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TheStreet Open House

Wednesday, March 26: Today in Gold and Silver

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- There wasn't much in the way of price action in either Far or East or early London trading on their Tuesday.  Gold was up a bit more than five bucks by 11:30 a.m. GMT in London.  Then it got sold down a bit over ten bucks in the next hour, with the low of the day coming at 8:30 a.m. EDT in New York.  The high tick in New York during the subsequent rally came at the London p.m. gold fix, which was 11 a.m. EDT, as London is still not on British Summer Time as of yet.  By noon, the gold price gave up five dollars of its prior gain, before trading flat into the 5:15 p.m. EDT close.

The high and low ticks, such as they were, were recorded as $1,318.00 and $1,306.00 in the April contract.

Gold closed in New York on Tuesday at $1,311.70 spot, up $2.10 from Monday's close.  Gross volume was over 200,000 contracts once again, but once the heavy roll-over volume was subtracted out, the real volume was only around 102,000 contracts, which wasn't particularly heavy.

Silver got sold off a bit in early Far East trading, but finally made it back to the $20 spot price mark by noon Hong Kong time.  A bit of a rally commenced around 3 p.m.---and ran into a not-for-profit seller two hours later at 9 a.m. in London.  From there it traded in a 25 cent range for the rest of the day, but once noon arrived in New York, the price didn't do much after that.

The CME Group recorded the low and high ticks as $19.905 and $20.215 in the May contract.

The silver price closed in New York yesterday at $20 right on the button.  Volume, net of March and April, was 42,500 contracts.

The platinum price didn't do much in Far East or early London trading---and once the high tick was in shortly after 11 a.m. GMT, it was all downhill to the absolute low, which came minutes after 4 p.m in New York.  After that, it recovered a few bucks, but still finished down a few bucks on the day.

Palladium traded pretty flat until shortly before 2 p.m. Hong Kong time---and then it rolled over, hitting its low of the day at 9 a.m. EDT in New York.  Then, like platinum, the palladium price rallied a few dollars into the close, but still finished down on the day.

The dollar index closed in New York late on Monday afternoon at 79.94.  From there it didn't do much until a rally began shortly after 9 a.m. in London on their Tuesday morning.  The index topped out at 80.18 shortly after 12 o'clock noon in New York before getting hit for a 30 basis point decline, with the 79.87 low coming shortly before 2 p.m. EDT.  The index then rallied ten points before trading sideways from 2:30 p.m. onwards.  The index closed back at 79.94---right where it started the day.

The gold stocks opened in positive territory and manged to stay there for the remainder of the day, although they did sell off into the close.  The HUI finished up 0.61%.

It was the same price pattern for the silver equities as well---and Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 0.91%.

The CME's Daily Delivery Report showed that 3 gold and 23 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Monday.  JPMorgan was involved as the main short/issuer in both metals.  The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

After a decent deposit in GLD on Monday, there was withdrawal yesterday.  An authorized participant took out 86,720 troy ounces.  And as of 9:24 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.

The good folks over at the shortsqueeze.com Internet site updated the short positions up to mid-March for both SLV and GLD yesterday.  There was a tiny decrease in SLV's short position of 2.52%.  The short position now stands at 13.29 million shares/troy ounces, which works out to more than six days of world silver production, or stated in other terms---410 metric tonnes of the stuff.

The short position in GLD blew out by 12.24% during the first two weeks of March---and it's entirely possible that some of the gold added after that cut-off date was used to cover part of that increase in the short position, but we won't know that for sure until the next report from shortsqueeze.com---and that won't be posted for another two weeks or so.  The short position in GLD increased from 1.23 million ounces, to 1.38 million ounces up until mid-March.

The U.S. Mint had another sales report yesterday.  They sold 2,000 troy ounces of gold eagles---500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes---and another 392,000 silver eagles.  They also sold 200 one-ounce platinum eagles as well.

Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Monday, they reported shipping out 53,216 troy ounces of gold.  Most of it came out of the HSBC USA depository---and the link to that activity is here.

And, like Friday, there was monstrous in/out movement in silver once again on Monday.  They reported receiving 1,003,021 troy ounces---and shipped out 1,837,730 troy ounces of the stuff. In the last two business days [Friday and Monday combined] five million ounces has been shipped in and shipped out.  The link to that action is here---and it's definitely worth a look.

Here's what Ted Butler had to say about this in the quote I used in yesterday's column.  Keep in mind that the 5 million ounces I spoke of in the previous paragraph are over and above the amounts Ted speaks of here.

Turnover or physical movement of metal into and out from the Comex-approved silver warehouses moderated to under 2.5 million oz. this week, as total inventories fell 250,000 oz to 182.5 million oz. Over the last three weeks, 10 million oz. have come in or departed the Comex warehouses as total levels have barely fluctuated on a weekly basis. There must be a reason for this activity---and at the core of that reason must include the fact that most of the existing inventory is not available for sale at current prices, which necessitates the bringing in of new supply to meet demand. This certainly would not seem to be in keeping with silver’s rotten price performance, both absolutely and relative to gold. - Silver analyst Ted Butler: 22 March 2014

I have a decent number of stories today---and a lot less than in Monday's column, so I hope you have the time to read the ones that interest you.

¤ The Wrap

Plunderers of the world, when nothing remains on the lands to which they have laid waste by wanton thievery, they search out across the seas. The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them. Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Robbery, rape, and slaughter they falsely call empire; and where they create a desolate wasteland, they call it peace. - Tacitus, Agricola

It was another day where not too much happened---and although I'm happy about it, I'm still apprehensive about future price action because of the massive long positions still held by the technical funds in both gold and silver, which JPMorgan et al can still run the stops on for fun, profit---and price management purposes.  Why they didn't do anything yesterday, especially when volume was very light, was a big surprise.  Ted Butler says that this result is inevitable at some point in the future---but the 'when' part of all this is still an unknown.

China continues to gobble up gold at a prodigious rate---and unless they change their long-term plans, I can't see these imports slowing down any time soon.  These imports, of course, don't include domestic production, which never sees the light of day outside China---nor does it include gold imported through other channels, as other commentators have written about.

Through all this, the price remains subdued, as JPMorgan et al continue to ride shotgun over the prices of all four precious metals, despite the supply/demand fundamentals that are visible everywhere in all of them---and that scream out that prices should be materially higher across the board.

I note that we finally have our precious "golden cross"---and it remains to be seen whether it has any effect on prices going forward, as "da boyz" as short sellers of last resort, have been steadfast in their stand in the face of even the smallest rally that erupts anywhere on Planet Earth, at any time of day---and in any metal.

You'd think that with all this talk about suing the major bullion banks for manipulating the gold price at the London p.m. fix, that it would draw the interest of the miners, but there's nary a peep from them---individually, or as a group.  And it's a given the the World Gold Council and its members will be "no shows" for this event---just as The Silver Institute was when the class-action lawsuit was underway against JPMorgan Chase.  As I stated before, all current and past members of these organizations are owned by the bullion banks, or act like they are.

There is a body of opinion gathering out there which holds that all precious metal mining executives should carry little bells, like lepers in the Middle Ages, to warn respectable stockholders of their foul approach.  An idea that has considerable merit in my opinion---and make 'em cowbells.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is a bit under an hour away.  Gold, which had a tiny rally in early trading in the Far East, got sold down again---and is only up a few dollars at the moment, as is platinum.  Silver is up a handful of cents---and palladium is down a buck.  Net volume in both gold and silver is down sharply from this time yesterday---and the dollar index is up 8 basis points and barely back above the 80.00 mark.

Yesterday was the cut-off for Friday's Commitment of Traders Report---and because it really wasn't a wild and crazy day as far as price and volume were concerned, I expect virtually all of yesterday's trading data to show up in this upcoming COT Report.

And not a thing has changed in the two hours since I wrote my previous comments on trading in the Far East.  Now that London has been open an hour or so, the price action is about the same, volumes are still very light in both metals---and the dollar index is still barely above the 80.00 mark.

I haven't a clue as to how trading will unfold in New York today, so nothing will surprise me when I check the charts later this morning.

That's more than enough once again---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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