NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- There was a bit of a rally in gold during early trading in the Far East on their Friday, but by early afternoon it had petered out. The gold price didn't do much after that until the London p.m. gold fix. That rally took the gold price back above the $1,200 spot price mark. At that point, either the rally got capped, or the buyer disappeared. Gold traded flat for the remainder of the Friday session in New York.
The CME recorded the low and high ticks at $1,188.00 and $1,206.90 in the February contract.
Gold closed on Friday at $1,203.50 spot, up $15.70 on the day. Net volume was pretty decent at 153,000 contracts.Silver didn't do much yesterday, although it did participate in the rally at the London p.m. gold fix---and then, like gold, traded more or less flat into the close of electronic trading in New York. But as I mentioned in The Wrap in yesterday's column, the silver price did set a new low price for this move down shortly before the London open. Silver's low and high price ticks were $19.13 and $19.52 in the March contract. The silver price closed on Friday at $19.415 spot, up 16.5 cents from Thursday's close. Net volume, like in gold, was also pretty decent at 39,000 contracts. Platinum rallied slowly and quietly right up until 11 a.m. in New York---and then traded flat for the rest of the day. The palladium price was comatose all day. Here are the charts. The dollar index closed in New York at 80.65 on Thursday afternoon. When it opened in Far East trading on their Friday, it rallied in fits and starts until its 80.81 high, which came at 8:30 a.m. EST. Then down it went to its 80.44 low at around 10:40 a.m. in New York. From that low, it rallied a bit into the close. The index finished the Friday session at 80.56---which was down 9 basis points from its Thursday close. The gold stocks opened on the weaker side, but rallied into positive territory on the back of the rally in the gold price after the London p.m. "fix" was in. What gains they had were pretty much gone by 1 p.m. EST---and the stock chopped sideways into the close, finishing down a tiny 0.05%. I was underwhelmed. The silver equities did slightly better, as they finished in the green---and Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up an equally tiny 0.33%. The CME's Daily Delivery Report showed that 402 gold and 13 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Tuesday within the Comex-approved depositories. The two big short/issuers were Jefferies with 333 contracts and Canada's Bank of Nova Scotia with 57 contracts. Of course the only long/stopper of note was JPMorgan Chase with 385 contracts in its in-house [proprietary] trading account. The 13 silver contracts were stopped by JPM and Canada's Scotiabank. The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. Much to my amazement, an authorized participant deposited 173,612 troy ounces in GLD yesterday. If you're looking for an explanation as to why that happened, I don't have one. And as of 6:41 p.m. EST yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. While on the subject of SLV, Joshua Gibbons, the "Guru of the SLV Bar List", updated his website with the numbers they reported as of the close of business on Wednesday---and here's what he had to say: " Analysis of the 18 December 2013 bar list, and comparison to the previous week's list---3,369,375.1 troy ounces were removed (all from Brinks London), no bars were added or had a serial number change. The bars removed were from: Nordeutsche (0.9M oz), Korea Zinc (0.6M oz), Met-Mex (0.5M oz), and 13 others. As of the time that the bar list was produced, it was overallocated 734.0 oz. All daily changes are reflected on the bar list." The link to Joshua's website is here. The U.S. Mint had another sales report. They sold 3,500 ounces of gold eagles and 1,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes. They didn't report selling any silver eagles. It was another busy day for gold over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday, but it was all intra-warehouse transfers, as 63,602 troy ounces were shipped out of HSBC USA and Scotia Mocatta---and into the vaults of JPMorgan Chase. The link to that activity is here. It was equally busy in silver, but most of it came in the door, as 1,222,110 troy ounces were reported received---and a tiny 3,004 troy ounces were shipped out. The link to that action is here. Well, yesterday's Commitment of Traders Report, at least in silver, wasn't what I was expecting. In silver, the Commercial net short position actually increased by 1,713 contracts, or 8.6 million troy ounces. The Commercial net short position now stands at 96.2 million ounces. I asked Ted why the numbers weren't what we were expecting---and he said that it was probably the fact that some of the price/volume data from the prior reporting week's big rally in silver wasn't reported in a timely manner during that week. That data, which was obviously quite a bit, when added to the data from the current reporting week, resulted in the unhappy surprise when I first saw yesterday's COT Report. Ted also said that JPMorgan's short-side corner in the Comex futures market in silver didn't show much, if any, change---and still sits at around 13,000 contracts, or 65 million ounces. In gold, there actually was an improvement in the Commercial net short, but it was a smallish 1,863 contracts, or 186,300 troy ounces. The Commercial net short position in gold is now down to 2.71 million ounces. Ted says that it appear that JPMorgan Chase expanded their long-side corner in the Comex gold market by about 3,000 contracts during the reporting week, and their long position right now is around 68,000 contracts, or 6.8 million troy ounces. If the markets don't blast off on either Monday or Tuesday, the full effect of the engineered price declines in both silver and gold on Wednesday and Thursday will be apparent in the next COT Report which, because of Christmas Day, won't be posted on the CFTC's website until Monday, December 30. So, once more, we wait. Since yesterday was the 20th of the month, The Central Bank of the Russian Federation updated their website with their November data---and for the fourth month in a row they showed no change in their gold holdings, which still stand at 32.6 million ounces. As I opined last month, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest of they were pulling a "China"---buying their own production, but not reporting it. That's pure speculation on my part, but it would certainly fit everything else that's going on in the gold world at the moment. Here's Nick Laird's updated chart. I have the usual number of stories for a Saturday column, plus a few extras because of the subject material or length, that I've been saving just for today.