A Pretty Chunky Withdrawal From SLV Yesterday

10 January 2020 — Friday

YESTERDAY in GOLD, SILVER, PLATINUM and PALLADIUM


The gold price didn’t do much of anything in morning trading in the Far East on their Thursday.  But starting shortly after 1 p.m. China Standard Time, some selling pressure appeared — and the low tick of the day was set around 2:45 p.m. CST.  It recovered a bit from there — and from the London open onwards, it crept quietly and unevenly higher until a few minutes before the 1:30 p.m. COMEX close in New York. From that point it was sold a bit lower into the 5:00 p.m. EST close.

The low and high ticks were reported as $1,541.00 and $1,562.40 in the February contract.

Gold finished the Thursday session at $1,552.00 spot, down $4.00 from Wednesday’s close.  It should be noted that both attempts that gold made to rally above unchanged…8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. EST in New York…were carefully turned lower.  Net volume was very heavy at a bit under 327,000 contracts — and there was around 55,700 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal.

The silver price was managed in a similar fashion — and was sold back below $18 spot in early afternoon trading in the Far East.  After its low tick and ensuing small recovery, it traded quietly sideways once London opened.  Silver’s tiny rally that began at the noon silver fix was stopped dead in its tracks and turned lower the moment it attempted to break above $18 spot at 1 p.m. GMT/8 a.m. EST.  It was then sold lower until minutes before the 11 a.m. EST London close — and then rallied a bit into the COMEX close — and gave back a bit of that in after-hours trading.

The high and low ticks in silver were recorded by the CME Group as $18.225 and $17.815 in the March contract.

Silver was closed on Thursday afternoon in New York at $17.855 spot, down 21.5 cents from Wednesday.  Net volume was heavy at a bit under 95,000 contracts — and there was around 7,500 contracts worth or roll-over/switch volume on top of that.

Platinum rallied about 9 bucks starting right at the 6:00 p.m. EST open in New York on Wednesday evening — and that lasted until around 9:45 a.m. in Shanghai on their Thursday morning.  It was sold quietly and unevenly lower until shortly before the Zurich open.  It began to chop quietly higher from there until it ran into ‘something’ around 11:35 a.m. in New York.  It was sold a bit lower until 1 p.m. EST — and then traded quietly and unevenly sideways until trading ended at 5:00 p.m.  Platinum was closed at $965 spot, up 14 dollars on the day.

Palladium certainly had a wild ride on Thursday — and I’m not going to bother with the play-by-play, as the Kitco chart below tells all.  Like for platinum, the low tick in palladium was set very shortly before the Zurich open — and both rally attempts after that were met a resolute seller of last resort.  Despite all the obvious interference, palladium finished the Thursday session at $2,099 spot, up 7 dollars on the day…54 bucks off its Kitco-recorded high tick of the day…and 81 dollars off its Kitco-recorded low tick.  These kinds of price swings are the very definition of a thinly-traded and very illiquid market.

The dollar index closed very late on Wednesday afternoon at 97.30 — and opened down about 2 basis points once trading commenced at 7:45 p.m. EST on Wednesday evening…which was 8:45 a.m. China Standard Time on their Thursday morning.  From that point the index chopped quietly sideways until a very choppy ‘rally’ commenced about fifteen minutes before the London open.  The 97.56 high tick appeared to come at 10:40 a.m. in New York, but by 12:30 p.m. had given half of the Thursday gains back.  From that juncture it chopped quietly sideways until trading ended at 5:30 p.m. EST.  The dollar index finished the Thursday session at 97.4500…up 15 basis points from its close on Wednesday.

If there was any correlation between the currencies and the precious metals on Thursday, I failed to see it.

Here’s the Thursday DXY chart from BloombergClick to enlarge.

And here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index chart, courtesy of the fine folks over at the stockcharts.com Internet site.  The delta between its close…97.16…and the close on the DXY chart above, was 29 basis points on Thursday.  Click to enlarge as well.

The gold shares were sold down a bit at the 9:30 a.m. open in New York on Thursday morning — and then rallied to a hair above unchanged and to their respective high ticks of the day at the 10 a.m. EST afternoon gold fix in London.  They sank quietly lower until the 11 a.m. London close, rallied into the COMEX close — and then once the gold price was turned lower at that time, the gold stocks followed.  The HUI closed down 1.44 percent.

In all respects that mattered, the silver equities followed a similar price path as the gold shares…except once their 10 a.m. EST highs were in, the sell-off after that was a tad more intense.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed lower by another 1.81 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 37 gold and 33 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Monday.

In gold, the two short/issuers were Advantage and Marex Spectron, with 26 and 11 contracts out of their respective client accounts.  There were five long/stoppers in total — and the three biggest were JPMorgan and Scotia Capital/Scotiabank with 10 contracts each…the former for their own account — and the latter for their client account.  In second and third spots were Advantage and Morgan Stanley, with 8 and 5 contracts for their respective client accounts as well.

In silver, the two short/issuers were JPMorgan and Advantage, with 21 and 12 contracts out of their respective client accounts.  The long/stoppers were Scotia Capital/Scotiabank and Morgan Stanley.  The former picked up 30 contracts for their in-house/proprietary trading account — and Morgan Stanley picked up the remaining 3 contracts for their client account.

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

The CME Preliminary Report for the Thursday trading session showed that gold open interest in January dropped by 117 contracts, leaving 63 still around, minus the 37 mentioned a few paragraphs ago.  Wednesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 151 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 151-117=34 more gold contracts just got added to the January delivery month.  Silver o.i. in January rose by 9 contracts leaving 41 still open, minus the 33 mentioned a few paragraphs ago.  Wednesday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 23 silver contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 9+23=32 more silver contracts were added to January.


There were withdrawals from both GLD and SLV on Thursday.  There was 150,643 troy ounces removed from the former — and a very chunky 3,268,496 troy ounces from the latter.  It’s a good bet that JPMorgan owns all that silver now.

In other gold and silver ETFs on Planet Earth on Thursday…net of COMEX, GLD & SLV activity…there was a net 78,150 troy ounces of gold added — and a net 18,734 troy ounces of silver was added as well.

There was nothing from the U.S. Mint.

There was no in/out movement in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Wednesday.  There was a tiny paper transfer of 964.530 troy ounces/30 kilobars [SGE kilobar weight] from the Registered category and back into Eligible over at Brink’s, Inc.  I won’t bother linking this.

There was only a tiny bit of activity in silver.  Nothing was reported received — and only 28,922 troy ounces was reported shipped out.  Of that amount there was 24,981 troy ounces that departed CNT — and the remaining 3,941 troy ounces left Delaware.  I won’t bother linking this, either.

There was decent activity over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Wednesday.  Nothing was reported received, but a hefty 8,351 kilobars were shipped out.  That was everything that they received on Tuesday, plus fifty kilobars more.  All this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.


Here are three more charts that Nick passed around on Monday, that had to wait for today’s column for space reasons.  The first one shows the amount of gold received and shipped out by the nations of the European Union…updated with October’s data.  During that month they imported 196.4 tonnes — and shipped out 67.3 tonnesClick to enlarge.

These next two charts show the countries and tonnages received by the E.U. — and the countries and tonnages that they shipped gold to during that month.  As you can see, most of that activity, both in and out, involved the U.K.  Click to enlarge for both.

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


CRITICAL READS

Fed Injects $83BN in Liquidity as Market’s Repo Addiction Getting Worse

Two days after we reported that a disturbance may be brewing below the surface of the repo market again, after the first oversubscribed term repo in over three weeks, when on Jan 7 the Fed received $41.1BN in submissions for its $35BN two week repo, we got another indication just how strong the market’s addition to the Fed’s easy repo money has become, when moments ago the Fed announced that its latest 2-week term repo operation was also almost oversubscribed, as $34.3BN in securities ($23.3BN in TSYs, $11BN in MBS) were submitted for today’s $35 billion operation, as dealers continue to scramble to the Fed for liquidity which they are no longer using for merely “regulatory” year-end purposes (since it is no longer year-end obviously), but are instead using it to pump markets directly.

Today’s operation, which was just shy of the maximum $35BN allowed, was the second highest term repo since Dec 16, and suggests that as repos are now maturing at a rapid burst (as we noted last week in “Mark Your Calendar: Next Week The Fed’s Liquidity Drain Begins“), dealers remain as desperate as ever to roll this liquidity into newer term operations.  Click to enlarge.

And just in case there was any doubt that the liquidity shortage isn’t getting better, moments later the Fed announced that in its daily Overnight repo operation, it also accepted $48.825BN in securities ($24.2BN TSYs, $24.625BN in MBS)…for a total liquidity injection of just over $83 billion! Click to enlarge.

The latest repo operations also confirmed what we discussed overnight in “Top Repo Expert Warns Fed Is Now Trapped: “It Will Take Pain To Wean The Repo Market Off Easy Cash“” in which we noted that according to Curvature Securities’ repo expert Scott Skyrm, “something appears amiss as the total overnight and term Fed RP operations on Friday were greater than on year end!” On year-end, the Fed had pumped a total of $255.95 billion into the market verses $258.9 billion on Friday.

In short, just as the market got addicted to QE and the result was a 20% drop in the S&P in late 2018 when markets freaked out about Quantitative Tightening, the Fed’s shrinking balance sheet, and declining liquidity, Skyrm cautions that “it will take pain to wean the Repo market off of cheap Fed cash” since “it’s a circle” which can be described as follows:

For the Fed to end daily RP ops, they need outside cash to come back into the Repo market. For the Repo market to attract cash, Repo rates need to move higher. For rates to move higher, the Fed needs to stop RP ops.”

The problem is that stopping RP ops could spark another repo market crisis, especially with $259BN in liquidity pumped currently – more than at year end – via Repo. It also means that the Fed is now unilaterally blowing a market bubble with its repo and “NOT QE” injections, and yet the longer it does so the more impossible it becomes for the Fed to extricate itself from the liquidity pathway without causing a crash.

Or stated simply, the longer the Fed avoids pulling the repo liquidity band-aid, the bigger the market fall when (if) it finally does. The question then becomes whether Powell can keep pushing on the repo string until the November election.

This Zero Hedge article put in an appearance on their website at 8:45 a.m. EST on Thursday morning — and I thank Brad Robertson for sending it our way.  Another link to it is hereGregory Mannarino‘s post market close rant for Thursday is linked here — and I thank Roy Stephens for finding it for us.


Government Officials Have Stepped Into “God” Mode — Bill Bonner

Bad Guy Theory, BGT, was back in the news this week. It was used to justify the assassination of Qassem Suleimani.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with a deadpan delivery, as though he had been taken over by zombies, explained the killing:

This was a bad guy… we took him off the playing field… It’s very clear that the world is a safer place.”

Here at the Diary, money is our beat… not foreign policy. But nothing is “very clear” to us. Murky is the best we can do. But as we explored yesterday, when the money goes bad, almost everything seems to go bad with it – including foreign policy.

At least, that’s our cloudy hypothesis. Funny money corrupts the whole society. It leads the Secretary of State, for example, to think a war zone is a “playing field.” And it turns the elected president of what is supposed to be a peace-loving democracy, into an executioner and an assassin.

This commentary from Bill appeared on the bonnerandpartners.com Internet site on Thursday morning EST — and another link to it is here.


British lawmakers poised to seal Brexit deal

After years of bitter arguments, British MPs will on Thursday finally approve the terms of Brexit, paving the way for the U.K. to leave the E.U. on January 31.

The House of Commons will complete its scrutiny of a bill ratifying Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s European Union divorce deal, drawing a line under an extraordinary period of political chaos.

For much of the time since the 2016 Brexit referendum, MPs have been deadlocked over how, when and even if Britain should end almost half a century of European integration.

But Johnson’s victory in last month’s general election brought an abrupt end to the turmoil, giving his Conservatives a parliamentary majority with which to push Brexit through.

MPs gave their initial approval to the E.U. Withdrawal Agreement Bill before Christmas, and the government set aside three days this week for detailed scrutiny.

But few MPs even bothered to turn up on Tuesday and Wednesday, while the government easily saw off opposition attempts to amend the text.

In a striking contrast to much of last year, when every Brexit vote risked bringing down the previous government and eventually did, Commons approval on Thursday is now a done deal.

This article appeared on the france24.com Internet site at 9:42 a.m. CET on their Thursday morning, which was 3:42 a.m. in Washington — EST plus 6 hours.  I thank Roy Stephens for pointing it out — and another link to it is here.  Then there’s this related Zero Hedge story headlined “Brussels Warns BoJo Full Trade Deal By Year’s End Is “Basically Impossible” — and I thank Brad Robertson for that one.


World Bank warns of global debt crisis amid borrowing buildup

The World Bank has highlighted the risk of a fresh global debt crisis after warning of the biggest buildup in borrowing in the past 50 years.

In its half-yearly Global Economic Prospects (GEP), the Washington-based organisation said of the four waves of debt accumulation since the 1970s, the latest was the largest, fastest and most broad-based.

The World Bank, which provides loans and grants to developing and emerging economies to help tackle poverty, said there could still be a financial crisis even though historically low interest rates were making debts more manageable.

Low global interest rates provide only a precarious protection against financial crises,” said Ayhan Kose, a World Bank official. “The history of past waves of debt accumulation shows that these waves tend to have unhappy endings. In a fragile global environment, policy improvements are critical to minimise the risks associated with the current debt wave.”

All true, of course dear reader…but nobody’s listening.  This item showed up on theguardian.com Internet site at 9:00 p.m. GMT on Wednesday evening in London, which was 4:00 p.m. in Washington…EST plus 5 hours.  I thank Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl for sending it along — and another link to it is here.


John Rubino — Past Point of No Return: World Governments have Given Up on Fixing Financial System

If you think you are beyond the point of no return financially as an individual, you borrow as much money as you can, and then go bankrupt…Governments in the world are starting to do that now or behaving that way…There is nothing they can do to fix the system.”

Financial writer and book author John Rubino says, “We have entered a new stage which feels like one of the end stages of this process—when governments just give up and don’t even pretend to try and control their finances anymore.”  Well, we are there.

Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog.com goes One-on-One with John Rubino, founder of DollarCollapse.com.  This 37-minute video interview was posted on the youtube.com Internet site on Tuesday — and I was saving it for the weekend for length reasons.  However, I noticed it’s now up on Zero Hedge, so here it is now.  I thank Judy Sturgis for pointing it out — and another link to it is here.


Israel Bombs Weapons Depot Run By Iranian Militia

Tensions continued to climb in the Middle East Thursday evening as reports of another air strike have been confirmed, but this time, it was the Israelis doing the shelling.

According to reports by domestic and western media, the Israeli air force carried out an attack against an Iran-backed militia reportedly headquartered on the border between Syria and Iraq.

Tribal sources in Iraq apparently told reporters that the Israeli shelling targeted trucks and individuals associated with Iranian-backed militias near the Iraqi-Syria border. Artillery and shelling was also reported, though it’s unclear who fired those shots. The weapons are believed to have been destined for Hezbollah.

Sources claimed that the airstrikes were targeting weapons shipments, according to The Washington Post. The Kataib Imam Ali, an Iran-backed militia, was apparently moving weapons, possibly in preparation for a strike against U.S. interests.

The attack comes just hours after Iranian officials, including President Rouhani and a top IRGC commander, warned that Iran’s retaliation for the killing of IRGC General Qasem Suleimani wasn’t yet over, and Tehran publicly washed its hands of its proxies, claiming it couldn’t be held responsible for actions committed in its name.

This Zero Hedge news item was posted on their Internet site at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday evening EST — and another link to it is here.


The Iranian missile strike: an initial evaluation — The Saker

First, as always, a recap.

Turns out that the Iranian strikes were apparently very accurate, check out this photo…Click to enlarge.

This is interesting, because while I had some U.S. ex-Colonel on idiot-box saying that most Iranian missiles either missed or landed in the desert.  Rah! Rah! Rah!  The U.S. has THE BEST military in the GALAXY!!  We kick these ragheads back to their medieval reality, bla-bla-bla.

The reality is that this has been a very effective “proof of concept demonstration”.  Think like this:  the Iranians have super-accurate coordinates for every single building in the Green Zone.  What impact would you think a determined – non symbolic – missile strike on key U.S. buildings in the Green Zone would have?  How about U.S. forces in Kuwait and/or Saudi Arabia.

It is becoming apparent that Iran had no intention of hitting U.S. personnel, at least not deliberately.  So when the Idiot-in-Chief tweets “so far, so good” he is quite correct, but for all the wrong reasons.

I think of this first strike as a very serious WARNING SHOT which serves two purposes.

First, to show that the “52 targets in Iran” threat is an empty one: Iranians don’t care (for certain) and Pentagon planners probably don’t want it either (most likely).  So besides hot air, the Idiot-in-Chief produced nothing.

Second, to show to those in the U.S. who actually believe their own silly propaganda about the U.S. having THE BEST military in the history of the Galaxy that in terms of missiles, Iran is doing just fine, thank you.

This commentary by the Saker showed up on his Internet site very late on Wednesday evening — and I thank Larry Galearis for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.


The Deeper Story Behind the Assassination of Soleimani

Days after the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, new and important information is coming to light from a speech given by the Iraqi prime minister. The story behind Soleimani’s assassination seems to go much deeper than what has thus far been reported, involving Saudi Arabia and China as well the U.S. dollar’s role as the global reserve currency.

The Iraqi prime minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, has revealed details of his interactions with Trump in the weeks leading up to Soleimani’s assassination in a speech to the Iraqi parliament. He tried to explain several times on live television how Washington had been browbeating him and other Iraqi members of parliament to toe the American line, even threatening to engage in false-flag sniper shootings of both protesters and security personnel in order to inflame the situation, recalling similar modi operandi seen in Cairo in 2009, Libya in 2011, and Maidan in 2014. The purpose of such cynicism was to throw Iraq into chaos.

Here is the reconstruction of the story:

[Speaker of the Council of Representatives of Iraq] Halbousi attended the parliamentary session while almost none of the Sunni members did. This was because the Americans had learned that Abdul-Mehdi was planning to reveal sensitive secrets in the session and sent Halbousi to prevent this. Halbousi cut Abdul-Mehdi off at the commencement of his speech and then asked for the live airing of the session to be stopped. After this, Halbousi together with other members, sat next to Abdul-Mehdi, speaking openly with him but without it being recorded. This is what was discussed in that session that was not broadcast:

Abdul-Mehdi spoke angrily about how the Americans had ruined the country and now refused to complete infrastructure and electricity grid projects unless they were promised 50% of oil revenues, which Abdul-Mehdi refused.

This sounds like a story ripped right of John Perkins’ book “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man“.  This very worthwhile article put in an appearance on the strategic-culture.org Internet site on Wednesday — and another link to it is here.


Bad monetary and fiscal policy is good for gold — Peter Schiff

Peter Schiff on Fox Business with Charles Payne discussing gold, stock market, Trump, Fed policy, and U.S. economy.

This brief 3:48 minute interview segment was aired on Wednesday — and showed up on the youtube.com Internet site on Thursday sometime.  I thank Roy Stephens for pointing it out.


Currency hedge: Reserve Bank of India buys 15 tonnes of gold in Oct-Nov

The RBI stepped up hedging against currency volatility by purchasing 0.48 million troy ounce, close to 15 tonnes, of gold in October-November, central bank data showed. This is the highest bi-monthly gold purchase by the central bank since it started buying gold from the open market in December 2017.

India’s central bank bought 2.45 million troy ounces worth gold between November 2017 and November 2019, latest data indicates. India’s big gold purchase from IMF was the last in November 2009 when it bought 200 tonnes.

Safety of its forex asset is the prime reason that central banks park foreign exchange assets in the form of gold. “While safety and liquidity constitute the twin objectives of reserve management in India, return optimisation is kept in view within this framework,” the RBI said in its December report on management of foreign exchange reserves.

RBI is among the tenth largest holder of gold reserves among central banks globally, according to the latest release by the World Gold Council with USA and Germany among the top holders.

This gold-related story appeared on the Economic Times of India website at 8:56 a.m. IST on their Thursday morning — and it’s something I found on the Sharps Pixley website.  Another link to it is here.


The PHOTOS and the FUNNIES

Here are the last three shots from our brief stop in Sicamous…the first two along a little man-made cove off the lake, backing onto a river — and the third photo of the beach and Shuswap Lake.  All three were taken from the bridge the crosses over the water channel that connects the houses in that cove, to the lake.  The fourth ‘photo’ is a cut & paste of Sicamous from the Google Earth website — and that little cove right off the lake in the first two shots is pretty visible.  North is at the top.  Click to enlarge.


The WRAP

‘Da boyz’ obviously showed up in the thinly-traded afternoon session in the Far East on their Thursday — and their presence was less obvious during the London and New York trading sessions.  But if you look at the Kitco charts at the top of the column, you can see their quiet footprints.

I must admit that I was expecting the Big 8 traders, with or without JPMorgan, to show up in force at the COMEX open in New York…but they didn’t — and ‘why not’ is the question of the day.  They were there, but in a quiet ‘care and maintenance’ mode only.

I’ll be very surprised if they don’t show up at some point in an attempt to engineer price declines to reduce their very heavy open margin call loses in both silver and gold.

Here are the 6-month charts for the Big 6 commodities.  The changes in the precious metals should be noted — and both copper and WTIC closed down a hair on Thursday.  Click to enlarge.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is less than a minute away — and I note that the gold price began to creep quietly lower almost as soon as trading began at 6:00 p.m. EST in New York on Thursday evening.  That lasted until noon China Standard Time on their Friday — and from that juncture it traded quietly sideways until the 2:15 p.m. CST afternoon gold fix in Shanghai.  It began to edge higher from there — and is currently down $1.30 the ounce.  It was mostly the same in silver, except it’s up 4 cents the ounce as London opens.  The platinum price hit its current low at noon CST — and has been edging very quietly and unevenly higher since — and is up 3 dollars.  Palladium didn’t do much until around 9:20 a.m. CST — and it has been sold unevenly lower since — and is down 14 buck as Zurich opens.

Net HFT gold volume is fairly healthy at around 49,500 contracts — and there’s about 6,400 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal.  Net HFT silver volume is getting up there as well at just under 10,000 contracts — and there’s 2,005 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.

The dollar index closed very late in New York on Thursday afternoon at 97.4500 — and opened down around 2 basis points once trading commenced at 7:45 p.m. EST on Thursday evening…which was 8:45 a.m. China Standard Time on their Friday morning.  It chopped a tiny bit lower from there — and hit its current 97.40 low [such as it is] at exactly 3 p.m. China Standard Time on their Friday afternoon…an hour before the London open.  It has ticked higher since — and as of 7:45 a.m. GMT in London/8:45 a.m. CET in Zurich, the dollar index is now back at unchanged on the day.


Today, around 3:30 p.m. EST, we get the latest and greatest Commitment of Traders Report — and companion Bank Participation Report.

Just looking at the five dojis included in this week’s COT Report, one would assume that we’ll see very large increases in the commercial net short positions in both gold and silver…as both precious metals were up very decent amounts during the reporting week, particularly gold.

But, as silver analyst Ted Butler pointed out in his Wednesday column…”Up until the past couple of days, I can’t say I’ve seen many signs of attempted short covering by the big concentrated shorts. If anything, the big shorts seem to have added more shorts, as was the case in Monday’s COT report. But my antennae may have sensed a change in the force field the past couple of days. Trading volumes have been absolutely enormous, up to and including the volatile trading resulting from the missile attack last night. If one needs to cover large positions, as the big shorts need to do, extremely high trading volume and price volatility would be basic requirements, at least by an individual large short or two.

Plus I’ve also noticed that total open interest has dropped over the past couple of days in gold, which strikes me as odd in that we are in the prime period of switching and rolling over from the lead February COMEX gold contract. I still don’t know why so many new spreads and therefore, total open interest has been created at this time of the month, but I am now suspicious that total open interest, by not increasing sharply these past two days as has been typical, may be camouflaging a true reduction in the concentrated short position. In any event, I’m not at all confident of what to expect in Friday’s COT report, but will prepared for just about anything.”

We’ll find out soon enough, dear reader.


And as I post today’s efforts on the website at 4:02 a.m. EST, I see that as the first hour of London/Zurich trading ends, gold hasn’t done much — and is down 40 cents.  Silver is up 4 cent.  Platinum is higher as well…up 6 bucks.  But palladium has soared.  From down 14 dollars and hour ago, it’s now up 3 bucks.

Gross gold volume is coming up on 74,500 contracts — and minus current roll-over/switch volume, net HFT gold volume is a bit under 60,000 contracts.  Net HFT silver volume is 11,000 contracts — and there’s still only 2,015 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal.  There has been very little volume in silver over the last hour..about 1,000 contracts.

The dollar index continues to crawl quietly higher as well — and as of 8:45 a.m. in London/9:45 a.m. in Zurich, it’s up 6 basis point.

That’s it for yet another day.  Have a good weekend — and I’ll see you here tomorrow with my longest column of the month.

Ed