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Friday, May 16: Today in Gold and Silver

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The gold price didn't do a whole heck of a lot during Far East or morning trading in London on their Thursday.  Of course that all changed at 8:30 a.m. EDT, 10 minutes after New York began to trade, because within a minute or two "da boyz" and their HFT algorithms peeled a bit more than ten bucks off the price.  Then, when the gold price rallied back above the $1,300 spot price mark, they were waiting to sell it back down again---and from there it did nothing for the remainder of the day.

The CME Group recorded the low and high ticks as $1,290.90 and $1,307.30 in the June contract.

Gold finished the Thursday session at $1,296.80 spot, down $8.90 from Wednesday's close.  Net volume was a third heavier than Wednesday volume at 131,000 contracts.

Silver was under a bit of selling pressure during Far East and morning trading in London---and by the time the HFT boyz showed up in New York, it was already down about 15 cents from Wednesday's close.  And by the time they were through, the price was down another two bits---and the subsequent rally met the same fate as the subsequent rally in gold.  The silver and gold charts look almost identical.

The high and low ticks were recorded at $19.835 and $19.43 in the July contract, an intraday move of two%.

Silver closed yesterday at $19.460 spot, down 28.5 cents from Wednesday's close.  Net volume was very high once again.  This time it was 46,000 contracts, a few thousand contracts higher than Wednesday's volume.

Platinum got sold down about $15 during the Wednesday trading session, with most of the loss occurring during the New York trading session.  So, what else is new?

Palladium was down about five dollars during the Far East and London trading session---and the not-for-profit sellers added another $11 to that loss during the New York session.

The dollar index closed around the 80.06 mark in late New York trading on their Wednesday afternoon---and then spent the first nine hours of the Thursday trading session a small handful of basis points above the 80.00 mark.  But minutes before the London open, a rally developed that peaked out at 80.32 shortly after 8:30 a.m.---and by 11:30 a.m. EDT it had hit its 79.95 low, but struggled back to close at 80.04---virtually unchanged on the day.

The engineered price decline in gold and silver started almost at the same moment as the dollar index began heading south.

The gold stocks opened down a bit---and then headed lower once the not-for-profit sellers drove the gold price back below the $1,300 spot price mark for the second time.  Most of the loses were in minutes before noon EDT---and the shares did nothing after that, but did finish just off their lows.  The HUI closed down 1.65%.

The silver equities also sold down a bit, before heading quietly lower, hitting their low tick around 2 p.m. EDT.  After that they rallied a bit into the close.  Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 2.61%.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 4 gold and 51 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Monday within the Comex-approved depositories.  Once again it was Jefferies as the only short/issuer---and the stoppers were "all the usual suspects" as well---taking a few each. The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

Surprisingly enough, an authorized participant added 57,781 troy ounces of gold to GLD yesterday---and as of 9:30 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.

Joshua Gibbons, the "Guru of the SLV Bar List" updated his website with the latest weekly report from ishares.com---and this is what he had to say:  "Analysis of the 14 May 2014 bar list, and comparison to the previous week's list---1,921,808.2 troy ounces were removed (all from Brinks London). No bars were added or had a serial number change."

"The bars removed were from Johnson Matthey (0.5M oz), Handy Harman (0.2M oz), Hoboken (0.2M oz), Rand Refinery (0.2M oz), and 28 others.  As of the time that the bar list was produced, it was overallocated 234.2 oz.  All daily changes are reflected on the bar list.  The bars withdrawn were unusual, in that there were bars from so many refiners."

I'm curious about that, as well.  The link to Joshua's website is here.

There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday

But California reader Jon DeWeese heard back the U.S. Mint yesterday about the big changes in April silver eagle sales.  If you remember, April sales got revised downwards from 4,590,000 to 3,569,000.  Here was the mint's reply:  "Thank you for contacting the United States Mint.  The difference in the Silver Eagles sales figures was due to a system glitch, which has been corrected.  We appreciate your interest."

One again there were no reported changes in gold over at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday.  It was a different story in silver, of course, as nothing was reported received---and 814,273 troy ounces were shipped out the door for parts unknown.  The withdrawals were from HSBC USA and CNT.  The link to that activity is here.

Nick Laird sent me a couple of charts in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, but I'd already hit the send button on yesterday's column, so they had to wait for today's missive.

The first chart is the 5-year Intraday Average Silver Price Movements---and all three fixes, both gold fixes along with the noon London silver fix, are points of interest on his chart.  Also note the high tick of the day comes an hour before the London open---which is the same time as the high tick for gold on its 1-year intraday chart.

Here's the same chart, except it shows only the last 12 months, just to give you and idea how things have changed as the price management scheme comes ever closer to its ultimate demise.  It doesn't look at lot different, does it?  But the difference between the 5-year gold and 1-year gold intraday charts is quite striking, but not so much with silver.

I have the usual number of stories for a mid-week column---and the final edit, as always, is up to you.

¤ The Wrap

I’m still convinced that in the absence of the familiar signs of broad retail demand, a large buyer is responsible at the margin for the record sales of Silver Eagles over the past year and a half. Since JPMorgan is the largest single factor in silver in every category possible, including COMEX futures positioning and deliveries, it is logical to speculate it may be the big buyer of Silver Eagles. This would also explain why JPMorgan has not allowed silver prices to run, as it gives the bank more time to acquire silver in any form. - Silver analyst Ted Butler: 14 May 2014

All the nice gains from Wednesday disappeared during the New York trading session on Thursday---and both gold and silver are back below any moving average that mean anything.  Here are the 6-month charts for both once again.

And as a side note, platinum and palladium weren't spared, either.

It seems that we're in some sort of holding pattern, as every time the price wants to break out, JPMorgan et al are there to smack it down before it does much technical damage on the charts.  That certainly appears to be the case since "da boyz" squashed the rally that began in late December 2013.  How long they're going to hold prices at these levels---and platinum and palladium as well---remains to be seen.

Today we get the new Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of Comex trading on Tuesday---and as I said a couple of days back, it's a really tough read as to whether or not there will be any improvement in the Commercial net short positions in either gold or silver.  But whatever the report shows, I'll have it for you in tomorrow's column.

There was little price activity for most of the Far East trading session on their Friday, but starting around 1:30 p.m. Hong Kong time, the price pressure began on both gold and silver---and platinum and palladium began to get sold off just before the London open---and all four precious metals are still heading lower now that London has been open about 40 minutes.  Volumes in both gold and silver are very light---and the dollar index is back to holding onto the 80.00 mark by its proverbial fingernails.

And as I hit the send button on today's efforts at 5 a.m. EDT, I note that all four precious metal are down a bit more.  Gold and silver are off their lows of the day at the moment, with platinum and palladium still searching for a bottom.  Once again palladium is knocking on the $800 door to the downside.  Gold's net volume is up a bit, but still reasonably light---and silver's volume is getting up there once again.  The dollar index is a hair below the 80.00 mark.

Since today is Friday, all bets are off as to what may happen to precious metal prices for the remainder of the day.  And as is almost always the case, it's what happens in New York trading that matters and, like yesterday, nothing will surprise me when I check the charts after I roll out of bed later this morning.

Enjoy your weekend, or what's left of it if you live west of the International Date Line---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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