NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The gold price opened flat in New York on Monday evening, but around 8:30 a.m. Hong Kong time a rally began that got capped at 11 a.m. Hong Kong time right on the button. From there it chopped sideways---and volume was pretty heavy by the time I hit the send button on yesterday's column at 5:30 a.m. EST, which was 10:30 a.m. in London.
Then shortly before 1 p.m. GMT, the gold price rallied a few dollars---and at 1 p.m. GMT the gold price, along with the other three precious metals, got sold off in unison, with the low tick in all four coming at 9:15 a.m. EST in New York. The subsequent rally in gold topped out/got capped shortly after 11:30 a.m. in New York---and the price traded flat for the remainder of the day.
The CME Group recorded the low and high ticks at $1,273.50 and $1,294.40 in the April contract.Gold closed the Tuesday session at $1,290.90 spot, up $15.90 on the day. Volume, net of February and March, was very decent at 161, 000 contracts. With some minor variations, the silver price action followed the same path as gold, complete with the 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. EST sell-off that the other three precious metals experienced. The low and high ticks were reported as $19.915 and $20.29 in the March contract. Silver finished on Tuesday at $20.24 spot, up 16.5 cents from Monday's close. Net volume was 39,000 contracts. Platinum and palladium had similar days, with the outstanding feature being the same engineered price decline as gold and silver---and during precisely the same times. Nothing free market about these, either. Here are the charts. The dollar index close in New York late on Monday afternoon at 80.64---and by the 8:20 a.m. Comex open, it was down to 80.46. After rallying back to 80.65 by 9:10 a.m. EST, it fell back to 80.46 shortly before 11 a.m.---and by the 1:30 p.m. Comex close it was back to basically unchanged on the day. The index closed at 80.62---down 2 basis point. The gold stocks gapped up about a percent at the open---and then rallied to their highs of the day just a few minutes before noon in New York. After that they chopped sideways, giving up a point or so going into the close. The HUI still managed to finish up a healthy 4.20%. The silver equities more or less followed the same path as the gold shares, with the high tick of the day coming at precisely noon EST---and Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 3.82%. Reader 'h c' asked me to send him an updated version of the long-term Silver 7 chart, which I did--- and it's something I haven't posted in this column for more than a year, as it was so ugly to look at. It's still not a thing of beauty, but we can only hope that the worst is behind us. [ Note: You may notice that there is a discrepancy in the daily percentage gains between the Intraday Silver Sentiment Index chart---and the Long-Term Intraday Silver 7 Index chart posted above. Nick uses two different data sets to produce each chart. The intraday data comes from Yahoo quotes---and is computed from that. The info on the second chart is taken from the end-of-day open, high, low, and closing data, which is not always the same. " So the intraday data is always just a whisker off."---as Nick puts it. - Ed] The CME's Daily Delivery Report for Tuesday showed that 36 gold and 1 lonely silver contract were posted for delivery tomorrow within the Comex-approved depositories. Canada's Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC USA and Barclays were the largest movers and shakers in what little delivery action there was. The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. There were deposits in both GLD and SLV yesterday. In GLD, an authorized participant added 57,839 troy ounces of gold---and in SLV, there were 1,442,970 troy ounces added, which was within a hundred ounces of what was withdrawn from that ETF last Friday. The good folks over at the shortsqueeze.com Internet site updated their short positions for both GLD and SLV [as of January 31] late yesterday evening EST---and here's what they had to report. The short position in SLV fell by a very decent 15.50% ---and is now down to 16.47 million ounces/shares held short, or 512 tonnes of the stuff. But the drop in GLD was a shocker, as the short position there fell by a very chunky 29.15% ---and is now down to 12.54 million shares, or 1.254 million troy ounces, or 37 metric tonnes. These are very impressive numbers---and I know that Ted Butler will be a happy camper when he sees them this morning---and will certainly have something to say about it in his mid-week commentary to his paying subscribers later today. The fact that the short positions in both these ETFs declined so significantly in the face of flat gold prices and falling silver prices during the 2-week reporting period, is very bullish. The U.S. Mint had another sales report yesterday. They sold 1,000 troy ounces of gold eagles---500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes---and 249,500 silver eagles. Over at the Comex-approved depositories, they didn't receive any gold, but did ship out 26,858 troy ounces---all of it from Scotia Mocatta's warehouse. The link to that activity is here. In silver, they reported receiving 277,845 troy ounces---and shipped out 7,000 ounces of the stuff. Most of the receipts went into Scotia Mocatta's vault. The link to that action is here. Here's a chart that Nick Laird sent around late yesterday evening MST---and it doesn't require any further explanation from me, or anyone else for that matter. I have a far more reasonable number of stories today---and I'm sure you're happy about that. I know I am.