Thursday, November 20: Today in Gold and Silver

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- After the usual down tick at the New York open at 6:00 p.m. on their Tuesday evening, the gold price got sold down about five bucks in the first four hours of Wednesday morning trading in the Far East.   It didn't do much until the London open, where the price managed to struggle and break the $1,200 spot price mark on a couple of occasions, with the last one coming at the 10:30 a.m. GMT London gold fix---and by 10:30 a.m. EST, gold was down a couple of bucks.

Then JPMorgan et al, along with their HFT partners in crime, ambushed the market with their algorithms---and the gold price was down twenty bucks in less than 20 minutes.  Then at noon, the price got catapulted higher until it hit its Tuesday closing price in New York.  It hung around unchanged until about 2:20 p.m. in electronic trading, before getting sold down another fourteen bucks by 3:15 p.m. EDT.  From that point it traded sideways into the 5:15 p.m. close.

The high and low ticks were reported by the CME Group as $1,201.70 and $1,173.90 in the December contract.

Gold finished the Wednesday trading session at $1,183.10 spot, down $14.40 from Tuesday's close.  Gross volume was over the moon at 315,000 contracts, but once the roll-overs were subtracted, it netted out at 216,000 contracts, which is still a gargantuan number.

Here's gold's 5-minute tick chart from yesterday courtesy of reader Brad Robertson---and note the volumes on the price moves.   Remember to add two hours for New York Time---and the 'click to enlarge' feature works wonders here.

Silver's price path on Wednesday was the same as gold's, but different in some respects.  The low of the day came around 12:30 p.m. Hong Kong time---and from that point it rallied unsteadily until a few minutes after the COMEX open---and then it flat-lined into the JPMorgan-sponsored shenanigans at 10:30 p.m. in New York.  The noon silver rally blew far past its Tuesday closing price but, once again, 'da boyz' were there to beat silver down to a loss on the day by 2:45 p.m. EST---and it traded flat into the close from there.

The low and high ticks were recorded as $15.87 and $16.535 in the December contract, an intraday move of 4 percent.

Silver was closed on Wednesday at $16.13 spot, down 6 cents from Tuesday's close.  Gross volume was sky-high as well, north of 113,000 contracts, but it all netted out to 57,500 contracts---which is still huge by any stretch of the imagination.

Platinum and palladium weren't spared, either---and both got sold down substantial amounts on the day.  Platinum was closed down 16 bucks---and palladium was closed down 10 bucks.  Note that palladium's high tick came at exactly 10 a.m. EST.

The dollar index closed the Tuesday trading session at 87.61---and it's 87.77 high tick came at 11 a.m. Hong Kong time on their Wednesday morning.  From there the index chopped lower---and on at least three occasions it appeared that 'gentle hands' were required---and provided.  The 87.42 low tick came around 2:15 p.m. EST---and from there it rallied back to above unchanged in very short order.  From there the index chopped sideways, closing the Wednesday session at 87.69---up 8 basis points on the day.

Despite the fact that gold was up a few bucks at the opening of the equity markets in New York yesterday, the gold stocks opened down---and stayed there for the remainder of the day, with the HUI closing almost on its low tick, down 6.03%---giving back almost all its gains from Monday and Tuesday.

It was more or less the same story in the silver equities, as they closed near their lows as well.  Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 5.76%.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that one lonely gold contract was posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Friday.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Wednesday trading session showed that gold open interest in the November delivery month is 28 contracts, up 8 from yesterday's report---and for the third day in a row the November o.i. for silver was unchanged at 88 contracts.

There was a withdrawal reported from GLD yesterday.  This time an authorized participant took out 67,271 troy ounces---and as of 9:55 p.m. EST yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.

The good folks over at Switzerland's Zürcher Kantonalbank updated their website with the changes to their gold and silver ETFs as of the close of trading on Friday, November 14.  Their gold ETF declined by 15,966 troy ounces---and their silver ETF dropped by 12,784 troy ounces.

There was a small sales report from the U.S. Mint.  They didn't sell any gold, but sold another 40,000 silver eagles.

It was another decent volume in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on Tuesday, but that activity was dwarfed once again by what happened in silver.

In gold, nothing was reported received, but 32,935 troy ounces were reported shipped out---and the link to that activity is here.  In silver, there was 1,084,875 troy ounces reported received---and 760,782 troy ounces shipped out for parts unknown---and the link to that action is here.

Since today is the 20th of the month---and it falls on a weekday--- The Central Bank of the Russian Federation will update its website with data for the month of October.

Included in it will be the amount of gold that they have purchased for their reserves during that month---and one of the first stories in my in-box yesterday morning was Mark O'Byrne's commentary over at the headline read " Gold Rises After Unusual Russian Central Bank Gold Buying Announcement".  I have the full story in my column, but you can read it now if you wish.

In that story, Russian Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina made the statement that the bank had purchased 150 tonnes of gold so far this year.  Doing some adding and subtracting from Nick Laird's " Russian Reserves" chart shows that they bought pretty close to 1.2 million troy ounces during October to make that 150 tonne number work out right, or around 37 tonnes.

This news will be all over the Internet today, I'm sure---and I'll have the chart, plus the actual number, in tomorrow's column.

Yesterday I got an e-mail, plus a chart, from GATA's good friend Richard Nachbar---and here's what he had to say for himself:

Hi Ed!

Hello from the Weather Channel's winter headquarters! Between lake-effect snow bands, we thought it would be a good time to update our in-house U.S. 90% SILVER COINS graph, depicting the premium/discount history going back to 1998.

You may recall that I sent the previous update to you in May 2013, right after the big silver price smack down, when the premium on these popular coins spiked to above 15% and the chart left one open to the possibility of a third spike to 40%.

Looking back today, hindsight shows us that the premiums eventually drifted back to 5%, then flat a few weeks ago. Then the recent silver price drop to $15.00 per ounce brought out more buyers than sellers and the premium shot up to 10.52% last Friday where we also stand today.  The only way I see the premium going much higher would be if silver prices fell below $15.00, as in late 2008.  I would be happy to see the rising premium alternative of a shortage across the entire spectrum of silver products combined with rising silver prices, but in my opinion that will not happen in 2014.

So, we wait.


I don't have all that many stories today, although some of them are rather lengthy---and I hope you have the time for the most important ones.

¤ The Wrap

When I started [Wednesday's column], silver and gold were steady, only to sell off suddenly around 10:30 AM (EST). This sell-off was followed by a sharp rally, particularly in silver, only once again to sell-off as I complete this piece. Although I am adamant about reading too much into price movement to gauge what’s going on under the surface, there’s something about this volatility that is encouraging. I’m still of the mind that the COT structures in gold and silver are exceedingly bullish and it appears to me that this unusual price volatility may be due to JPMorgan and the other big commercial silver shorts shaking the tree to flush out as much outside selling as possible so that these big silver shorts can buy. I can (and have) look dumb in the very short term, but it feels to me like we can move up sharply at any moment.

The more I contemplate the four month price decline since mid-July in silver (and other commodities) increasingly it looks like the setup of all setups. There was an almost unmistakable deliberate intent to the decline and this has been proven out in the futures’ positioning changes. While unexpected by me, the recent double-crossing by the big silver shorts of the smaller raptors fits in perfectly with the mother of all setups thesis. And while the big traders on the COMEX can bomb the price at will in the short term, it’s hard for me to see what category of traders’ remains that can sell significant quantities of futures contracts. Instead, all I see are the many categories of potential big buyers. - Silver analyst Ted Butler: 19 November 2014

Regarding Wednesday's price action in both gold and silver, I certainly can't add anything to what Ted had to say in his quote above from his mid-week commentary to his paying subscribers yesterday---and as I said in the first part of today's column, the gross and net volumes in both metals were over the moon.

It's just too bad that none of this data will be in tomorrow's Commitment of Traders Report.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals as of the close of Comex trading yesterday.

As I type this paragraph, the London open is less than ten minutes away.  Gold got sold down five bucks or so in early trading in the Far East on their Thursday morning, but began to rally off off its low starting at 1:30 p.m. Hong Kong time. The same price pattern is evident in silver and platinum.  Palladium was mostly unaffected.  Not surprisingly, silver is the only precious metal that's currently down from its Wednesday's close in New York.

Net gold volume is already a very chunky 40,000 contracts, with very few roll-overs so, like the last few days, most of this volume is of the HFT variety.  Silver's net volume is 6,000 contracts---and the roll-over activity is slightly higher, but only just.

The dollar index, which hadn't been doing much for most of the early Far East trading session, went into rally mode starting at precisely 2:30 p.m. in Hong Kong---and is currently up 12 basis points.

There are six business days left [including today] for all traders, except those standing for delivery, to be out out of the December contract.  Those that aren't standing for delivery have to be out by the end of the Comex trading session next Thursday.  All the large traders have to have rolled or sold their December contracts by the end of Comex trading on Wednesday---and everyone else has to be out the following day.  First Day Notice for the December delivery month will be posted on the CME's website late Friday evening EST.

And as I hit the send button on today's column at 5:21 a.m. EST, I note that the rally in gold is continuing---and it will interesting to see if the price suffers the same fate it did the last two times it attempted to break above the $1,200 spot price mark---if it's allowed to get close to that price, that is.  The other three precious metals are in rally mode as well---and nicely above their Wednesday closing prices in New York.

Here's the Kitco gold chart as of 5:17 a.m. EST

Net gold volume is around 55,000 contracts, which is a lot---and roll-over activity has increased by quite a bit.  Silver's net volume is now up to 9,500 contracts, also with decent roll-over action.  Even though the rallies are being allowed to progress, the volume associated with them is higher than I'd like to see.

The dollar index has been all over the map---and is continuing its rather frantic choppy trading action that it went through during the Wednesday session.  At the moment its up 17 basis points.

December is the biggest delivery month of the year for both gold and silver---and with JPMorgan et al appearing to be heading for exits in both these metals, all the ingredients are in place for a potential wild and woolly trading week dead ahead.  If the last two Friday trading sessions, plus yesterday's shenanigans are any indication, I won't have a shortage of things to talk about for the remainder of the month.

That's all I have for today, which is more than enough---and I'll see you here tomorrow.

Ed Steer

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