NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It was pretty much a nothing day in the gold market on Friday. The tiny rally at the London open began to erode immediately---and the down/up price tick in the two hours surrounding the London p.m gold fix was all the activity there was in new York. The gold price continued to slowly sell off from there into the close of electronic trading. The high and lows ticks are barely worth the effort to look up, but the CME Group recorded them as $1,228.90 and $1,214.80 in the February contract. Gold finished the Friday session in New York at $1,221.80 spot, down $5.60 from Thursday's close. Volume, net of December and January, was 130,000 contracts. Silver traded a bit higher in Far East trading, but got sold down a dime around noon Hong Kong time---and the rally at the London open met the same fate as the gold price. The silver price traded in a 20 cent range for the entire Friday session, so the high and low aren't worth looking up. Silver finished the day at $17.035 spot, down 6 cents from Thursday. Volume, net of December and January, was 32,000 contracts. The platinum price didn't do much until the London open, but then rallied about six bucks to its high---and from there, it got sold down until the London p.m gold fix was done. After that it chopped sideways in a $20 price range---finishing the day at $1,225 spot, down 12 bucks from Thursday. Palladium closed the Friday session at $812 spot, down five bucks on the day. The dollar index closed late on Thursday afternoon in New York at 88.55. It's 88.62 high tick came at 3:00 p.m. Hong Kong time in their Friday afternoon, an hour before the London open. From there it chopped down to its 88.12 low, which came minutes before 12 o'clock noon in New York. It rallied back 10 basis points by 2 p.m.---and then traded flat into the close. The index finished the Friday session at 88.335---down 21 basis points on the day. The gold stocks opened down a bit, hitting their morning low minutes after the London p.m. gold fix, which came shortly after 10 a.m. in New York. From there they rallied into positive territory, but that only lasted for fifteen minutes or so before they began to head quietly lower---and that trend continued right into the close, as the HUI finished down 1.71%. Although gold closed up $30 on the week, the HUI closed down 0.4%. The silver stock also opened down a hair, but turned on a dime after the gold fix was done---and by 11:30 a.m. they were up over 3 percent. Sadly, that rally didn't last either---and by 2:45 p.m they were down about a percent. From there they rallied back into positive territory by a hair, as Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 0.03%. Although silver gained 75 cents during the prior week, the silver equities gained something less than 2 percent. The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 35 gold and 178 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Tuesday. In gold, JPMorgan issued 35 contracts from its client account---and stopped 31 of of them in its in-house [proprietary] trading account. The theft from their clients continues. In silver, the three largest short/issuers were Scotiabank with 104 contracts, along with Jefferies and JPMorgan both out of their client accounts, with 38 and 25 contracts respectively. The two biggest long/stoppers were HSBC USA and Jefferies with 139 and 29 contracts respectively. The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. The CME Preliminary Report for the Friday trading session showed that December gold open interest dropped by 163 contracts, and is now down to 881 contracts still open---minus the 35 posted for delivery on Tuesday. In silver, the December o.i. went down by only 14 contracts---and December open interest now sits at 383 contracts---minus the 178 mentioned two paragraphs ago. There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday---and I was astonished to see another withdrawal from SLV. This time an authorized participant took out 1,341,037 troy ounces. Since December 1, there have been 9.2 million ounces of silver withdrawn from SLV---and nothing deposited. The good folks over at Switzerland's Zürcher Kantonalbank finally got around to updating their gold and silver ETFs for the week ending Friday, December 5---and this is what they had to report. Their gold ETF declined by another 22,117 troy ounces---and their silver ETF shed 174,272 troy ounces. The U.S. Mint sold another 100,000 silver eagles again yesterday, but no gold eagles or buffaloes once again. Month-to-date the mint has sold 16,500 troy ounces of gold eagles---2,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes---and 1,722,500 silver eagles. Based on these sales, which are really skewed towards silver, the silver/gold ratio so far this month works out to 90 to 1. With the new 2015 production year coming up hard, I can't see 2014 silver eagle sales continuing much longer, because at the rate they've been pumping out the 2014 silver eagles in December, it appears that they haven't yet begun to ramp up production for the new calendar year as of yet. There was only 1 kilobar of gold shipped out of the COMEX-approved depositories on Thursday---and in silver, nothing was reported received, but 491,721 troy ounces were shipped out for parts unknown. The link to that activity is here. Well, yesterday's Commitment of Traders Report was about as bad as it could possibly be. In silver, the headline number in the legacy COT Report was ugly, as the Commercial net short position blew out by 8,771 contracts, one of the biggest numbers I can remember---and I can remember quite a bit. The Commercial net short position now stands at 35,357 contracts, or 176.8 million troy ounces, which is really getting up there. On the other side of those 8,771 contracts, the raptors [the Commercial traders other than the Big 8] sold 5,200 of their long contracts, while the '5 through 8' Commercial traders added about 400 contracts to their short position---and the 'Big 4' blew out their short position by around 3,200 contracts. Ted says that JPMorgan's short position in silver appears to be back up around the 10,000 contract mark, or 50 million ounces. Under the hood in the Disaggregated COT Report, the technical funds in the Managed Money covered 4,976 of their short contracts---and added 594 long contracts. Ted says that these technical funds have about 10,000 short contracts still on their books, which isn't very much rocket fuel left to sustain any kind of big rally in silver going forward---and I know that he'll have lots more to say about this in his weekly review to paying subscribers later this afternoon. In gold, the headline number in the legacy COT Report showed that the Commercial net short position jumped by an eye-watering 27,193 contracts, or 2.72 million troy ounces. The Commercial net short position in gold now stands at 116,601 contracts, or 11.66 million troy ounces. On the other side of the 27,193 contract deterioration, the raptors, the Commercial traders other than the Big 8, sold about 28,600 contracts of their long position, while the '5 through 8' largest traders added around 6,700 contracts to their short position. But the 'Big 4' traders swam against the tide---and actually covered about 8,300 contracts of their short position. I think I remember Ted telling me that JPMorgan's COMEX long position in gold was now 10,000 contracts, which is down from the 12 to 14,000 contracts they were long last week. But I didn't write it down, so I reserve the right to be wrong about that. As in silver, Ted will have more to say about the gold situation later today---and I'll steal any pertinent bits as a quote for one of my columns next week. Still, there's no way to sugar coat this, as this week's COT Report was a disaster. There's no sign whatsoever that JPMorgan et al are softening their iron grip on silver and gold prices---and to make matters worse, a huge chunk of Ted Butler's rocket fuel [the short positions of the technical funds in the Managed Money category] has already been used up---at great profits to them, but at the expense of the next rally. I'm happy to report that I don't have all that many stories today, but I do have a decent number that I've been saving for today's column, so I hope you have enough time in what's left of your weekend to read the ones that interest you.
This is an abbreviated version of Austria Considers Repatriating Its Gold, from Ed Steer's Gold & Silver Daily.Sign-up to have to the complete market review delivered to your email inbox each morning for free.