NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Despite the big decline in the dollar index, there was almost no sign of that in the price action for gold in Far East and early London trading on their Friday. The smallish rally in late-afternoon Far East trading got dealt with in the usual manner at the London open---and the gold price was back below the Thursday New York close by the London morning gold fix.
After that, the gold price didn't do a lot until around 8:45 a.m EST in Comex trading. Then, in less than five minutes, the gold price popped six bucks or so, but that rally got cut off at the knees at 9 a.m. By around 12:15 p.m. most of that gain had vanished---and after that the gold price chopped sideways in a very tight range into the 5:15 p.m. EST electronic close.
The CME recorded the low and high as $1,208.50 and $1,218.90 in the February contract.Gold closed in New York on Friday afternoon at $1,213.80 spot, which was up $2.60 from Thursday. Volume was pretty light at 88,000 contracts, net of December and January---but it was about 40% higher than Thursday's volume. It was almost the same price pattern in silver. The only noticeable difference was that once the price got capped at 9 a.m. EST in New York on Friday morning, silver traded within a ten cent price range for the remainder of the day. The high and low were recorded as $19.75 and $20.105 in the March contract. Silver finished the Friday session above the twenty dollar mark at $20.075 spot, which was up 27.5 cents from Thursday's close. Net volume was about 24,000 contracts, about 20% more than Thursday's volume. Platinum rallied quietly for most of the Friday session. Palladium did as well, but that rally became far more robust once trading began on the Comex at 8:20 a.m. EST yesterday morning. Then it appeared that a willing seller showed up around 10:30 a.m.---and that, as they say, was that. Here are the charts. The dollar index closed late on Thursday afternoon in New York at 80.51---and then traded sideways until 9 a.m. in Tokyo on their Friday morning. At that point it began to head south with a vengeance. It cut through the 80.00 mark like the proverbial hot knife through soft butter---but someone was standing by to catch that falling knife about 11:35 a.m. GMT in London, as it appeared that the dollar's decline was about to become terminal. The low at that point was 79.75. From there the index "recovered" back up to the 80.37 level before trading more or less sideways into the close. The index finished the Friday session at 80.33---which was down only 18 basis points from Thursday. At its low, the index was down 76 basis points, so the "rally" off that low was quite a save. The dollar index would have most certainly crashed if a buyer of last resort hadn't put in an appearance. Here's the 3-day chart so you can see the whole move in some sort of perspective. The gold stocks spent virtually the entire Friday session in the green---and then rallied a bit into the close. The HUI finished up 0.71%. The silver equities started off in the red, but quickly rallied back into positive territory. Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed almost on its high tick of the day, up 1.89%. We'll take it. The CME's Daily Delivery Report was a bit of a surprise in gold. I was only expecting a handful of contracts, but 108 were posted for delivery on Tuesday. The big short/issuer was Canada's Bank of Nova Scotia with 99 contracts---and the only long/stopper worth mentioning was JPMorgan Chase in it's in-house [proprietary] trading account with 105 contracts. As Ted Butler pointed out in his column last Saturday, JPMorgan Chase has stood for delivery on more than 96% of the 6,493 gold contracts issued so far in the December delivery month. In silver, there 19 contracts posted for delivery---and JPMorgan stopped 6 of those. For the December delivery month, JPMorgan Chase has taken delivery of just about 61% of the all the December deliveries in silver, which comes to 2,015 contracts, or 10 million troy ounces in total. That's five days of world silver production. The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. Another day---and another withdrawal from GLD. This time an authorized participant withdrew 96,435 troy ounces. There was also a withdrawal from SLV as well, but that wasn't reported on the ishares.com Internet site until well into Friday evening EST. This time they reported a withdrawal of 1,636,397 troy ounces. In the last three business days there has been about 5.8 million troy ounces withdrawn from SLV---and in retrospect, none of this looks like "plain vanilla" liquidation to me, as it appears that the silver was more desperately needed elsewhere. I'll be very interested in Ted Butler's take on this in his weekend commentary coming out later this afternoon. And, not surprisingly, there was no sales report from the U.S. Mint on Friday. And also not surprisingly, there wasn't much in/out activity in gold at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday. Only 8,503 troy ounces were reported received---and 225 troy ounces were shipped out. The link to that activity is here. It was somewhat busier in silver, as 370,292 troy ounces were reported received [all into Scotia Mocatta]; and 1,960 troy ounces were reported shipped out. The link to that action is here. As I mentioned in Tuesday's column, because of the Christmas holiday, the Commitment of Traders Report won't be posted on the CFTC's website until 3:30 p.m. EST on Monday. And as I mentioned in yesterday's column, I don't have that many stories for you today, so I hope you have the time over the weekend to read the ones that interest you the most.