NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The selling pressure that began at noon Hong Kong time never let up---and got demonstrably worse starting at 1 p.m. BST in London, which was 20 minutes before the New York open. The major damage was done by 11 a.m. EDT, but gold continued to slide from there---and closed on its absolute low tick
The high and lows were recorded by the CME Group as $1,294.80 and $1,263.20 in the June contract.
Gold finished the Tuesday session at $1,263.30 spot, down $29.20 on the day. Gross volume was over the moon at 351,000 contracts, but once the roll-overs were taken out, the net volume fell down to 152,000 contracts, which was still a very chunky amount.It was almost the same price action in silver. The smallish recovery off the noon EDT low got snuffed out just before 4 p.m. in electronic trading in New York---and silver, like gold, was closed virtually on its low of the day. The high and low price for Tuesday was recorded at $19.50 and $19.025 in the July contract. Silver closed in New York yesterday at $19.035 spot, down 40.5 cents. Volume, net of May and June, was huge at 63,500 contracts. Of that amount, a bit over 5,800 contracts was traded in the September and December delivery months. And if they were roll-overs out of July, the net volume was still monstrous. Platinum wasn't spared, either, with its low coming in New York moments after Zurich closed. The price recovered a bit and finished the day about seven bucks off its low---and down fourteen bucks from its Monday 'close'---and down nine bucks from Friday. Palladium attempted to rally in the early going in the Far East on their Tuesday. However, that wasn't allowed to last---and the palladium price traded down a few dollars and was actually up a buck by 10:15 a.m. EDT. Then a HFT/not-for-profit seller showed up---and by 11 a.m. palladium was down a percent. But from that low, it rallied back to close exactly unchanged from Monday---and up five bucks from Friday's close. There was absolutely no reason whatsoever for the precious metals to get hammered yesterday. I would bet that this was entirely option and futures expiry related. The dollar index finished the Monday 'trading' session at 80.29---and then dropped to its 80.17 low early in Far East trading on their Tuesday. A not-for-profit buyer was waiting in the wings to prevent the index from falling any lower---and the subsequent rally to its 80.47 high ran out of gas shortly after 1 p.m. in New York. From there it slid down to 80.35---and closed the Tuesday session at 80.36. Here's the dollar index chart starting right from the 6 p.m. New York open on Sunday evening EDT. The HUI gapped down more than a percent at the open---and headed lower. The bottom came shortly after 1 p.m. EDT---and from there the gold stocks traded sideways. The HUI finished down a whopping 4.09%. The silver equities followed a similar chart pattern---and Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down a chunky 4.05% as well. As bad as the performance of the precious metal shares were yesterday, don't forget one important thing. As sellers were dumping them in a panic, there was someone there with very deep pockets buying everything that was being thrown overboard. This is the really smart money. On the other hand, of course, it could be "da boyz" scooping them up to dump them into the next rally in order to kill it when it occurs. But I doubt that at this stage of the game. However, it would be remiss of me not to mention it as a possibility. The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold and 18 silver contracts were posted for delivery tomorrow. Jefferies issued 16 of those contracts---and Scotiabank and JPMorgan stopped 17 of them. The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. Just checking the CME's Preliminary Report, there's not much left to deliver in either gold or silver in the May delivery month---a small handful in gold, maybe---along with a bigger handful in silver. But whatever is left, has to be done by the end of the week. Much to my amazement, there was a big deposit in GLD yesterday, as an authorized participant added a chunky 249,609 troy ounces. Based on the price action over the last week, there certainly was no justification for the deposit---and the only explanation that makes any sense is that it was used to cover an existing short position. And as of 9:36 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. It will be interesting to see how much gold and silver is withdrawn from both these ETFs after yesterday's engineered price declines in both metals. I see that the good folks over at shortsqueeze.com updated their website with the changes in the short positions in both GLD and SLV up to mid-May. In SLV, the short position declined by 12.68%---from 14,902,600 shares/troy ounces, to 13,012,900 shares/troy ounces. That translates into just under 405 metric tonnes. The short position in GLD actually rose 3.26%, a rather immaterial amount. GLD currently has a naked short position of 11,902,700 shares, or 1.19 million troy ounces. There was a sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday, but it was hardly impressive. They sold 4,000 ounces of gold eagles---and 201,500 silver eagles. There have been no big silver eagles sales reported for the last week or so---and Ted Butler is coming to the opinion that the big buyer of silver eagles over the last year or so, may have stepped to the sidelines. We'll should certainly have a better grasp of this by the end of the week. While on the subject of retail bullion sales, I can speak from first-hand knowledge that A-Mark, one of the largest precious metal wholesalers in the U.S., said last week that business is virtually nonexistent. Except for the last few days, it's been that way at our store as well. Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday, they reported receiving 96,450 troy ounces of gold, all of which went into JPMorgan's vault. They didn't ship any out---and the link to that activity is here. For a change, there wasn't much activity in silver, as only 58,575 troy ounces were reported received---and 99,314 troy ounces were shipped out the door. The link to that action is here. I have the usual number of stories for a mid-week column---and there should be a few posted below that you'll find of interest.