Huge Shorting of the Precious Metal Equities

08 August 2019 — Thursday

YESTERDAY in GOLD, SILVER, PLATINUM and PALLADIUM


The gold price began to head higher a bit over an after trading began at 6:00 p.m in New York on Tuesday evening.  That rally lasted until a few minutes before 10 a.m. China Standard Time on their Wednesday morning.  Then gold was sold lower by a hair until a few minutes before 2 p.m. CST — and then began to crawl unevenly higher.  The rally became a bit more intense starting at the noon silver fix in London/7 a.m. EDT — and the spike high at the afternoon gold fix in London was capped and sold lower immediately.  It continued to edge a bit higher until around 12:20 p.m. — and then it chopped quietly sideways until around 3:30 p.m. in after-hours trading.  It was sold back below the $1,500 spot mark at that juncture, but it managed to rally back above it starting around 4 p.m. — and closed above it.

The low and high ticks in gold were reported as $1,478.40 and $1,516.20 in the October contract — and $1,484.30 and $1,522.70 in December.

Gold was closed on Wednesday at $1,500.90 spot, up $26.90 on the day — and about ten bucks off its high tick.  Net volume in October and December combined was gargantuan at around 648,500 contracts — and there was a bit under 29,000 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal.

Silver’s price path in morning trading in the Far East on their Wednesday was much more impressive — and as I said yesterday, certainly looked like short covering to me.  It also was sold quietly lower from there until a few minutes before 2 p.m. in Shanghai — and the rest is the same as it was for gold except its rally was capped and turned lower starting around 2:45 p.m. in after-hours trading in New York.

The low and high ticks in silver were recorded by the CME Group as $16.45 and $17.26 in the September contract.

Silver was closed at $17.08 spot, up 65.5 cents from Tuesday.  Net volume was the highest I’ve ever seen in this precious metal at just over 147,500 contracts — and there was a hair under 30,000 contracts worth or roll-over/switch volume out of September and into future months.

The platinum price chopped very unevenly sideways-to-higher in both Far East and Zurich trading on their respective Wednesdays, but ‘da boyz’ were waiting at the 8:20 a.m. EDT open — and it was sold down to its low of the day by shortly after 9 a.m.  It rallied rather sharply from there, but under obvious resistance — and the high tick of the day was set around 12:45 p.m. in New York.  It was sold lower until 4 p.m in the thinly-traded after-hours market — and didn’t do a thing after that.  Platinum was closed at $862 spot, up 12 bucks on the day.

The palladium price had a negative price bias starting from a few minutes before 10 a.m. CST on their Wednesday…just like the other three precious metals.  It was sold very quietly and unevenly lower until shortly before 2 p.m. in Zurich — and then was sold down to its low of the day which, like platinum, came shortly after 9 a.m. in New York.  Its subsequent rally lasted until the Zurich close — and it was then sold lower until noon EDT — and it didn’t do much of anything after that.  Palladium was closed at $1,396 spot, down 25 dollars from Tuesday.

The dollar index closed very late on Tuesday afternoon in New York at 97.63 — and opened down 7 basis points once trading commenced at 7:45 p.m. EDT on Tuesday evening, which was 7:45 a.m. China Standard Time on their Wednesday morning.  The Far East low tick was set about 9:50 a.m. CST, which was the top of the price rallies in the four precious metals in morning trading over there.  It began to edge quietly and unevenly higher until around 8:15 a.m. in London..its 97.85 high tick.  It hung in there until a few minutes before noon BST…the noon silver fix…and then began its downward descent.  The 97.31 low tick was printed around 12:25 p.m. in New York — and it proceeded to ‘rally’ from there [with the help of the usual ‘gentle hands’ I suspect] until a few minutes after 4 p.m. EDT — and traded quietly sideways until the currency market closed at 5:30 p.m.   The dollar index was closed on Wednesday session at 97.54…down 9 basis points from its Tuesday…although if you look at the DXY below, it closed around the 97.62 mark

The PPT was very busy yesterday — and rescuing the dollar index was on their ‘to do’ list…as was rescuing the equity markets.

Here’s the DXY chart, courtesy of Bloomberg as usual.  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…97.35…and the close on the DXY chart above, was 19 basis points on Wednesday.  Click to enlarge as well.

The gold stocks gapped up over three percent at the open — and at that point they ran into ‘something’.  Their respective high ticks came at, or minutes after, the afternoon gold fix in London — and it was mostly down hill from there into the 4:00 p.m. EDT close.  Despite gold’s impressive rally during the New York trading session, JPMorgan et al…or their proxies…were shorting the hell out of the gold shares, as the HUI closed up only 0.68 percent.

It was the same price pattern for the silver equities, as the short sellers…’da boyz’…were shorting everything in sight…also starting at, or minutes, after the afternoon gold fix.  The Big 7 silver stocks actually traded in negative territory a couple of times during the New York trading session, but managed to eke out a positive close…albeit barely…as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index finished up only 0.25 percent.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

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

The in-you-face shorting of the precious metal equities in New York trading on Wednesday certainly shows their level of desperation.  On one of the biggest daily gains in gold — and certainly in silver for a very long time, some of my silver and gold equities actually closed down on the day.  I didn’t think that was possible.  I’ll have more about this in The Wrap.


The CME Daily Delivery Report for Day 7 of the August delivery month showed that 6 gold and 326 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Friday.

In gold, the two short/issuers were International F.C. Stone and Advantage…with 4 and 2 contracts out of their respective client account.  The three long/stoppers were JPMorgan, with 3 contracts for its client account — and the other two were Citigroup and Macquarie Futures, picking up 2 and 1 contracts for their own accounts.

In silver, of the four short/issuers in total, the three biggest were ABN Amro, International F.C. Stone and ADM…with 174, 82 and 58 contracts from their respective client accounts.  There were five long/stoppers in total, with JPMorgan being the largest, with 146 contracts for its client account.  In second and third spots were ABN Amro and Advantage, with 76 and 57 contracts for their respective client accounts as well.  And in fourth place was Australia’s Macquarie Futures stopping 45 contracts for its in-house/proprietary trading account.

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

The CME Preliminary Report for the Wednesday trading session showed that gold open interest in August dropped by 214 contracts, leaving 2,540 still around, minus the 6 contracts mentioned a few paragraphs ago.  Tuesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that only 19 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 214-19=195 gold contracts disappeared from the August delivery month.  Silver o.i. in August actually rose by 29 contracts, leaving 436 still open, minus the 326 contracts mentioned a few paragraphs ago.  Tuesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 54 silver contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 29+54=84 more silver contracts just got added to August.


There was a very decent deposit in GLD yesterday, as an authorized participant added 273,502 troy ounces.  There were no reported changes in SLV.

In the other silver ETFs yesterday, there was 397,525 troy ounces added to Sprott.

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

The only activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on Tuesday was 321.500 troy ounces/10 kilobars [U.K/U.S. kilobar weight] that was shipped out of Canada’s Scotiabank.  I won’t bother linking this.

There was some activity in silver.  Nothing was reported received — and 603,279 troy ounces was shipped out.  Most of that, one truckload…598,426 troy ounces…departed CNT — and the remaining 4,853 troy ounces was shipped out of Delaware.  There was another big paper transfer from the Registered category — and back into Eligible, as 591,250 troy ounces made that move over at Brink’s, Inc.  Undoubtedly this is silver that belongs to JPMorgan’s clients, which Ted says is being transferred back into the Eligible category to save on storage charges.  The link to all this is here.

There was also a bit of activity over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Tuesday.  Nothing was reported received — and 904 kilobars were shipped out.  All of this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. of course — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.


Here are two charts that Nick passed around on the weekend that I didn’t have room for until now.  They show U.S. Mint sales for gold and silver bullion coins, updated with July’s dataThe gold coin sales include both eagle and buffalo sales…and the silver coin sales include the silver eagle and the 5-ounce ‘America the Beautiful’ coin sales as well.  But that doesn’t change the fact that retail demand in precious metals is nearly at rock bottom.  Click to enlarge for both.

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


CRITICAL READS

Smart Money Should Beware of a Bear Market Bounce — Bill Bonner

Stocks rose 311 points on the Dow on Tuesday. This is typical bear market action; sell-offs are followed by about a 50% bounce.

If it really is a bear market, the buyers will regret it. They will turn out to be the “dumb money” that stays too late at the party and pays too much for the stocks on offer.

Meanwhile, Bezos is selling.

Beyond Meat’s CEO, Ethan Brown, is selling.

Buffett ain’t buying. His company, Berkshire Hathaway, is holding a record amount of cash – $122 billion – because Buffett can’t find companies he wants to buy at reasonable prices.

And Barron’s reports that “at the end of the first quarter, a coalition of 750 members of a group called TIGER 21, with a combined fortune of $75 billion, had more cash than at any time since 2013.”

TIGER 21 Chairman Michael Sonnenfeldt says stocks are already “priced to perfection.” Adds Nomura strategist Masanari Takada: “At this point, we think it would be a mistake to dismiss the possibility of a Lehman-like shock as a mere tail risk.”

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


Financial World Gone Nuts: $15 Trillion Negative Yielding Debt — Wolf Richter

Every day brings new indications that the financial world is going from already nuts to even nuttier. According to Bloomberg, the total amount of bonds outstanding globally that are trading with a negative yield exceed for the first time $15 trillion. This includes government and corporate debt, and also some euro junk bonds that have joined the elite group.  Click to enlarge.

A chart like this, of markets and central banks chasing each other further and further into the negative-yield absurdity, is crying out loudly: “Somebody has got to put a stop to this race to hell.

The Fed was dabbling in trying to stop this race that is now leading ever deeper into negative-yield absurdity, and had even tried to reverse it, and got shouted down as can be seen in the above chart.

Yes, there are still juicy yields out there, but you have to risk your first-born to get them, if you’ll ever get paid the interest or principal. For example, Zambia. The 10-year yield on its euro-denominated bonds is now over 31%.

Moody’s rates Zambia’s government debt Caa2, just three tiny notches from default (my plain-English cheat sheet for credit rating scales by Moody’s, S&P, and Fitch). Moody’s cited the high debt burden, liquidity risk, and external vulnerability.

The bond market is beyond dangerous — and it’s just a matter of when, not if, the whole thing melts down.  This commentary from Wolf put in an appearance on his Internet site on Tuesday sometime — and I thank Richard Saler for sending it along.  Another link to it is here.  And here’s Gregory Mannarino’s must watch classic rant after Wednesday market close.  It runs for 9 minutes — and the the link is here.  As always, I thank Roy Stephens for this one.


Consumer Credit Rises to Record $4.1 Trillion as Student, Auto Loans Hit All-Time High

After two months of torrid gains for revolving, or credit card debt, moments ago the Fed reported in its monthly consumer credit report that in June U.S. consumer hit the brakes hard on new credit-fueled spending.

In June, revolving credit declined by $80.5 million, the first such drop since March, and only the sixth decline since 2015. However, this was more than offset by a $14.7 billion increase in non-revolving, or student and auto loan, credit as total consumer credit in June rose by $14.6 billion, modestly below the $16.1 billion expected. Meanwhile, the May data was revised upward, from $17.1 billion to $17.8 billion.

And while the reversal in June credit card use may prompt fresh questions about the strength of the US consumer despite the latest upward revision in the personal saving rates, one place where there were no surprises, was in the total amount of student and auto loans: here as expected, both numbers hit fresh all time highs, with a record $1.605 trillion in student loans outstanding, an increase of $6.8 billion in the quarter, while auto debt also hit a new all time high of $1.174 trillion, an increase of $8.4 billion in the quarter.  Click to enlarge.

In short, whether they want to or not, Americans continue to drown even deeper in debt, and enjoying every minute of it.

This is another Zero Hedge story from Brad. This one appeared on their website at 3:20 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon EDT — and another link to it is here.


Trump Renews Powell Attack: “I Was Right… Fed Must Cut Rates Bigger and Faster

The ink on the Fed’s latest rate cut – the first in a decade – still hasn’t dried, and here comes the president demanding, drum-roll…more.

As we expected earlier, when we noted the not one, not two, but three surprise rate cuts by Asian central banks, and said that it’s only a matter of time for Trump to chime in, Donald Trump did just that when in a trio of tweets, the president once again lashed out at Powell for not only not cutting more than just 25 bps – because it is “too proud to admit their mistake of acting too fast and tightening too much (and that I was right!)” – but also because the rest of the world is now winning the race to the bottom: “They must Cut Rates bigger and faster, and stop their ridiculous quantitative tightening NOW” Trump boomed, even though the Fed ended their “ridiculous quantitative tightening” LAST WEEK.

Trump also unveiled that he is now a yield curve expert, although what he means by “yield curve is at too wide a margin” is not exactly clear since the 3M-10Y curve just hit a new 12 year low of -40bps as the entire yield curve now screams recession.

Trump’s rant, of course begs the question: why is he desperately trying the Fed to panic into more rate cuts in what Trump has repeatedly dubbed the ‘greatest economy ever.’

And just in case Powell gets an angry phone call this morning, don’t be surprised if we get an emergency rate cut from the Fed one of these days: and why not — [as] the Fed’s credibility is now almost entirely gone.

This worthwhile news item showed up on the Zero Hedge website at 9:10 a.m. on Wednesday morning EDT — and is yet another contribution from Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.


When You Get an E-mail Like This From the Fed, It May Be Time to Panic

Yesterday, in a lengthy article referencing the escalating dollar and funding liquidity shortage as a result of the aggressive rebuild of the Treasury’s cash balance from $133BN to $350BN in the aftermath of the debt ceiling deal, we said “Forget China, The Fed Has a Much Bigger Problem on Its Hands.”

As we explained in detail, the main reason why the Fed should be concerned, is that according to a research report from BofA’s Marc Cabana which we used extensively in the report, the Fed may be forced to launch Quantitative Easing as soon as Q4 to provide the market with the much needed liquidity, or else suffer the consequences of a major liquidity shortage. To wit, in describing the various steps the Fed can engage in, this is what the BofA strategist said:

“Outright QE: after OMO dealer capacity is exhausted the Fed may need to start permanently expanding its balance sheet. The Fed would likely describe this as offsetting “bank reserve demand and growth in other non-reserve liabilities”. Regardless, it would represent the Fed permanently buying USTs outright to maintain control of funding markets well above the ZLB.

Well, it appears that the Fed paid attention, because moments ago we received an e-mail from a Federal Reserve researcher which should make everyone very, very nervous. Specifically, the “rather urgent request” from a Fed staffer (no, not Edward Quince) seeks the full Cabana report whose gist, as noted above, is that the Fed will have to launch QE4 in very short notice to offset the upcoming liquidity drain.  Click to enlarge.

Incidentally, this was our conclusion to our Tuesday article…

For what it’s worth, Bank of America believes “the Fed will need to step in to offset these funding market pressures through outright balance-sheet expansion or QE, potentially in 4Q.” And while the Fed could get ahead of these issues by laying out a framework around money market control before greater criticisms and questions emerge about the independence of monetary/fiscal policies or the path to MMT, it won’t do that, and instead it will wait for another, even greater “Lehman-like” crash to float the idea of imminent QE… which is precisely what Nomura warned about earlier in the day.”

Based on the Fed’s e-mail, we wonder if it means the Fed is now seriously contemplating following through on Cabana’s recommendation, and if so, does the market crash first, or is it about to price in QE4 and soar. We expect to find out very soon.

This very interesting Zero Hedge article showed up on their Internet site at 9:46 a.m. EDT on Wednesday morning — and I thank Brad Robertson for sharing it with us.  Another link to it is here.


Heavy Clashes Erupt Between Indian, Pakistani Forces in Kashmir

Reuters reports intense clashes broke out Wednesday along the Line of Control in contested Kashmir between Indian and Pakistani troops.

Citing local media, Reuters described that “troops on the border had exchanged heavy fire and that Pakistani troops have fired mortars in the clashes.” The exchange of fire took place according to local media at the Sunderbani Sector along the Line of Control (LOC) after 10pm local time, with each side blaming the other for breaching a ceasefire.

Though few details were given, especially with a near total communications blackout on the Indian-administered side in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), military observers have been expecting intensifying shelling and clashes between the nuclear armed rivals after earlier this week the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata leadership in New Delhi revoked Article 370 of the constitution which protected Muslim-majority J&K’s special autonomous status.

PM Khan further directed the military to “continue vigilance” after previously saying Pakistan would take “all possible options” in support of Kashmir’s Muslim-majority population – this after regional media reported “tens of thousands” of Indian troops have surged into Kashmir, while a phone and Internet blackout is in place.

A day prior to the fresh clashes, which are likely to escalate without external mediation, Khan had suggested a “genocide” could be unfolding as Indian reinforcements continued pouring into the restive border region.

This story was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 6:55 p.m. EDT on Wednesday evening — and it comes to us courtesy of Brad Robertson as well.  Another link to it is here.  A parallel ZH story to this is headlined “Pakistan Suspends Bilateral Trade With India, Expels Envoy” — and that’s from Brad as well.


Sprott will acquire Tocqueville gold fund — and its managers

Central banks around the world taking dovish turns, an intensifying U.S.-China trade war, and revved-up stock-market volatility have pushed gold over $1,500 an ounce for the first time since 2013.

And it isn’t just the precious commodity that’s getting a boost right now—gold funds seem to be feeling the optimism as well. Sprott, an alternative-asset manager with about $8 billion in assets, said on Wednesday that it was acquiring the Tocqueville Asset Management’s gold strategies business.

The companies said in a statement that Sprott would pay up to $50 million in cash and stock to acquire gold strategies and institutional accounts with $1.9 billion in assets under management based on Tuesday’s market prices, including the Tocqueville Gold fund. The Tocqueville gold portfolio management team will join Sprott when the deal closes, which is expected in January 2020.

Sprott President Whitney George said that the Tocqueville team is “among the world’s most respected gold equities managers and we have enjoyed an excellent working relationship during the planning and launch of our joint venture over the past year.”

Sprott has a globally recognized brand with a dedicated precious metals platform and a long history in the sector,” said John Hathaway, Tocqueville’s senior portfolio manager.

The above five paragraphs are all there is to this brief gold-related news item that appeared on the barrons.com Internet site at 10:39 a.m. EDT on Wednesday morning.  I found it on the gata.org Internet site — and another link to the hard copy is here.


China Scoops Up More Gold for Reserves During Trade War

There’s a powerful constant amid the to-and-fro of the U.S.-China trade war as currency policy gets dragged into the standoff between the world’s two top economies: Beijing wants more gold in its reserves.

China’s central bank expanded gold reserves again in July, pressing on with a run that stretches back to December. The People’s Bank of China raised holdings to 62.26 million ounces from 61.94 million a month earlier, according to data on its website. In tonnage terms, the inflow was close to 10 tons, following the addition of about 84 tons in the seven months to June.

It is important for the country to diversify away from the U.S. dollar,” Philip Klapwijk, managing director at consultant Precious Metals Insights Ltd., said before the PBOC’s latest figure was released. “Over the long run, even relatively small-scale gold purchases add up and help to meet this objective.”

China added 320,000 troy ounces/9.95 metric tonnes of gold to their reserves in July.  But this is gold that they’ve moved from an undeclared account and into public view.  Yes, they’re still buying gold, but have far more gold than they are acknowledging.  They’re just making their gold holding public in dribs and drabs like you see in this Bloomberg story.  It was posted on their website at 2:11 p.m. PDT [Pacific Daylight Time] on Wednesday morning — and updated two hours later.  I found it in a GATA dispatch yesterday — and another link to it is here.


The PHOTOS and the FUNNIES

On May 26…the day after our junket to Chase via the back road…we were off to the Othello Tunnels.  It was a place that we had visited very late last year, but they were shut for the season.  This is where the construction engineers from the now-defunct Kettle Valley Railway blasted their way through solid granite in order to get through the Coastal Mountain Range of B.C.  The spring run-off in the Coquihalla River was on in earnest — and it was an amazing place…a must visit if you’re ever in these parts.  The first photo is of the snow sheds on the Coquihalla Highway as we descended towards Hope…the second along the railway right-of-way on the short walk to the tunnels — and the third and fourth photos are part of the tunnel complex itself.  Even my super wide-angle 14mm lens couldn’t get it all in.  Almost all of the photos within the tunnel complex itself were shot with this lens — and are uncropped.  No photos, or group of photos, could do this place justice.  Click to enlarge.


The WRAP

Both gold and silver, but especially silver, would have blown sky high in price if they had been allowed to trade freely yesterday.  It was only the interventions of JPMorgan et al. at the afternoon gold fix — and later, that they were able to keep their respective prices in check.

But the most egregious act yesterday was the shorting of the precious metal equities, which would have been up an easy ten percent or more by the time trading ended at 4:00 p.m. in New York.  I watched my huge portfolio gains on Wednesday morning quickly melt away as the session moved along.  The only thing that allowed me to end the day with decent gains was the fact that only two of my stock portfolio are in Nick’s Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index.  The rest are smaller juniors.  But even their double-digit gains were gone by day’s end.

I have a long memory for days such as this…where gold and silver were screaming higher — and their associated equities were getting sold lower — and that is going back ten or fifteen years ago when an event like that was the forerunner of a big engineered price smash to the downside by ‘da boyz’.

Whether or not that’s what in the cards this time around, remains to be seen, especially considering the current economic, political and monetary environment that we find ourselves surrounded by today.

My head tells me that they won’t be able to pull it off but, as Ted Butler so carefully points out, never underestimate the treachery of JPMorgan et al.  So we wait some more.

Here are the 6-month charts for the four precious metals, plus copper and WTIC — and it should be pointed out yet again, that any price activity that occurred after the 1:30 p.m EDT COMEX close, is not included in the dojis on any of these charts.  Gold is hugely overbought — and silver is now in the same category by a bit.  WTIC got slammed to a new low close for this move down, so it’s pretty much a given that the Managed Money traders are net short up the wazoo in WTIC, just like they are in copper at the moment.  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 hasn’t done much in Far East trading, as even the smallest rallies were turned lower…including the tiny on leading up to the 2:15 p.m. CST afternoon gold fix in Shanghai. Gold is currently lower by $4.10 the ounce — and back below $1,500 spot. It was the same in silver — and it’s currently down 3 cents. After getting sold a bit lower in the first couple of hours of Far East trading, platinum began to edge higher but, like both gold and silver, was tapped a bit lower at the afternoon gold fix in Shanghai — and is now back at unchanged. Palladium has fared far better, but it’s off its current high tick as well — and is up 9 bucks as Zurich opens.

Net HFT gold volume in October and December combined is already sitting at around 96,000 contracts — and there’s only a tiny 572 contracts worth or roll-over/switch volume on top of that. Net HFT silver volume is about 20,700 contracts — and there’s 1,796 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume out of September and into future months.

The dollar index opened up 5 basis points once trading commenced at 7:45 p.m. EDT in New York on Wednesday evening. It has been edging very unevenly lower since then — and the current 97.48 low tick was set right at the 2:15 p.m. CST afternoon gold fix in Shanghai. It has jumped higher by a bit since then — and as of 7:45 a.m. BST in London/8:45 p.m. in Zurich, the dollar index is in positive territory by 3 whole basis points.


As bad as tomorrow’s COT Report will be in gold, it’s certainly measurably worse after yesterday’s price action.  And if there was any improvement in silver during the last reporting week, that has all vanished, plus more, after Wednesday’s big run-up in price.

JPMorgan et al. are still out there going short against all comers — and Ted says that the margin call losses of the Big 7 [The Big 8 sans JPMorgan] are close to, or at record high amounts.  So the guessing game is still the same…will they be able to engineer a price decline big enough to cover their losses, or will one or more of them be forced to cover as their losses become too great to bear?

That’s what it all boils down to now.


And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:02 a.m. EDT, I note that the gold price hasn’t done much during the first hour of London trading — and it’s down $3.40 the ounce currently. Silver is continuing on its downward path — and is lower by 7 cents at the moment. Ditto for platinum and palladium, as the former is now down 6 dollars — and the latter by 2 bucks, as the first hour of Zurich trading ends.

Gross gold volume in October and December combined is around 113,500 contracts — and minus what little roll-over/switch volume there is, net HFT gold volume is a bit over 111,500 contracts. Net HFT silver volume is now up to about 25,800 contracts — and there’s 2,955 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume out of September and into future months.

The dollar index began to head lower starting around 7:45 a.m. in London — and as of 8:45 a.m. BST/9:45 in Zurich, the dollar index is down 6 basis points.

That’s it for another day — and I look forward to today’s New York trading session with some interest.

See here on Friday.

Ed