15 October 2019 — Tuesday
YESTERDAY in GOLD, SILVER, PLATINUM and PALLADIUM
The gold price was sold down about five bucks once trading commenced at 6:00 p.m. EDT in New York on Sunday evening — and it spent the Far East trading session crawling back to the unchanged mark. It tacked on some more gains in morning trading in London, but minutes before 1 p.m. BST/8 a.m. in New York, it was sold quietly back to unchanged by shortly after 9 a.m. in New York. It crept mostly higher from there until trading ended at 5:00 p.m. EDT.
The low and high ticks certainly aren’t worth looking up.
Gold was closed at $1,492.50 spot, up $3.70 from Friday. Net volume was nothing special at 218,000 contracts — and there was a bit under 11,000 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.
Except for the odd minor variation, silver traded in a very similar manner as the gold price on Monday everywhere on Planet earth — and its high tick came around the COMEX close. It was sold a few pennies lower in after-hours trading.
The low and high ticks were reported by the CME Group as $17.455 and $17.67 in the December contract.
Silver was closed in New York on Monday afternoon at $17.62 spot, up 11 cents on the day. Net volume was pretty light at a bit under 47,500 contracts — and there was only 1,545 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal.
Like gold and silver, platinum was also sold lower during the first hour of trading once it began at 6:00 p.m. EDT in New York on Sunday evening. From that juncture it chopped quietly sideways until noon in Zurich. From there it rallied quietly and unenthusiastically until a few minutes before the 11 a.m. EDT Zurich close. By noon EDT, ‘da boyz’ had the price back to down 3 bucks on the day — and that’s where it closed…at $891 spot.
Palladium was also sold lower at the Sunday evening open in New York, but it managed to rally back a few dollars above unchanged by around 10:45 a.m. CEST [Central European Summer Time] on their Monday morning. From that point it was sold down to its low tick, which came a few minutes before 9 a.m. in New York. The subsequent rally was capped and turned lower at 1 p.m. EDT — and that sell-off lasted until shortly before 3 p.m. in the very thinly-traded after-hours market — and it didn’t do much after that. Palladium was closed at $1,688 spot, up 6 dollars from Friday.
The dollar index closed very late on Friday afternoon in New York at 98.30 — and opened up 6 basis points once trading commenced at 6:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday evening. From that juncture it staggered very unevenly sideways…with a slight positive bias…until the 98.53 high tick was set [such as it was] somewhere around 4:30 p.m. in New York. From that point it gave back a whole bunch of those gains…such as they were…by the 5:30 p.m. EDT close. The dollar index finished the Monday session at 98.45…up 15 basis points from Friday.
If there was any correlation between the U.S. dollar and what precious metal prices were doing, I certainly failed to see any.
Here’s the DXY chart…courtesy of Bloomberg as always. Click 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…98.17…and the close on the DXY chart above, was 28 basis points on Monday. Click to enlarge as well.
The gold stocks opened unchanged — and then rallied quietly and somewhat unevenly higher until a few minutes after the 1:30 p.m. COMEX close. They were then sold equally quietly lower until trading ended in New York at 4:00 p.m. EDT. The HUI closed higher by 0.47 percent — and well off their high ticks of the day.
The silver equities also opened unchanged — and chopped sideways around that mark until around 10:15 a.m. in New York trading. They then vaulted higher — and the high tick was set a few minutes before the 11 a.m. EDT London close. Then, like the gold shares, they hung in there until 1:30 p.m. — and then headed somewhat sharply lower from there…finishing in the red by a hair. Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed down a tiny 0.04 percent, so call it unchanged. Click to enlarge if necessary.
And here’s Nick’s 1-year Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index chart, updated with Monday’s doji. Click to enlarge as well.
With the light volume in silver and gold trading on the COMEX on Monday, not too much should be read into the share price activity, or into the price activity of their underlying precious metals.
The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 20 gold and 68 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Wednesday.
In gold, the sole short/issuer was Advantage out of its client account. The three long/stoppers were JPMorgan, Advantage and Australia’s Macquarie Futures, picking up 14, 4 and 2 contracts…JPMorgan and Advantage for their respective client accounts — and Macquarie for its own account.
In silver, the sole short/issuer was ABN Amro — and the of the five long/stoppers in total, the three biggest were JPMorgan, Advantage and Dutch bank ABN Amro, stopping 47, 11 and 8 contracts for their respective client accounts.
The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.
The CME Preliminary Report for the Monday trading session showed that gold open interest in October rose by an eye-opening 186 contracts, leaving 447 contracts still around, minus the 20 contracts mentioned a few paragraphs ago. Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 38 gold contracts were actually posted for delivery today, so that means that 186+38=224 more gold contracts just got added to the October delivery month. Silver o.i. in October rose by 1 contract, leaving 339 still open, minus the 68 mentioned a few paragraphs ago. Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that zero silver contracts were posted for delivery today, so that means that 1 more silver contract was added to October.
And while on the subject of open interest…there are 2,050 of those ten-ounce COMEX gold mini contracts still open in October. In the 1,000 ounce COMEX mini-silver contracts, there’s only 45 contracts still around.
There were no reported changes in GLD on Monday, but there was a fairly hefty 2,150,440 troy ounces of silver withdrawn from SLV.
The folks over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank updated their website with the goings-on inside their gold and silver ETFs as of the close of business on Friday, October 11 — and this is what they had to report. During that reporting week they added 18,071 troy ounces of gold, plus another 31,090 troy ounces of silver.
In other gold and silver ETFs on Planet Earth on Monday…net of what happened in COMEX warehouse stocks, SLV, GLD — and ZKB…there was a net 45,136 troy ounces of gold withdrawn — and in silver, there was a net 29,512 troy ounces taken out.
There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint.
There was no in/out activity in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Friday.
There was a bit of activity in silver. In the ‘in’ category, there was 11,061 troy ounces dropped off at CNT — and one truckload was shipped out…599,475 troy ounces departed Brink’s, Inc. — and that was it. The link is here.
There was some activity over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Friday. They received 64 of them — and shipped out 328. All of this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.
Here’s a chart that Nick Laird passed around last Friday that I didn’t have space for in my Saturday column. It’s the chart showing the withdrawals from the Shanghai Gold Exchange, updated with September’s data. It shows that they only took out 117.08 tonnes during that month. As you can tell from the chart below, their monthly withdrawals over the last six months have been pretty skinny. Click to enlarge.
Lawrie Williams has a story about the above in the Critical Reads section below.
I have an average number of stories for you today.
A new report by The Wall Street Journal indicates about 100 of the 425 Sears and K-mart stores that financier Edward Lampert acquired out of bankruptcy are set to close by year-end.
Lampert, who was chairman and chief executive of parent Sears Holdings Corp., decided in late 2018 to file for bankruptcy protection.
Lampert provided the parent company with numerous financing deals, one was upwards of $2.4 billion, to save the sinking retailer.
Earlier this year, he acquired 223 Sears and 202 Kmart stores, the Kenmore and DieHard brands, for approximately $5.2 billion.
The newly acquired assets were put into a new company called Transform Holdco LLC, which didn’t have $4 billion in debt and pension obligations that the parent company had. About 50% of the stores in the new company were profitable, according to one of The Journal’s sources.
The sources said by late summer, the profitability of at least 100 of the 425 stores owned by Transform Holdco saw rapid deterioration by late summer. Sources said the decision to cut 100 stores by year-end isn’t public knowledge yet, there are no filings that detail the plan.
Sears has struggled to reacquire suppliers after the bankruptcy proceedings, leaving many of its store shelves empty, and consumers disappointed with the selection.
As for the overall retail trend, our report from last month specified how 2019 store closures already outpaced all of 2018.
This news item put in an appearance on the Zero Hedge website at 12:30 p.m. EDT on Monday afternoon — and another link to it is here.
Here’s the latest. U.S. corporations are about to report more grim news.
The Financial Times has the story:
“Wall Street analysts are bracing for a third consecutive quarter of falling earnings, the longest streak in more than three years, with the energy and tech sectors expected to be worst hit. […]
S&P 500 companies are expected to report around a 4.1 percent fall in earnings per share, according to FactSet[…] That follows a 0.4 per cent drop in the second quarter and a 0.3 per cent slide in the first.”
Warren Buffett says you can never go right by betting against U.S. business. But guess what? So far this century, that bet has been a winner. Charlie Bilello, a former hedge fund analyst, tweets:
Total Returns, last 20 years…
- International Stocks: +110%
- U.S. Stocks (S&P 500): +221%
- Long-Term US Bonds: +329%
- Gold: +365%
In what kind of economy does gold – which produces nothing, invents nothing, sells nothing, issues no reports, makes no sales or profits, pays no dividends, and has no CEO, no staff, no office, no parking lot, no coffee machine, no PR firm, and nobody to lie about the numbers – outperform the MBAs, capitalists, and people of “great and unmatched wisdom” who run its major corporations?
It is a strange world, you will say.
This worthwhile commentary from Bill showed up on the bonnerandpartners.com Internet site on Monday morning EDT — and another link to it is here. Gregory Mannarino‘s post close market rant is linked here.
In 1759, Scotsman Adam Smith, who is widely regarded as the world’s first true economist, published his first great work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. In it, he postulated that all social evolution can be attributed to “individual human action,” as opposed to “individual human design.”
By this, he meant that whatever understanding worked well between any two people was likely to lead to progress. The reason for this was that such agreements would, of necessity, be based upon “trust and empathy.”
He believed that, if mankind were left alone to sort out all commerce and other interaction on their own, using truth and empathy, they’d succeed at moving the society forward.
He further postulated that, historically, the failure to progress could be attributed to what he termed to be the “Man of System.”
The Man of System was any individual who believed that he knew what was best for others and sought to impose his system (from the top, down) on the population, whether they agreed or not.
This interesting commentary from Jeff appeared on the internationalman.com Internet site on Monday sometime — and another link to it is here.
On the evening of October 14, Turkish-backed militant groups officially announced an advance on the town of Manbij, which was controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. The advance started a few hours after units of the Syrian Army was deployed north of Manbij.
According to pro-Turkish sources, Turkey-led forces shelled several positions of the Syrian Army and even captured a battle tank.
On Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said that his troops would continue to support an invasion of parts of northern Syria, despite the return of Syrian government forces. The official Turkish explanation for the offensive was to clear the area of the Kurdish-led militia that has close ties with a terrorist group that is banned in Turkey. At the start of the invasion, Turkish officials said they respected Syrian sovereignty.
Speaking at a news conference, Erdogan said a Turkish-backed force would press on with attempts to capture Manbij, a town at the crossroads of two major highways that the Kurdish authorities in northern Syria have handed over to the Syrian government. He then criticized NATO allies for not aiding in Turkey’s fight.
“There is a struggle against terrorists — are you going to stand by your ally, a NATO member, or the terrorists?” he asked.
Of course there’s zero chance that any NATO country will back Edrogan in this fight. This story was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 3:35 p.m. on Monday afternoon EDT — and another link to it is here.
Trump to Authorize Sanctions Against Turkish Officials, Reintroduce Steel Tariffs, Halt $100BN Trade Deal
Just as he promised earlier, President Trump and the White House are following through with sanctions against top Turkish officials following the Turkish military’s offensive against the Kurds of northeastern Syria.
In a tweet sent just minutes before the close, Trump published a statement outlining his plans for the sanctions, saying he would soon issue an executive order targeting current and former senior Turkish government officials and anyone found to have had a hand in Turkey’s “destabilizing actions” in northeastern Syria, which has kicked up a storm of fury in Congress among NatSec hawks on both sides of the aisle.
Trump reiterated that he is “fully prepared to destroy Turkey’s economy” if “Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path.”
He also vowed to reintroduce steel tariffs, which will be increased back up to 50%, and immediately halt negotiations on a $100 billion trade deal.
As if Erdogan’s intentions weren’t clear even before Trump decided to pull the last remaining American forces from the area, the president warned that Turkey was “endangering civilians and threatening peace, security, and stability in the region. I have been perfectly clear with President Erdogan: Turkey’s action is precipitating a humanitarian crisis and setting conditions for possible war crimes.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long insisted that Kurdish forces deployed along the Turkish border represented an extant “terror” threat. The military operation was nominally launched to install a buffer zone along the border.
This news item appeared on the Zero Hedge website at 4:09 p.m. EDT on Monday afternoon — and another link to it is here. The rt.com spin on this is headlined “‘Fully prepared to destroy economy’: Trump sanctions Turkish officials, raises steel tariffs & stops $100bn trade deal” — and I thank Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl for that one.
More war in wretched Syria. Half the population is now refugees; entire cities lie shattered by bombing; bands of crazed gunmen run rampant; U.S., French, Israeli and Russian warplanes bomb widely.
Now, adding to the chaos, President Donald Trump has finally given Turkey, NATO’s second military power, the green light to invade parts of northeastern Syria after he apparently ordered a token force of U.S. troops there to withdraw.
This, of course, puts the Turks in a growing confrontation with the region’s Kurds, who have occupied large swaths of the area during Syria’s civil war. The Kurdish militia, known as YPG (confusingly part of the so-called Free Syrian Army), is armed, lavishly financed and directed by the CIA and Pentagon.
Most Kurdish forces are deployed along the line of the former Berlin-Baghdad railway, a major source of warlike tensions before World War I. Interestingly, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was making a state visit to blood enemy Serbia when the Turkish offensive kicked off.
Turkey calls the Kurdish militias ‘terrorists’ and links them to the original Kurdish resistance movement PKK which is on the U.S. and Turkish black list. I covered the brutal conflict in eastern Anatolia (southern Turkey) between the Turkish Army and Kurdish militias known as ‘peshmerga.’ If the U.S. can brand Syrian and Iraqi groups ‘terrorists,’ why can’t the Turks do their own terrorist branding? After all, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq are in their backyard.
The U.S. media is fiercely anti-Turkish because Ankara is seen as somewhat pro-Palestinian. Israel is a bitter foe of Turkey’s Erdogan. One rarely reads anything positive about Turkey or its leader. Not very many western readers even know that since the early 1500’s, Syria was part of the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor of modern Turkey. So were Iraq, Palestine, today’s Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
Well, dear reader, if you want to read the nuts and bolts of how the modern Middle East came into existence, then you need look no further than the classic tome by David Fromkin…”A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East” This very interesting and worthwhile commentary by Eric showed up on the unz.com Internet site on Saturday sometime — and I thank Larry Galearis for pointing it out. Another link to it is here.
First it was the shocking junk bond fiasco at Third Avenue which led to a premature end for the asset manager, then the three largest U.K. property funds suddenly froze over $12 billion in assets in the aftermath of the Brexit vote; two years later the Swiss multi-billion fund manager GAM blocked redemptions, followed by iconic U.K. investor Neil Woodford also suddenly gating investors despite representations of solid returns and liquid assets, and most recently the ill-named, Nataxis-owned H20 Asset Management decided to freeze redemptions. Most recently, Arrowgrass Capital Partners shuttered when it slashed the valuation of its stake in Britain’s oldest surviving amusement park, piling further losses on investors in Nick Niell’s closed hedge fund.
By this point, a pattern had emerged, one which Bank of England Governor Mark Carney described best when he said that investment funds that promise to allow customers to withdraw their money on a daily basis are “built on a lie.” At roughly the same time, the chief investment officer of Europe’s biggest independent asset manager agreed with him, because while for much of 2019 the biggest risk bogeymen were corporate credit, leveraged loans, and trillions in negative yielding debt, gradually consensus emerged that investment funds themselves – and specifically their illiquid investments- gradually emerged as the basis for the next financial crisis.
“There is no point denying we are faced with a looming liquidity mismatch problem,” said Pascal Blanque, who oversees more than €1.4 trillion ($1.6 trillion) as the CIO of Amundi SA, adding that the prospect of melting liquidity is one of “various things keeping me awake at night.”
Fast forward to today and South Korea’s largest hedge fund the latest reminder to investors just how toxic the threat of illiquid securities is.
As Bloomberg reports, Lime Asset Management, South Korea’s largest hedge fund with about $4 billion of assets, suspended withdrawals from more funds on Monday, freezing a total of $710 million of its portfolio, after the firm said last week it couldn’t sell assets fast enough to meet redemption demands.
The hedge fund halted an additional 243.6 billion won ($210 million) today after freezing funds worth 603 billion won on Oct. 10, Won Jong-Jun, chief executive officer at the Seoul-based firm, said in a press briefing this afternoon.
“Due to the recent drop in the Kosdaq market and also declines in stocks of companies we’ve invested in, it became hard to obtain liquidity by converting the bonds into the stocks as we planned,” Won said at the briefing.
And that, precisely, is why central banks can never again allow risk asset prices to drop: the alternative means gating not one, or two, or a hundred funds, but halting the entire market, because once everyone start selling and price discovery finally returns to a market that has been dominated by central banks for the past decade, several generations of traders and investors who have grown up without price discovery will be shocked to discover just where “fair” market prices reside.
This is the second story on liquidity issues in hedge funds in the last ten days…first from the U.K. — and now from South Korea. It was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Monday evening — and it’s definitely worth reading. Another link to it is here.
Britain’s financial services regulator is examining allegations of precious metals market manipulation by JPMorgan Chase & Co traders following criminal charges by U.S. authorities, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is one of the various authorities that JPMorgan has previously said were investigating its metals trading, according to one of the people, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter. The watchdog has requested documents and other information from JPMorgan, the source said.
The exact scope of the FCA scrutiny or whether it will result in any charges was unclear.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged five current and former JPMorgan metals traders, who worked in New York, London and Singapore, with alleged price manipulation between 2007 and 2016. Two of them have been charged in parallel by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The joint investigation is ongoing, a DOJ official has said.
This Reuters article, co-filed from New York and London, put in an appearance on their Internet site at 9:15 a.m. EDT last Friday morning — and I found it in a GATA dispatch on Saturday afternoon. Another link to it is here.
The Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) gold withdrawal tonnage for September showed an improvement on the August figure, but was still well below the corresponding month’s figure for the previous few years. While we hear anecdotal reports of stronger gold demand in the world’s largest consuming nation, this is not yet really filtering through to the SGE monthly gold withdrawal announcements, so it still looks as though the full year withdrawals figure, which we equate to be representative of the Chinese mainland’s real annual gold consumption, is likely to be well down on that for the preceding years. At the moment it looks like coming in between 300 and 400 tonnes lower than for 2017 and 2018 unless there is a major (and perhaps unlikely) pick up in the final quarter of the year.
We do not see this apparent gold demand fall-off as being too surprising given the adverse effects of the U.S.-imposed trade tariffs on China’s economy and GDP growth. Meanwhile, as far as the global gold supply/demand equation goes, the Chinese demand shortfall is being offset by a big increase in gold being absorbed by the world’s gold ETFs and continuing strong take-up by central banks worldwide, while production growth is minimal – or possibly zero – as Peak Gold materialises, albeit marginally slower in coming about than many analysts have been predicting.
The World Gold Council (WGC) has published updates on gold ETF accumulations and central bank gold purchases so far this year. On gold ETF increases, the WGC reports that in September global gold-backed ETFs and similar products recorded US$3.9 billion of net inflows across all regions, increasing their collective gold holdings by 75.2 tonnes to 2,808 tonnes, the highest levels of all time. Holdings surpassed late 2012 levels, at which time the gold price was near US$1,700/oz, 18% higher than current levels. So far this year (to end-September) global gold ETFs have added 368 tonnes of gold – more than offsetting the decline in Chinese demand to date.
This interesting and worthwhile commentary from Lawrie was posted on the sharpspixley.com Internet site on Saturday sometime — and another link to it is here.
Central Bank Issues Stunning Warning: “If The Entire System Collapses, Gold Will Be Needed to Start Over“
It’s not just “tinfoil blogs” who (for the past 11 years) have been warning that a monetary reset is inevitable and the only viable fallback option once trust and faith in fiat is lost, is a gold standard (something which even Mark Carney hinted at recently): central banks are joining the doom parade now too.
An article published by the De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), or Dutch Central Bank, has shocked many with its claim that “if the system collapses, the gold stock can serve as a basis to build it up again. Gold bolsters confidence in the stability of the central bank’s balance sheet and creates a sense of security.”
While gloomy predictions of a monetary reset are hardly new, they have traditionally been relegated to the fringe of mainstream financial thought – after all, as Mario Draghi stated on several occasions in recent years, the mere contemplation of a “doomsday scenario” is enough to create the self-fulfilling prophecy which materializes it. As such, it is stunning to see a mainstream financial institution open up about the superior value of limited supply, non-fiat, sound money assets. It is also hypocritical given the diametrically opposed Keynesian practices regularly engaged in by central banks and official institutions worldwide: after all, just a few months back, the IMF published a paper bashing Germany’s adoption of the gold standard in the 1870s as the catalyst for instability in the global monetary system.
Fast forward to today, when the Dutch Central Bank is admitting not only did gold not destabilize the monetary system, but it will be its only savior when everything crashes.
The article, titled “DNB’s Gold Stock” states:
“A bar of gold retains its value, even in times of crisis. This makes it the opposite of “shares, bonds and other securities” all of which have inherent risk and prices can go down.”
This item was posted on their website at 1:04 p.m. EDT on Sunday afternoon…but has been ‘rebranded’ — and now bears the posting time of 4:04 a.m. in Monday morning. The first reader through the door with this story was Paul Wood — and another link to it is here. Another version of this, which is just as good in my opinion…is headlined “Dutch Central Bank: World Will Need Gold if Entire System Collapses“. It was posted on the cointelegraph.com Internet site on Monday sometime — and I found that on the Sharps Pixley website.
Treasure hunters uncover pristine gold coins in wreckage of ship that sank in 1840 ‘while carrying millions of dollars worth of currency’ off South Carolina coast
Treasure hunters have struck gold while diving a wreck thought to have sunk with tens of millions of dollars worth of currency.
The Steamship North Carolina, a 200 ft. long side wheel steamer, sank on July 25, 1840, after colliding with her sister ship, the Governor Dudley, 20 miles off the South Carolina coast.
And while all passengers and crew were able to escape from one ship to the other, their cargo was lost – including a hoard of gold coins.
Now, after months of archaeological field work, divers from Blue Water Ventures International (BWVI) and Endurance Exploration Group have confirmed the presence of gold at the wreck site.
Several gold coins were recovered in the first dive and it’s hoped that subsequent dives will reveal coins minted at the short-lived Dahlonega mint, which would now be valuable collectors’ items.
The location where the coins were found is commonly referred to as the ‘Copper Pot’ by divers. A dive organiser to the spot adds that the North Carolina’s boiler, shaft and hull are all still in one piece beneath 80 feet of water.
This treasure-related news item, complete with a few interesting photos, showed up on the dailymail.co.uk Internet site last Thursday. It comes to us courtesy of Jim Gullo — and another link to it is here.
The PHOTOS and the FUNNIES
After departing Whistler/Blackcomb on June 30, I took it upon myself to check out the tiny settlement of D’Arcy…just north of Pemberton…which is on the way back to Lillooet, sort of. This first shot of is Green Lake at the southern outskirts of Whistler as we headed north — and you can see some of the ski slopes on Blackcomb on the mountain on the left. The second shot is of the sign for D’Arcy — and the highway comes to an abrupt end 300 meters away at picturesque Anderson Lake…the third photo. There’s a forestry road from there to Seton Portage. I didn’t know it at that at the time — and even if I had, it was too late in the day for any new adventures. Click to enlarge.
As I mentioned earlier, it was a very quiet trading session in the precious metals on Monday…both in price and in volume. But, having said that, there were obvious signs that JPMorgan et al. had their fingers in all four of them yesterday.
Ted mentioned in his weekly review on Saturday that the Big 7 commercial short holders, who would be the same in both gold and silver, were still sitting on unbooked loses of $3.2 billion…down about $500 million from the prior week. It’s how this situation resolves itself…with the usual ‘wash, rinse, spin’ cycle that we all know…or whether there will be a panic short covering rally by some of the smaller members of this ‘Group of 7’…that will determine the price direction going forward.
That’s all there is…there ain’t no more.
Here are the 6-month charts for the Big 6 commodities — and there isn’t a lot to see in the precious metals, but copper closed a hair higher — and WTIC gave up all its Friday gains, plus a bit more. 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 was sold a bit lower until shortly before 8 a.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday morning — and then crept higher to its current high, which came a few minutes before noon CST. It has been sold down fairly aggressively since — and is lower by $2.60 an ounce. With some minor exceptions, the silver price has been handled in a similar manner — and it’s down 3 cents as London opens. The platinum price did nothing until 1 p.m. CST on their Tuesday afternoon, but was sold down a bit from there — and is lower by 3 bucks. Palladium had been trading very uneventfully sideways until 2 p.m. CST, but has ticked higher by a few dollars since — and is up 3 bucks as Zurich opens. All four precious metals are off their current lows.
Net HFT gold volume is coming up on 43,000 contracts — and there’s only 460 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal. Net HFT silver volume is a tiny bit over 11,000 contracts — and there’s only 201 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.
The dollar index opened unchanged at 98.45 once trading commenced around 7:45 p.m. in New York on Monday evening, which was 7:45 a.m. China Standard Time on their Tuesday morning. It has been heading mostly quietly and very unevenly lower since — and that lasted until a few minutes after 2:26 p.m. CST. It fell off a bit of a cliff at that point — and is now down 15 basis points as of 7:45 a.m. BST in London/8:45 a.m. CEST in Zurich.
Today, at the close of COMEX trading, is the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report — and I may be brave enough to stick my neck out with a guess as to what might be in it after seeing the Tuesday doji on the above charts later tonight.
And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:02 a.m. EDT, I see that the gold price continues to creep off its current low tick — and is down only 10 cents an ounce. Ditto for silver — and it’s down 2 cents as the first hour of London trading draws to a close. Platinum is now down only a dollar, after being down a bunch — and palladium is up 10 bucks at $1,698 spot, but was as high was $1,721 spot at the Zurich open.
Gross gold volume is around 55,500 contracts — and minus what little roll-over/switch volume there is, net HFT gold volume is 54,500 contracts. Net HFT silver volume is a bit over 12,500 contracts — and there’s still only 206 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal…just 5 contracts more than an hour ago.
The dollar index has blasted higher off its current 2:40 p.m. China Standard Time 98.29 low tick — and after being up 5 basis points at 8:20 a.m. BST, is now down 3 basis points as of 8:45 a.m. in London/9:45 a.m. in Zurich.
That’s it for today — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.