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Thursday, March 6: Today in Gold and Silver

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- There's not a lot to talk about today as far as the gold price is concerned, as it did little in Far East trading---and about the same in early London trading as well.  The low tick was at the London a.m. gold fix---and the high came shortly before 1 p.m. EST in New York.  After that it got sold down about five bucks going into the 5:15 p.m. electronic close.

The CME Group recorded the low and high ticks as $1,332.70 and $1,342.00 in the April contract.

Gold finished the Wednesday trading session at $1,336.80 spot, up $2.40 on the day.  Net volume was exceedingly light at only 87,000 contracts.

The silver price traded in a 20 cent range everywhere on Planet Earth yesterday---and there's even less to see here.

The low and high ticks, such as they were, were recorded as $21.155 and $21.34 in the May contract.

But, like gold, silver got sold down from its 12:50 p.m. EST high---and finished the Wednesday session at $21.155 spot, up only 1.5 cents from Tuesday  Volume, net of March and April, collapsed all the way down to 25,500 contracts, which was a 45% decline from Tuesday's volume.

Platinum traded flat until shortly after 1 p.m. Hong Kong time.  At that point it developed a positive price bias---and really began to rally around 11:30 a.m. in London trading.  The rally got stopped in its tracks about 10:30 a.m. in New York---and got sold down pretty hard after that, giving up almost all of its gains from when Comex trading began earlier in the day.

Palladium also traded flat until 1 p.m. Hong Kong time on their Wednesday. From that point every rally attempt of significance got met head-on by a not-for-profit seller.  The high tick came shortly after Comex trading began in New York at 8:20 a.m. EST---and from that point the palladium price suffered the same fate as the platinum price.

The dollar index closed at 80.16 on Tuesday afternoon in New York---and then didn't do much for the entire Wednesday session, closing at 80.09.  Nothing to see here.

The gold stocks opened mixed, but quickly rallied---and had most of their gains in by shortly after 11 a.m. EST.  From that point on, the stocks chopped sideways in a fairly tight range.  The HUI finished up 1.34%.

It was almost the same type of price action in the silver stocks---and they closed almost on their high tick of the day, as Nick Laird's Silver Sentiment Index finished up 1.39%.

The CME Daily Delivery Report was a rather quiet affair yesterday, as there were zero gold and 29 silver contracts posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Friday.  In silver, JPMorgan stopped 26 contracts in its in-house [proprietary] trading account.  The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

I noted in the CME's Preliminary volume/price report that was posted on their website in the wee hours of this morning, that silver's open interest in March is down to about 600 contracts net.  It will be interesting to see how much of that amount actually gets delivered---and how much of it will be gobbled up by JPMorgan Chase.

There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday---and as of 10:20 p.m. yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either.

After a two week absence, the good folks over at Switzerland's Zürcher Kantonalbank have updated their gold and silver ETF numbers up until February 28.  Their gold ETF declined a smallish 31,682 troy ounces over that period---but their silver ETF showed an increase of 53,531 troy ounces.

The U.S. Mint had a tiny sales report yesterday.  They sold 500 ounces of gold eagles---and 500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes.

There wasn't much activity in gold within the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday.  They reported receiving 3,215 troy ounces of the stuff---and shipped out 3,793 troy ounces.  Most of the activity was at Scotiabank's warehouse.  The link to that activity is here.

In silver, there was no metal reported received, but 279,687 troy ounces were shipped out---and virtually all of the activity was at Scotiabank's warehouse as well.  The link to that action is here.

It was another day where the news was dominated by what was happening in the Ukraine and in Russia---and I hope you can find some stories in here that interest you.

¤ The Wrap

Please take a moment and imagine a world where JPM didn’t set the price of silver on the Comex.

It would be a world where real producers and users and investors determine the price by their own collective input---and not where the price of silver is set for them by speculators on some private exchange. Producers and consumers would produce and use metal to their capability and need and investors would do the same. The price would be set, not by intentionally disruptive computer schemes like HFT, or by some private trading scam involving technical funds and crooked banks, but by dealings in real metal. Then factor in that only 100 million oz. (worth $2 billion) are available for world silver investment annually after all silver fabrication demand is subtracted from total production. Finally, factor in that only 1.3 billion ounces of silver exist in 1,000 oz. bar form (worth less than $30 billion) and the owners of that silver don’t seem inclined to sell near current price levels. Ask yourself at what price you would sell in a non-manipulated market? - Silver analyst Ted Butler: 05 March 2014

There's little to discuss regarding the price action in both gold and silver yesterday, as there was none worth mentioning---and volumes were very low as well.  Platinum and palladium made stronger attempts to rally, but I suspect that they ran into the usual not-for-profit sellers before their respective price rallies drew too much attention.

However, with the strike in South Africa even further away from resolution, the day will come [and soon] that supply will no longer meet demand---and we'll see what the '3 or less' U.S. banks that control platinum and palladium prices on the Comex, can do about it then.

Tomorrow we get both the Commitment of Traders Report---and the accompanying Bank Participation Report [BPR].  The data for the BPR is extracted directly from the COT data---and for that one day a month [at the Tuesday Comex close] we get to see what the U.S. and non-U.S. banks are up to in the precious metal markets.

Nick Laird sent along his updated " Total PMs Pool" chart for the 2014 year so far---and it's a wonder to behold.  Let's hope that the trend continues, or is allowed to continue.

In Far East trading on their Thursday, there's not much happening there either, with about two hours to go before the London open.  Once again volumes are extremely light---and the dollar index continues to hover just above the 80.00 mark.

And as I fire this off to Stowe, Vermont at 5 a.m. EST I note that both gold and silver got sold down a bit during the two hours before the London open, but both have recovered somewhat since then.  Platinum and palladium aren't doing much---and neither is the dollar index.  Because of those brief sell-offs, volumes in both silver and gold have picked up substantially, but still aren't overly heavy considering the time of day.

What the rest of the Thursday session brings won't surprise me.  I'm expecting continuing rallies in both platinum and palladium, but as far as gold and silver are concerned, I haven't a clue.  Prices could go either way---and I would have a perfect explanation for either scenario.  But whichever way prices do move, you can be sure that JPMorgan et al are behind it.

See you 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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