NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- [ Note: After three years without a break, I'll be taking some time off. There will be no Gold and Silver Daily next week. Ed]
Gold rallied a few bucks in Thursday morning trading in the Far East---and then gave that back, plus a bit more by shortly after 11 a.m. in London. Then the HFT boyz showed up---and the short sellers piled in behind them---and had the price down another 15 bucks by the 8:20 a.m. EDT Comex open. That turned out to be the low of the day. The subsequent rally gained back about half that loss by 9:30 a.m. in New York, before a major short covering rally began---probably instigated by the same traders that had gone short just hours before.
But as the gold price screamed higher in what had all the hallmarks of a "no ask" market, the sellers of last resort put in an appearance just as the gold price was about to take out the $1,300 spot price. In no time at all, the price was back below $1,290---and from there it crawled slowly higher for the remainder of the day.The CME Group recorded the low and high ticks as $1,268.40 and $1,299.00 in the June contract. Gold finished the Thursday session in New York at $1,293.90 spot, up $10.20 on the day. Volume, net of April and May, was enormous at 188,000 contracts. Silver did nothing in Far East trading on their Thursday---and began a slow decline that started around 2 p.m. Hong Kong time---and a few minutes after 11 a.m. BST in London, the same scenario unfolded in silver as occurred in gold. The low tick of the day came at the noon silver fix---which was a new low for this move down---and the subsequent short-covering rally got capped shortly before 10 a.m. EDT in New York---and before it could break above the $20 spot price. From there it traded more or less flat into the close of electronic trading. The high and low price ticks were recorded as $18.93 and $19.91 in the May contract---a 5% intraday move. The silver price closed yesterday at $19.65 spot, up 20 cents from Wednesday's close. Gross volume was over the moon at 135,636 contracts---and the net volume came in at 43,500 contracts, which was pretty chunky, but most of the total volume was of the HFT variety. Platinum and palladium both traded flat up until about 11:45 a.m. BST in London. Then both got sold down to their 8:30 a.m. EDT lows of the day before blasting higher. Their respective rallies got capped minutes after 10 a.m. EDT---platinum at $1,410---and palladium the moment it broke back through the $800 price mark. Here are the charts. It should be obvious to anyone with two open eyes---along with an open mind---that precious metal prices would have melted up to fantastic closing prices if JPMorgan et al hadn't shown up when they did. This was a Comex rig job to the downside---and the upside. The dollar index closed at 79.86 late on Wednesday afternoon in New York---and except for a 2-hour long up/down spike between 8 and 10 a.m. EDT, the index crawled lower for the day, finishing the Thursday session at 79.77---down 9 basis points. It should come as no surprise that the precious metal price action yesterday had zero to do with what was happening in the currency markets. The gold stocks gapped down at the open, but rallied smartly the moment that the short covering rally commenced. The rally in the gold stocks also ended the very second that the rally in the gold price ended as well. There was no spill-over/follow-through at all---and the shares continued to sell off as the day went on, even though the gold price was working its way quietly higher for the remainder of the New York session. The HUI finished down 1.69%. The silver stocks also followed exactly the same price path---and despite the fact that silver finished up a percent, Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 1.14%. You have to wonder if the counterintuitive buyers of gold and silver stocks on Tuesday and Wednesday, when prices were stinking up the place, were the sellers yesterday. John Embry called me late last week---and we he's still very much of the opinion that precious metal equities are just as managed as the metal itself. I have no trouble agreeing with him---especially after yesterday's share price action. The CME's Daily Delivery Report showed that 1 gold and 12 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Monday. JPMorgan was the short/issuer on all 12 silver contracts---and Canada's Scotiabank stopped all 12. The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. There were no reported changes in GLD---and as of 10:30 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either. While on the subject of SLV--- Joshua Gibbons, the " Guru of the SLV Bar List ", updated his website with the goings-on inside SLV as of their weekly reporting date---and this is what he had to say: "Analysis of the 23 April 2014 bar list, and comparison to the previous week's list---1,729.971.4 oz were added (all to Brinks London). No bars were removed or had serial number changes. The bars added were from Kazzinc (0.4M oz), Solar Applied Materials (0.3M oz), Kazakhmys (0.3M oz), and 5 others. As of the time that the bar list was produced, it was overallocated 34.6 oz. All daily changes are reflected on the bar list." The link to Joshua's website is here. The U.S. Mint had a tiny sales report yesterday. They sold 1,500 troy ounces of gold eagles---and 500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes. Once again there were no reported in/out moments in gold over at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday. But there was decent movement in silver, as 600,334 troy ounces were reported received---all into CNT---and 1245,600 troy ounces were shipped out. The link to that activity is here. Here are a couple of neat photos that reader M.A. sent my way from his recent trip---and I though they were worth sharing. If you want to read more about this giant gold nugget, the link is here. I have the usual number of stories for a weekday column---and I hope you find some in here that interest you.