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Tuesday, February 11: Today in Gold and Silver

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The gold price didn't do a whole heck of a lot during Far East trading on Monday, although the price jumped up about five bucks or so around 2 p.m. Hong Kong time.  From there it crawled a few dollar higher going into the Comex open, but the tiny rally that began at the noon silver fix in London got capped the moment that trading began in New York.  After that, it traded basically flat for the rest of the day.

The low and high ticks are hardly worth mentioning, but here they are anyway.  The CME Group recorded them as $1,264.70 and $1,277.80 in the April contract.

Gold closed in New York at $1,275.00 spot, up $7.90 from Friday.  Volume was not overly heavy at around 98,000 contracts net of February and March.  A third of that volume was recorded before the 10:30 a.m. GMT London a.m. gold fix.

It was almost the same price pattern in silver as it was in gold---at least up until the 8:20 a.m. EST Comex open.  Then the not-for-profit sellers emerged---and that was it for the day.

The CME recorded the low and high tick as $19.96 and $20.275 in the March contract.

Silver finished on Monday at $20.075 spot, up 7.5 cents from Friday.  Volume, net of roll-overs out of the March contract, was on the lighter side at 29,500 contracts.

Platinum and palladium didn't do much until 2 p.m. Hong Kong time on their Monday, but then jumped higher, just like silver---and continued to rally from there.  But, just like silver, JPMorgan et al were ready to put an end to that once trading began on the Comex in New York.  Here are the charts.

The dollar index closed in New York late on Friday afternoon at 80.67---and jumped up about 15 basis points when trading began at 6 p.m. EST in New York on Sunday evening.  The high tick at that point [80.77] proved to be the high of the day---and the index chopped quietly lower for the remainder of Monday everywhere on Planet Earth.  The index closed almost unchanged at 80.64---down 3 basis points.

The gold stocks gapped up about a percent and a half at the open---and then gained that much more by shortly after 10 a.m. EST.  From there they traded sideways for the remainder of the trading day.  The HUI finished up 3.12%.

The silver equities took until 2 p.m. EST [right on the button] to reach their highs---and then gave a bit of those gains back going into the close.  However, Nick Laird's Intraday Day Silver Sentiment Index managed to close up a decent 3.27%.

The CME's Daily Delivery Report was very interesting.  There were 512 gold and zero silver contracts posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday.  The biggest short/issuer by far was Deutsche Bank with 449 contracts.  The two largest long/stoppers were HSBC USA and Barclays with 315 and 137 contracts respectively.  Yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is worth a quick look---and the link is here.

There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday---and as of 10:04 p.m. EST yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either.  But considering the strong price action in the shares on Monday---and last Friday---it's a good bet that both these ETFs are owed a decent amount of metal.  Will JPMorgan and the other authorized participants deposit metal as required, or will they short the shares in lieu of?  That especially applies to silver.

The U.S. Mint had a decent sales report on Monday.  They sold 4,000 troy ounces of gold eagles---2,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes---and 592,000 silver eagles.

Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday, they reported receiving 22,039 troy ounces of gold---and shipped out 20,354 troy ounces of the stuff.  The link to that activity is here.

In silver, 634,082 troy ounces were reported received---and 100,717 troy ounces were shipped out.  All the silver reported received went into Scotia Mocatta's warehouse.  The link to that action is here.

Because of the weekend, I have a lot of stories for you today---and the final edit is all yours.

¤ The Wrap

Thanks to a monster in-day [on Friday], turnover or movement of metal into and out from the Comex-approved silver warehouses accelerated to around 7 million oz for the week. Total inventories rose 2.4 million oz, to almost 181.8 million oz, another new 16 year high water mark. I am still fascinated with the heavy Comex silver warehouse churn, as the unusual movement is occurring for a reason. Since it represents the physical transport of large quantities of metal, necessarily involving time and expense, it persists for some non-frivolous purpose. If that purpose isn’t due to existing metal on deposit not being available and thereby requiring new metal to come in to meet demand, or overall tightness, then I confess to not having an alternative explanation. - Silver analyst Ted Butler: 08 February 2014

It wasn't a particularly big volume day in the precious metal market on Monday, but it was obvious that the precious metals wanted to rally despite that.  It was equally as obvious that JPMorgan et al put in an appearance at the 8:40 a.m. Comex open and made sure it didn't happen.  From that time, gold at least traded sideways, whereas the other three precious metals saw their nice gains vanish as the trading day wore on.

I was happy to see the precious metal stocks do so well despite the tepid price action in the underling metals themselves---not only yesterday, but Friday as well.  I'm cautiously optimistic, but always on the lookout for "in your ear"---because as you can tell by yesterday's price action, "da boyz" haven't gone away.

Here are the six-month charts for all four precious metals so you can see how these budding rallies are progressing---or are being allowed to progress.

Although I've very happy to see these rallies materialize after such a long period of price declines, I've been around the precious metal market with my eyes [and mind] wide open long enough to know that there's still no hint in the price action that JPMorgan et al are giving up control.  As Ted Butler has mentioned at length recently, the signs in other areas point in that direction, but until they decide, or get the 'word', I'm not expecting these rallies to go far.  Of course I'd love to be proven wrong---but at the moment it looks like the same old, same old.  The only unknown is the price points they will 'fail' at.

There was some decent price action in three of the four precious metals in Far East trading on their Tuesday morning, but that all ended at 11 a.m. Hong Kong time---and as I write this paragraph about 10 minutes before the London open, silver is now down from Monday's close in New York---and platinum and gold have given up some of the gains they had.  Volumes are pretty heavy as well---and virtually all of it is of the HFT variety, as the not-for-profit sellers had to throw a fair amount of Comex paper at these metals to get them to behave.

And as I hit the send button on today's efforts at 5:20 a.m. EST I note that prices in all four precious metals are chopping sideways---and any and all rally attempts are being capped.  Gold and silver volumes are a third higher than normal for this time of day, so lots of paper is still being used to keep prices in check.  The dollar index isn't doing much.

Today, at the close of Comex trading, is the cut-off for this Friday's Commitment of Traders Report, so I'll be more than interested in what the price action is like when I power up my computer later this morning.

That's all I have for today.  I'm off to bed---and I'll see you here tomorrow.

This is an abbreviated version of Ed Steer's Gold & Silver Daily Sign-up to have to the complete market review delivered to your email inbox each morning for free.

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