Tuesday, January 21: Today in Gold and Silver

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Note: Because I didn't get back to my hotel room until after midnight eastern time, I didn't get the Kitco precious metal charts updated before they rolled over into the Tuesday trading day.  The light blue trace is the Sunday night open, the red trace is yesterday's price action---and the green is today's price action up until the London open at 8 a.m. GMT.

As you can tell from the chart, the gold price spiked up at the 6 p.m. EST open in New York on Sunday night, but it was obvious that the not-for-profit sellers were laying in wait---and within four hours they had the price back to unchanged, as it was obvious that the gold price wanted to launch to the moon and the stars at that point.

After that, the price didn't do much for the remainder of the Monday session.  I forgot the fact that it was Martin Luther King Day in the U.S.A.---as I didn't find that out until I called Ted Butler yesterday morning to ask for his explanation as to why there was virtually no volume and why the HUI was flat.  As you can tell, dear reader, I don't get out much.

The highs, lows---and the volume numbers aren't worth discussing.  Gold closed up a whole 60 cents from Friday.

The silver price action was similar, except there was no price spike at the New York open on Sunday night---and the volume was non-existent.  Silver closed flat.

Platinum rallied a bit on the strike news out of South Africa---and platinum didn't do much.  Here are the charts.

The dollar index closed at 81.22 late on Friday afternoon in New York.  When it opened on Sunday night, it was pretty much all down hill from there, with the low tick of the day coming around 1:15 p.m. GMT in London, as New York was closed.  From that point it traded pretty flat until about 4 p.m. EST---and then away it went to the upside.  The INO chart packed it up at 7 p.m. EST last night, as the index had rallied back to unchanged from Friday's close---and as of 3:40 a.m. EST, it was basically trading sideways at 81.29.

Here's the 3-day chart---such as it is.

With the U.S. close yesterday, there was no HUI, Silver Sentiment Index, changes in either GLD or SLV, U.S. Mint sales---or changes in the Comex-approved depositories. 

But over at Switzerland's Zürcher Kantonalbank for the week ending Friday, January 10---they reported that their gold ETF had a withdrawal of 55,612 troy ounces---and their silver ETF declined by 257,753 troy ounces.

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation normally updates their website on the 20th of the month.  That was yesterday---and it's still showing the November data.  Maybe they'll update it today---and I'll be able to report any changes in Russia's gold reserves in tomorrow's column.

The one and only reason that I have a column today is because of the number of stories that I've managed to accumulate over the weekend---and there are quite a few.  Quite a number of them are worth your while.

¤ The Wrap

The turnover, or movement of metal into and out from the Comex-approved silver warehouses continues to astound me in its intensity. This week, around 9 million silver ounces were either moved in or out, as total inventories rose by 600,000 oz to 177.1 million oz, another multi-decade high point. Given current circumstances, it is entirely natural to expect visible silver inventories to grow; what’s completely unnatural is for there to be such frantic two-way movement occurring in the visible silver inventories. This turnover in Comex silver stocks is something I first noticed almost three years ago and I find it incredible that the movement has continued unabated and is perhaps intensifying. It is peculiar to Comex silver but doesn’t get much attention generally. If it isn’t a sign of pronounced tightness in the wholesale physical silver market, then I am at a loss to explain it. - Silver Analyst Ted Butler: 18 January 2014

Except for the obvious price capping in gold at the open of trading on Sunday night in New York, there's not much to report as far as price activity on Monday.  But, as Ted Butler pointed out on the phone yesterday, what yesterday's volume shows is that the lion's share of the trading is done by the New York banking fraternity---and with the U.S. shut tight, the volumes drop like a stone.  The precious metal price market is always under the thumb of the U.S. based banks regardless of the time of day. 

All four precious metals were under a bit of price pressure during the Far East trading day on their Tuesday---and that really intensified the moment that London began to trade at 8 a.m. GMT.  And as I hit the send button on today's missive at 5 a.m. EST, "da boyz" are hard at it, especially in gold and silver.
How the trading day develops from here I haven't a clue---but I'll have a better idea when I roll out of bed in a few hours, as I have a plane to catch. 

With the markets back to normal after the U.S. holiday, I'll be back to my regular routine on my home computer, instead of pounding away on my laptop for the last few days.

See you 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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