NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Friday was a real yawner as far as price action in gold was concerned and, once again there was little volume associated with it, either---and it followed the dollar index around for the most part. Once again, the high and low ticks aren't worth looking up.
Gold finished the Friday trading session at $1,280.80 spot, up $4.50 from Thursday's close, saved by a five dollar rally that started just before 11 a.m. EDT in New York. Net volume was only 87,000 contracts.
Silver spent most of Friday in positive territory but, like gold, got sold down to its low of the day a few minutes before London closed for the weekend, which was a few minutes before 11 a.m. EDT. The subsequent rally back into positive territory got met by the usual not-for-profit sellers---and silver was closed down on the day. The low and high ticks were reported as $19.285 and $19.55 in the September contract. Silver closed yesterday at $19.395 spot, down 2 cents from Thursday. Gross volume was heavy because of roll-overs out of the September contract, but it netted out at only 22,000 contracts. The platinum price did even less---and finished Friday up two bucks. Palladium was in positive territory all day long yesterday---and then caught a bid at the Comex open, with all of the gains in by 10 a.m. EDT. After that it traded flat, before getting sold off a couple of bucks just before the close of electronic trading. Palladium finished up seven dollars. The dollar index closed late Thursday afternoon in New York at 82.16. It trade pretty flat in the early going in Far East trading before rolling over and hitting its 82.07 low about 2:40 p.m. Hong Kong time. It rallied from there, hitting its 82.45 high minutes before 11 a.m. EDT, which just happened to coincide with the low ticks for both gold and silver. From that point it sold off a bit and closed the Friday session at 82.31---up 15 basis points on the day. The gold stocks headed lower right from the open---and hit their nadir minutes before 11 a.m. EDT when gold hit its low---and the dollar index hit its high. From there they rallied sharply back into positive territory, but couldn't hold even those tiny gains, despite the fact that gold closed in positive territory. The HUI finished down 0.30%. The silver equities followed a very similar path---and Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 0.27%. The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 100 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday. The only short/issuer was Morgan Stanley out of its in-house [proprietary] trading account. The two largest stoppers were Canada's Scotiabank with 71 contracts---and JPMorgan with 22 contracts for its client account once again. The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. The CME's Preliminary Report for the Friday trading session showed that there are still 226 gold contracts open in August, from which you can subtract the 100 contracts shown above that are to be delivered on Tuesday. There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday---and as of 9:36 p.m. yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either. And, for the first time this week, there was no sales report from the U.S. Mint. Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday, there was a deposit of 46,279 troy ounces of gold into Brink's Inc. Ted Butler pointed out that this was the same gold, to the ounce, that had been transferred out of the Manfra, Tordella & Brookes warehouse on Wednesday. So there was no net change in gold stocks over those two days, just inter-depository movement. The link to that activity is here. It was a huge day in silver once again, as 1,899,945 troy ounces were reported received---and 785,557 troy ounces were shipped out. The bulk of the movements were at Brink's, Inc. and Canada's Scotiabank. The link to that action is here. The Commitment of Traders Report, for positions held at the close of Comex trading on Tuesday, was more or less what I was expecting to see, as there was very decent improvement in the Commercial net short positions in both silver and gold---and I'm just going to hit the highlights. In silver, the Commercial net short position declined by a chunky 6,343 contracts, or 31.7 million ounces. The Commercial net short position is now down to 186.9 million troy ounces. The Big 4 traders reduced their net short position by 1,800 contracts, but the '5 through 8' traders increased their net short position by 1,500 contracts. Ted pegs JPMorgan's short-side corner in the Comex silver market at 17,500 contracts. The big surprise for me was that the brain-dead/black-box technical fund traders in the 'Managed Money' category only reduced their long position by 575 contracts, although they jumped on the short side to the tune of 5,411 contracts. I was expecting much more long liquidation that that. Ted had the answer---and it amazed me---but that info is for his paying subscribers only. As an aside to all of the above in silver, at the low at the end of May, the Commercial net short position in silver was only around 14,000 contracts, or 70 million ounces of silver. So you can see that we have miles to go to the downside in both contract [and price] terms if 'da boyz' really want to hammer the silver market like their quite capable of doing. In gold, the Commercial net short position also declined by a bunch, to the tune of 13,025 Comex contracts, or 1.30 million troy ounces of paper gold. The 'Managed Money' technical funds did pretty much as I expected they might, as they sold 9,959 long contracts---and piled onto the short side to the tune of 3,263 contracts. Ted says that JPMorgan actually increased its long potion by 2,500 contracts during the reporting week---and their long-side corner in the Comex gold market is back up to 17,500 contracts, which is exactly the same number of contracts they hold short in the Comex silver market. Here's Nick Laird's " Days of World Production to Cover Comex Short Positions" for the Big 4 and Big 8 traders in the Comex futures market as of yesterday's COT Report. I have a lot of stories today, including several that I've been saving for my Saturday column because of content or length issues.