NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As I mentioned in The Wrap in yesterday's column, the gold price was under some selling pressure right from the New York open on Monday evening---and then the HFT boyz really got serious once London opened. I don't need to paint you a picture from there. The low tick came minutes before the open of the equity markets in New York at 9:30 a.m. EST. The subsequent rally wasn't allowed to get far---and by 10:30 a.m. all the action for the day was done, as gold chopped sideways into the close from there. The CME Group recorded the high and low ticks as $1,262.00 and $1,235.10 in the February contract. Gold closed in New York on Tuesday at $1,240.60 spot, down $14.10 from Monday's close. Net volume for both Monday and Tuesday combined was around 174,000 contracts. The silver chart was an exact duplicate of the gold chart, so I shall spare you the play-by-play. The high and low were recorded as $20.435 and $19.655 in the March contract. Silver finished the Tuesday session at $19.865 spot, down 45.5 cents from Monday's close---and safely back under the $20 spot price mark once again. Net volume over Monday and Tuesday combined was 41,500 contracts. It was more or less the same in platinum and palladium, with the only real difference being the low tick for palladium, which came at the 10 a.m. EST in New York---and also the fact that it was the only one of the four precious metals to finish in the green. Here are the charts. The dollar index began to rally in Far East trading as soon as the market opened on their Tuesday morning. The index peaked out just minutes after the London p.m. gold fix---and then sold off for the balance of the trading session, finishing Tuesday at 81.07, which turned out to be almost flat on the day. Here's the 3-day chart so you can see all the price action over the first two trading days of the week. The gold stocks gapped down a percent or so at the open on Tuesday---and then struggled back into positive territory by the London p.m. fix. The high came minutes before noon in New York---and despite the fact that the gold price never got within a country mile of positive territory yesterday, the HUI closed up 1.30%. The action in the silver equities was very similar---and Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index close up 1.05%. It was a very quiet day over at the Comex-approved depositories yesterday, as zero gold and 3 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday. The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report isn't worth posting. There were no reported changes in GLD---and as of 10:10 p.m. yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either. The U.S. Mint had a sales report yesterday, as they sold 1,000 troy ounces of gold eagles---and 480,000 silver eagles. There wasn't must movement in the gold inventories over at the Comex-approved depositories last Friday, as only 6,204 troy ounces were reported shipped in---and 3,150 troy ounces shipped out. The link to that activity is here. There wasn't much activity in silver, either---as only 7,390 ounces were reported received and 3,081 ounces were shipped out. Here's the link to the silver 'action'. And for the second day in a row The Central Bank of the Russian Federation didn't update their website with their December numbers. I've been following them for years---and this is the first month that the site has not been updated right when they normally do. And, no, I'm not reading anything nefarious into it! I have a decent number of stories for you today---and I'm sure you'll find some that interest you.
¤ The Wrap
When JPMorgan took over Bear Stearns nearly six years ago and assumed the role of top silver (and gold) manipulator on the Comex, the bank stepped onto the short side by default. Since Bear Stearns was the big short in Comex gold and silver, JPM stepped into that role. JPMorgan proved proficient at controlling silver prices immediately and that was witnessed as the bank drastically reduced its short position on the 60% engineered drop in silver prices to less than $9 in late 2008 from close to the $21 level at the time of acquisition in March 2008. Having rigged silver prices up and down for a couple of years, JPMorgan found itself on the wrong side of the market when prices exploded to close to $50 in April 2011. Only an unprecedented 30% deliberate price smash on the Comex during the first week of May 2011 (and later in September of that year) saved JPMorgan from the same fate that had occurred to Bear Stearns in 2008. I remember writing at the time that JPMorgan and other big shorts had a near death experience on the run up in April 2011. The near death experience was due to a developing physical silver shortage that was overwhelming any amount of paper short sales made to depress the price. - Silver analyst Ted Butler: 18 January 2014 Well, it's obvious that "da boyz are back in town"---if they ever left, as there was certainly nothing free market about what happened in all four precious metals yesterday. It's the "same old, same old". Gold is now back at---and silver is just below---their respective 50-day moving averages. It's obvious that JPMorgan et al have the situation well in hand in all four precious metals. Here are the six month charts for gold and silver. I was rather surprised how well the shares did in both silver and gold yesterday---as it certainly didn't represent what was happening in the physical market. I'm always suspicious when I see such counterintuitive price action---and I'm wondering what it means---and always on the lookout for "in your ear". Yesterday at the 1:30 p.m. Comex close, was the cut-off for this Friday's Commitment of Traders Report---and I'm hopeful that all of yesterday's volume and price data will be included in it. Trading is dead in the Far East on their Wednesday---and the same can be said for the first 90 minutes of trading in London as well. Gold volume is pretty light---and silver volume is non-existent. The dollar index is chopping around just above the 81.00 mark. It beats me as to what will happen in Comex trading today, but it's obvious that the price management scheme is still on. See you tomorrow.