NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The gold price traded in a very tight range in Far East and Europe trading---and the price activity only started getting interesting in the lead-up to the 2 p.m. EST FOMC report. The high of the day came shortly before that time---and the price gyrations upon the release of the news didn't go far in either direction. By 3:25 p.m. the gold price was back to where it started at the close of trading on Tuesday.
Then out of the blue a seller appeared in the thinly-traded New York electronic market, and in less than half an hour had peeled over $16 off the price. After that, the gold price traded sideways into the close.
The CME recorded the high and low ticks as $1,244.00 and $1,215.20 in the February contract.Gold close the Wednesday session at $1,218.70 spot, which was down $12.40 from Tuesday's close. Net volume was reasonably heavy at 165,000 contracts. It was more or less the same chart pattern in silver, although there was a sharp spike up between 2:30 and 3 p.m. in electronic trading that got dealt with in the usual manner. After that, the silver price pattern returned to the mirror image of the gold price---and was soon back below $20 spot---and that's where it remained for the rest of the day. The high and low for the day were recorded by the CME at 19.425 and $20.265 in the March contract---an intraday price move of over 4%. Silver finished the trading session at $19.73 spot, down 22 cents from Thursday's close. Net volume was also pretty heavy at 47,500 contracts. Platinum and palladium didn't do a lot on Wednesday, but did get caught in the 2 p.m. crossfire along with gold and silver, but the effects were more muted. The downward price pressure was more in sympathy with the other two precious metals, rather than much direct interference. Here are the charts. The dollar index closed on Tuesday at 80.04---and then traded flat until around 9:30 a.m. in London. The smallish rally from that point topped out at 80.19 at 8:30 a.m. EST in New York, before falling back to unchanged by the London p.m. gold fix. There were some pretty wild gyrations shortly before---and immediately after---the Fed news, and the index had dropped below the 80.00 mark by 2:30 p.m. EST. But someone was there to catch a falling knife---and the index blasted back above the 80 mark in very short order, and by 4 p.m. was at the 80.49 mark. From there it traded up a bit into the close, finishing the day at 80.59---which was up 55 basis points from Tuesday's close. I note that the dollar index chart over at ino.com stopped working shortly after 3 p.m. EST, so the best I could do on short notice, thanks to Nick Laird, was this 5-day chart from the marketwatch.com website. The gold stocks opened in positive territory and continued to work their way higher as the trading day progressed. There were a lot of gyrations on the FOMC news, but the stocks were still up about a percent before gold got sold down starting just before 3:30 p.m. EST. Of course the gold equities followed---and the HUI finished down 1.48%. The silver equities turned in a similar chart pattern and performance, as Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 1.26%. The CME's Daily Delivery Report showed that 31 gold and 38 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Friday. 30 of the gold contracts were stopped by JPMorgan in its in-house [proprietary] trading account. In silver they stopped 21 contracts. The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. As usual, there was another withdrawal from GLD yesterday, this time an authorized participant took out 135,035 troy ounces. And as of 7:51 p.m. EST yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. The good folks over at Switzerland's Zürcher Kantonalbank updated their gold and silver ETFs as of the close of business on Friday, December 13. Their gold ETF showed a decline of 44,998 troy ounces---and their silver ETF showed a decline of 119,923 troy ounces. And, for the third day in a row, there were no reported sales from the U.S. Mint. One has to wonder if they are finished selling 2013 bullion products for the rest of December, as this lack of sales is unprecedented for this time of year. We'll see. There was very little in/out movement in either gold or silver at the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday. In gold, there were 1,428 troy ounces reported shipped out---and in silver there 989 troy ounces shipped out. Nothing was reported received in either metal. I don't have that many stories today, so I hope you have the time to read the ones that are of interest.