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Saturday, May 17: Today in Gold and Silver

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Except for the fact that "da boyz" and their algorithms showed up at the New York open, it was pretty much a nothing sort of day in the gold market yesterday.  With the gold price on an obvious very tight leash, it was a given that the price wasn't going to be allowed above the $1,300 spot price mark, or the 200-day moving average.

The high and low ticks were recorded by the CME as $1,298.30 and $1,287.70 in the June contract.

Gold finished the Friday trading session in New York at $1,292.70 spot, down $4.10 from Thursday's close.  Net volume was very quiet---only 84,000 contracts.

Silver was under a bit more selling pressure in late Far East and early London trading yesterday---and it got hit a bit in early New York trading as well.  Ever since the price touched $20 the ounce at the New York open on Wednesday, JPMorgan et al have been chipping away at it ever since.

The high and low ticks were reported as $19.53 and $19.255 in the July contract.

Silver  closed on Friday at $19.345 spot, down 11.5 cents from Thursday.  Volume net of May and June was 35,500 contracts.  There was also 3,000 contracts traded in September and December---and whether that was roll-over/spread related, is impossible to tell.

The platinum price traded within a one percent price range all day on Friday---and closed down three bucks.  Palladium was under pressure in early London trading, but rallied sharply around 12:30 p.m BST---and the traded flat for the remainder of the day, closing up five bucks.  Here are the charts.

The dollar index closed at 80.04 late on Thursday afternoon in New York.  It dipped slightly below the 80.00 level a few times, but manged to rally back to unchanged, finishing the Friday session at 80.05.

The gold stocks gapped down a bit at the open---and chopped lower for the remainder of the day, closing just off their lows---and the HUI finished down another 1.00%.

The silver equities sold off just over a percent at the open---and the chopped higher all day, actually finishing in the black, as Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 0.23%.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold and 63 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday.  The only two short/issuers in silver were Jefferies once again, along with ABN Amro, with 38 and 25 contracts respectively.  And, once again, it was "all the usual suspects" as long/stoppers, with JPMorgan being the tallest hog at the trough with 42 contracts in total.  The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

There was a small 8,620 troy ounce withdrawal from GLD yesterday, which I would guess was a fee payment of some kind.  And, as of 7:31 p.m EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.

Once again there was no sales report from the U.S. Mint.

There was no in/out activity in gold over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday and, in silver, there was 613,090 troy ounces reported received---and 24,900 troy ounces were shipped out.  The link to that activity is here.

I was happy to see that the Commercial net short positions in both silver and gold showed declines in yesterday's Commitment of Traders Report.

It wasn't a lot in silver, as the Commercial net short position dropped by only 915 contract, or 4.58 million troy ounces---and now sits at 97.2 million ounces.  Ted Butler says that JPMorgan's short-side corner in the Comex silver market remained basically unchanged at 100 million ounces, which represents over 100% of the entire Commercial net short position in silver in the Commercial category.  The word "grotesque" is a barely adequate description of this situation.

Ted also mentioned that the 10,000 contract non-technical fund long position hiding in the bushes in the Manged Money category hasn't moved an inch, which is wonderful news, as they're obviously in this to make a big killing when we get a price rally of some significance.

In gold, the Commercial net short position declined by a respectable 8,150 contracts, or 815,000 troy ounces of paper gold.  The Commercial net short position in this precious metal now stands at 10.23 million troy ounces.  Ted said that JPMorgan sold 5,000 long contracts during the reporting week---and their long-side corner in the Comex gold market now stands at 36,000 contracts, or 3.6 million troy ounces of the stuff.

Here's Nick Laird's "Days of World Production to Cover Short Positions" of the 4 and 8 largest traders on all physical commodities traded on the Comex.

And just as a point of interest, JPMorgan's short position in silver is equivalent to about 50 days of world silver production on this chart.

I have a reasonable number of stories for a Saturday column, including a couple that I've been saving for most of the week because of content or length issues.

¤ The Wrap

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished---unless they kill in large numbers, and to the sound of trumpets. — Voltaire, 1694-1778

Today's pop "blast from the past" is by an American rock group that got a lot of air time from me when I was spinning 45s at radio station CHAR-FM in Alert, N.W.T. [now Nunavut] back in the very early 1970s when I was in my early 20s.  This was probably their biggest hit, but they had lots of others as well---and you'll find most of them in the right side-bar over at the youtube.com Internet site.  The link is here.

Today's classical "blast from the past" takes a somewhat different tack.  As you know, I'm a huge classical music fan---and spent 11 years on the board of directors of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in programming and fundraising.  Naturally, I have always been enamoured with the movie "Amadeus", the somewhat fictional account of Mozart's life as told by Kapellmeister Antonio Salieri, his supposed arch rival---and if you haven't seen this movie, you owe it to you to do so.

I've always wondered what a Mozart-type child prodigy would be like if one showed up in the world today.  Well, one has.  I heard her a couple of years ago when she was only six years old---and I was impressed back then.  Now she's 8---going on 9---and her abilities are already light years ahead of where they were a couple of years back.  The only thing holding up her playing progress is her physical size, as her hands are too small to reach a full octave on the piano---and she's restricted to playing a child-sized violin.  Gifted is not the right word here---and words fail me to really describe her, as the world has seen nothing like her, at least not since I was born.

Here name is Alma Deutscher---and she is a force to be reckoned with already.  Don't let her child-like voice fool you into thinking she's a little kid.  Yes, in some ways she is, but when it comes to music, she is not of this earth.  Here is a 6:14 minute video clip from NBC's Today show that was posted on the youtube.com Internet site on November 4, 2013.  Watch it to the very end---and mark my words, the world hasn't heard the last of her.  I thank Roy Stephens for digging this up late yesterday evening.  The link is here.

With such light volume yesterday, I'm not prepared to read too much into Friday's price action except to note that the price movement at the New York open was straight down for the second day in a row,  rather than straight up.

As I mentioned in yesterday's column, we seem to be in some sort of holding pattern at the moment, but for what reason I don't know?  We may or may not find out in the fullness of time, but the odds are 100% in our favour that the current situation won't last indefinitely.

Here are the 6-month charts for both gold and silver once again---and the holding pattern is obvious.

I don't have much to add to today's column---and I'm fresh out of words of wisdom.  Like you, I'm just sitting here waiting for the precious metal market to hatch into something---and that will come when "da boyz"---which also includes the Fed, the Exchange Stabilization Fund, the BIS, and most likely the Bank of England and the European Central Bank---decide that a higher gold price would be in everyone's best interests.

And as I've said on many occasions over the last decade, the Russians and Chinese are more than aware of this Anglo/American price management scheme---and could end it any time they wish.  They just might, but it will occur only when it serves their interests best.

Next Tuesday Putin, along with his Chinese counterpart, are meeting in Beijing---and it's a good bet that the subject will come up.  But whether they're prepared to do anything about it, is another matter entirely.  But if they wanted to throw the mother of all spanners into the West's banking system, especially the "too big to fail" U.S. banks---along with Canada's Scotiabank---that would do the trick nicely.

That's all I have for the day---and the week.  Enjoy what's left of your weekend, and I'll see you on Tuesday.

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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