I am.

Because the time period where Bart describes how JP Morgan was given a waiver to reduce its short position, but instead made it larger, is the same time when the price of silver was plunging.

This interesting commentary from Chris Marcus was posted on the Internet site on Wednesday — and another link to it is here.

China’s June net gold imports via Hong Kong slump to 9-month low

China’s net gold imports via Hong Kong in June tumbled about 35% from the previous month to the lowest in nine months in part due to a seasonal slowdown in the jewellery industry, data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department showed on Thursday.

Net imports via Hong Kong to China, the world’s top consumer of the metal, decreased to 14.043 tonnes in June from 21.733 tonnes in May, according to the data. The June imports touched the lowest since September 2018, when they stood at about 11.059 tonnes.

Total gold imports via Hong Kong also fell to their lowest since September 2018, down 34% to 16.685 tonnes last month from 25.329 tonnes in May.

A traditionally soft season for the jewellery industry, weak consumption and poor spending sentiment could have led to the drop in imports, said Samson Li, a Hong Kong-based precious metals analyst at Refinitiv GFMS.

I wouldn’t read a thing into these numbers, as Hong Kong is no longer a proxy for gold imports into China.  This gold-related Reuters article appeared on their website on Thursday sometime — and it’s something I found on the Sharps Pixley website.  Another link to it is here.


Today’s photos come to us courtesy of Dennis Miller of “Miller, on the Money” fame.  This family of great-horned owls shows up at his bird bath just about every morning at his home just north of Phoenix — and all these photos were taken from about twelve feet away.  They are excellent — and I’m green with envy!  Enjoy.  Click to enlarge.


Whatever news spooked the traders in the gold market shortly before 8 a.m. in New York yesterday morning was summarily dealt with in minutes.  And with the Durable Goods Orders report hitting the tape at 8:30 a.m., it was all the fig leaf that ‘da boyz’ required — and they drove the gold price lower until the dollar index high tick that came at 1:05 p.m. EDT.

Of course the other precious metals weren’t spared either — and all met the same fate at the same time…with the exception of palladium, which had already been smacked lower starting a few minutes before 8 a.m. in New York.

I’m certainly not prepared to read much of anything into one day’s price activity — and you shouldn’t, either…except for the fact that ‘da boyz’ are still around.

Here are the 6-month charts for the Big 6 commodities — and it should be noted that both copper and WTIC were hauled down from their highs of the day as well.  Click to enlarge.

And as I type this paragraph the London/Zurich opens are less than a minute away — and I note that the gold price rose and fell a few dollars in Far East trading on their Friday. But once the 2:15 p.m. afternoon gold fix was done in Shanghai, it took off higher — and is up $3.70 the ounce as London opens. It was mostly similar in silver, although the price pattern was more erratic — and it has also jumped up since the Shanghai gold fix — and is up 2 cents an ounce. As has been the case lately, platinum’s price path was very similar to silver’s — and it’s now back at unchanged. The palladium price chopped around either side of unchanged until 1 p.m. China Standard Time on their Friday morning, but was then sold lower over the next hour. It’s off its current low tick by a bit — and is also back at unchanged as Zurich opens.

Net HFT gold volume is very light at a bit over 25,000 contracts — and there’s already around 11,500 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume out of August and into future months. Net HFT silver volume is already pretty heavy at around 14,300 contracts — and there’s only 173 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in that precious metal.

The dollar index opened down 3 basis points once trading commenced at 7:45 p.m. on Thursday evening in New York — and its current low, such as it is, came around 10:45 a.m. in Shanghai. It has crept higher since — and is now up 2 basis points from Thursday’s close. Nothing much to see here.

Today, around 3:30 p.m. EDT, we get the latest Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday.  I wasn’t prepared to comment on what the gold numbers would show, but it was certainly a no-brainer to guess that there would be a rather substantial increase in the Commercial net short position in silver.

Here are silver analyst Ted Butler‘s thoughts on this, as he laid them out in his mid-week commentary on Wednesday afternoon…”As far as what the Commitments of Traders (COT) report may indicate when published this Friday, it’s hard to imagine how there won’t be a significant increase in managed money buying and commercial selling in silver, given the strong price gains through Tuesday’s cutoff. While gold’s price action was more two-sided, there were new highs achieved and I wouldn’t be surprised at some additional managed money buying and commercial selling in gold, but not to the extent expected in silver (on a proportional basis).

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:02 a.m. EDT, I see that the gold price is up some more as the first hour of London trading draws to a close — up $4.90 at the moment — and silver is now up a bit more as well…4 cents the ounce. Platinum was sold a bit lower shortly after the Zurich open — and it’s down 2 bucks — and palladium is still sitting at unchanged as the first hour trading in Zurich ends.

Gross gold volume is now up to 75,000 contracts — but minus roll-over/switch volume out of August and into future months, net HFT gold volume is still very light at just under 36,500 contracts. Net HFT silver volume is around 16,200 contracts — and there’s still only 394 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.

The dollar index is up a few basis points more during the last hour — and as of 8:45 a.m. in London/9:45 a.m. in Zurich, it’s up 7 basis points.

Have a good weekend — and I’ll see you here again tomorrow.