NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The gold price didn't do much in Far East trading on their Friday, but was up about six bucks by the time the London morning gold fix was done for the day at 10:30 a.m. GMT. From that point, a more serious rally began that got sold down a bit at the noon GMT silver fix. Another rally began at 8:45 a.m. EST---and that rally was brought to an end at the London p.m. gold fix, which was 10 a.m. in New York. After that, the gold price traded quietly sideways for the remainder of the day.
The CME Group recorded the low and high ticks as $1,299.90 and $1,321.50 in the April contract.
Gold closed in New York late Friday afternoon at $1,319.10 spot, which was up $16.30 from Thursday's close. Volume sans February and March, was very decent at 158,000 contracts.As I mentioned in The Wrap in yesterday's column, silver jumped up about 40 cents starting around 9 a.m. Hong Kong time---and ran into the usual wall of selling by JPMorgan et al. Then the price traded more or less sideways until shortly before 3 p.m. in Hong Kong---and at that point the price took on a positive bias which accelerated once the London a.m. gold fix was in. The steady rally that began there [with a couple of tiny capped rallies along the way] continued for the rest of the Friday session---and the silver price closed on its high of the day. The high and low ticks were recorded at $20.445 and $21.490 in the March contract. Silver closed in New York at $21.505 spot, up $1.02 on the day. Not surprisingly, net volume was extremely high at around 56,500 contracts. Platinum and palladium traded flat until shortly after 1 p.m. Hong Kong time---and then rallied until lunchtime in New York. After that they traded sideways. Here are the charts. The dollar index closed late in New York on Thursday afternoon at 80.30---and immediately began to sag as the trading day began on Friday in the Far East. The low tick of 80.08 came shortly before 12:30 p.m. GMT in London. The index bounced off that low a bit, but gave back most of it by the New York close---finishing the week at 80.14---which was down 16 basis points from Thursday's close. The gold stocks gapped up a hair over 2% at the open---and hit their highs of the day just before 10:30 a.m. EST. From there they gave up over half their gains by shortly after 12 o'clock noon in New York. Then they proceeded to chop slightly higher as the trading day rolled on. The HUI finished up 2.50%. The silver equities hit their high of the day at the London p.m. gold fix---and then chopped sideways in a broad range, even though the silver price powered higher for the remainder of the day. Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index only closed up 2.87%. I was expecting better---and I'm sure you were as well. The CME's Daily Delivery Report showed that 121 gold and 7 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday. There were four different short/issuers, with JPMorgan out of its in-house [proprietary] trading account with 64 contracts, being the largest---and the two biggest long/stoppers were HSBC USA and Barclays with 64 and 24 contracts respectively There are still around 700 gold contracts open in the February delivery month---and only a handful of silver contracts. The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. I was very surprised to see that there were big withdrawals from both GLD and SLV yesterday. With the price action we've been experiencing over that last week in both metals, one would have thought the opposite would be occurring. The GLD ETF reported that an authorized participant withdrew 163,874 troy ounces---and in SLV, an authorized participants took out a chunky 1,923,884 troy ounces. The only reason that I can think of why metal would be disappearing out of these two ETFs would be that it was more desperately need by their owners at some other location. I will be watching the in/out moments of both these ETFs like the proverbial hawk during the next five business days. Joshua Gibbons, the "Guru of the SLV Bar List", updated his website with the current in/out bar action over at SLV---and here is what he had to say in his comments on Thursday: " Analysis of the 12 February 2014 bar list, and comparison to the previous week's list---1,442,942.6 troy ounces were removed (all from Brinks London), and no bars were added or had a serial number change." " The bars removed were from: Handy Harman (0.3M oz), Solar Applied Materials (0.3M oz), Noranda (0.2M oz), Degussa (0.2M oz), and 12 others. As of the time that the bar list was produced, it was overallocated 581.9oz. 1,442,970.0 troy ounces were added Tuesday, but not yet reflected on the bar list." The link to Joshua's website is here. The U.S. Mint had a small sales report yesterday. They sold 2,000 ounces of gold eagles---2,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes---and only 25,000 silver eagles. Month-to-date the mint has sold 13,000 ounces of gold eagles---9,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes---and 1,750,000 silver eagles. Based on these sales, the silver/gold sales ratio work out to 77 to 1. There was very little in/out activity in gold within the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday. They reported receiving 2,199 troy ounces---and shipped nothing out. The link to that activity, such as it was, is here. There was more action in silver, of course, as 553,557 troy ounces were reported received---and 175,262 troy ounces shipped out. All of the activity was at the CNT Depository---and the link to that action is here. [Note: the Delaware depository is back. If I'd just read the remarks at the bottom of the page, that would have explained part of it… "One or more depositories were not able to report changes today due to weather conditions on the East Coast." That makes sense, but only up to a point, as there was no reason I could see that they would remove the entire depository data from Thursday's report.] The Commitment of Traders Report was another strange one, as there was a clear dichotomy once again between what was going on in silver vs. gold---at least on the surface. But it's what Ted Butler found under that hood that should make us stand up and take notice. After a terrific COT Report in silver during the prior week, it was exactly the opposite with yesterday's report, as the Commercial net short position in silver blew out by a huge 7,565 contracts, or 37.8 million troy ounces. The Commercial net short position in silver is now back up to 112.1 million ounces. Ted said that 100% of the short covering by the technical funds was covered by raptors [Commercial traders other than the Big 8] selling 10,000 long Comex contracts at a profit during the reporting week. The big surprise was that JPMorgan used the opportunity to cover another 1,000 contracts of its short-side corner in the Comex futures market, which is now down to 13,000 contracts. I mentioned yesterday that one of my concerns during this short-covering rally was the JPMorgan was going to go even further short the silver market. The numbers show that my fears were unfounded---as in actual fact, JPMorgan did exactly the opposite. If you think that this turn events may be bullish for silver in the long term, you would be right about that---if JPMorgan continues down this path. In gold, the Commercial net short position increased by a very small 6,872 contracts, or 687,200 troy ounces. Not only was the small increase a surprise considering the price activity during the reporting week, Ted Butler says that there was virtually no short covering by the technical funds! It was all the Big 8. And in the fray, Ted said that JPMorgan managed to increase their long-side corner in the Comex gold market from 66,000 contracts to 68,000 contracts! JPM's long-side corner in gold still sits at 21% of the entire Comex futures market on a net basis. We've had three rally days in a row in gold and silver since the Tuesday afternoon Comex cut-off for yesterday's COT Report. I'm sure that next Friday's Commitment of Traders Report won't make for happy reading on the surface. However, in the last two COT Reports, it's what Ted has found under the surface that really shows what's going on, as JPMorgan has been covering silver short positions---and going further long the gold market. They appear to heading for the exits as quietly as possible under the cover of the first decent rally in the precious metals in years. You couldn't make this stuff up! I've taken an axe to today's list of stories---and I've chopped them back to what I consider to be a reasonable number for a weekend column.