Ted Butler: “COMEX March Silver Deliveries Are Like Nothing I’ve Ever Seen Before”

14 March 2017 — Tuesday

YESTERDAY in GOLD, SILVER, PLATINUM and PALLADIUM


The gold price didn’t do much of anything in Far East trading on their Monday, but did spend most of the trading session a dollar or so above unchanged.  That lasted until around 2 p.m. China Standard Time — and at that point, the price ticked higher by a few bucks, to just above $1,210 spot by 7:30 a.m. GMT.  Then a very convenient dollar index rally developed — and the gold price was sold down to a bit below unchanged by 8:45 a.m. EDT in New York.  From there it chopped more or less quietly sideways into the 5:00 p.m. EDT close.

The high and low ticks definitely aren’t worth looking up.

Gold finished the Monday session in New York at $1,203.70 spot — and down 80 cents from Friday.  Net volume was, relatively speaking, very much on the lighter side at 139,000 contracts — and roll-over/switch volume out of the May contract was pretty decent.

The silver price was sold back below $17 spot in the first few minutes of trading in New York at 6:00 p.m. EST on Sunday evening.  But an hour later, the price began to chop quietly higher — and back above $17 spot.  The price was allowed to rally until shortly after 8 a.m. GMT in London.  There was a double top about an hour later — and then the price pressure began.  By shortly after 9:30 a.m. EDT, the powers-that-be had silver back to the $16.93 spot mark.  After that, every rally attempt back above $17 spot was tuned aside — and by shortly before the 1:30 p.m. EDT COMEX close, the silver price traded sideways for the rest of the day.

With the silver price trading in a twenty-five cent price range on Monday, I’ll pass on posting the low and high ticks in this precious metal as well.

Silver was closed in New York yesterday afternoon at $16.95 spot, down 6.5 cents on the day.  Net volume was fairly decent at just over 43,500 contracts.

The platinum price was forced to follow a very similar price pattern as both gold and silver on Monday — and ‘da boyz’ closed it down 3 dollars on the day at $938 spot.

Palladium spent the entire Far East — and a decent part of the Zurich trading session, well into positive territory on their respective Mondays.  However, it was sold down below unchanged briefly between 7:30 and 8:35 a.m. EDT in New York.  Within fifteen minutes or so it was back up to where it had been during Zurich trading. That was followed by a brief spike higher around 11:30 a.m. EDT — and after that ‘no ask’ fire had been put out, it chopped sideways for the rest of the Monday session.  Palladium finished the day at $754 spot — and up 8 dollars from Friday’s close.

The dollar index closed very late on Friday afternoon in New York at 101.38 — and began to head lower the moment that trading began at 5 p.m. EDT on Sunday afternoon in New York.  ‘Gentle hands’ appeared 1 basis point before it dropped below the 101.00 mark…the low tick of the day…a minute or so after 3 p.m. China Standard Time on their Monday afternoon, or a minute or so after 7 a.m. GMT in London.

With most of North America back on Daylight Saving Time, New York is only 4 hours behind London currently, instead of 5.  That changes back when British Summer Time [BST] begins later this month.  Beijing is now 12 hours ahead of New York, instead of the usual 13 for the next 8 months.

Most of the gains in the dollar index were done by about 8:20 a.m. in London — and the 101.38 high tick of the day, which was Friday’s close, came a minute or so after 9 a.m. EDT in New York.  It sold off a bit more than 20 basis points from there, but was ‘saved’ once again around 11:35 a.m.  It rallied back to close a basis point below its Monday high tick — and Friday’s close — 101.37.  Here’s the 3-day U.S. dollar index chart so you can see all of Friday, Sunday and Monday’s action in one go.

Here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index for your entertainment.

The gold shares opened about unchanged in New York — and then chopped sideways until 11 a.m. EDT.  They rallied to their respective highs by 11:35 a.m. — and their lows were set at 2 p.m.  From there they rallied quietly into the close, with the HUI finishing in positive territory to the tune of 0.66 percent.

The silver equities opened unchanged as well — and then rallied to their respective highs around 11:35 a.m…just like the gold stocks.  They hung in there for an hour, before selling off to almost unchanged.  By 2:15 p.m. they were back in rally mode, as Nick Lairds’ Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed higher by 1.45 percent.  Click to enlarge if necessary.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold and 241 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Wednesday.  The two short/issuers that mattered were Macquarie Futures with 160 out of their own account, plus 79 contracts from ABN Amro from their client account.  Of course it was JP Morgan as the tallest hog once again, stopping 233 contract…194 for its own account, plus 39 more for its ‘clients’.  Citigroup and Morgan Stanley, the only other long/stoppers, picked up 4 contracts each for their respective client accounts.  Silver is, as Ted Butler has been saying for years now, strictly a JP Morgan show.

So far during this March delivery month, there have been 2,992 silver contracts issues and stopped.  Of that amount, JP Morgan has picked up 2,660 of them…89 percent…2,052 for its own in-house [proprietary] trading account, plus another 608 contracts for its ‘client’ account.   The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Monday trading session showed that gold open interest in March rose by 3 contracts, leaving 31 still left.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold contracts were posted for delivery today.  Silver o.i. in March fell by 26 contracts, leaving 1,122 still around, minus the 241 contracts mentioned in the previous paragraph.  Friday’s Daily Delivery Report showed that only 3 silver contracts were posted for delivery today, so that means that JPMorgan [most likely] let 26-3=23 COMEX short-side silver contract holders off the March delivery hook because they didn’t have any silver backing these short positions — and JPM didn’t want them going into the spot market and driving up the price to fulfill their delivery obligations.

After several decent withdrawals from GLD over the last few days, there was an even more decent deposit by an authorized participant on Monday, as they added a hefty 219,001 troy ounces.  And as of 7:10 p.m. EDT, there were no reported changes in SLV.

The folks over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank updated their website with the goings-on inside their gold and silver ETFs as of the close of business on Friday, March 3 — and this is what they had to report.  Although their gold ETF shed 30,598 troy ounces, their silver ETF added a hefty 416,030 troy ounces.  That’s the biggest one-week add into their silver ETF in a very long time.

Once again, there was no sales report from the U.S. Mint.

It was another zero/zero day for gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Friday, as nothing was received, or shipped out.

It was little better in silver, as only 1,998 troy ounces were received at Delaware — and nothing was shipped out.

It was fairly busy over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on Friday, as 2,553 kilobars were received, but only 183 were shipped out the door.  All of this activity was at Brink’s, Inc. as per usual — and the link to that, in troy ounces, is here.

Here are two charts that Nick passed around last Thursday, but my columns been chart-heavy for days on end, so these had to wait until today.  They show gold and silver bullion coin sales for The Perth Mint updated with February’s data and, like their counterparts at the U.S. Mint…they suck as well.  Click to enlarge on both.


It was another slow news day yesterday — and no better on the weekend.  Yes, there are ‘stories’ out there, but the quality of the ‘news’ items has deteriorated markedly in the last six month — and with all the ‘false news’ on top of that, it makes it even more difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff.


CRITICAL READS

Risk-Ignorance Reaches 23-Year High As Short Interest Hits Record Low

Complacency about U.S. stocks has become so widespread that losses may lie ahead, according to Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO Capital Markets. In a report Friday, Belski cited the ratio of the S&P 500 Index’s price-earnings ratio to the VIX Index, “which essentially shows how much investors are willing ‘to pay’ for a given level of market risk.

As Bloomberg notes, the ratio rose this month to its highest reading since 1994.

The S&P 500 fell in the three, six, nine and 12 months after past peaks on average, according to data cited in the report.

So the market is not cheap; and crushing another long-held narrative – the ‘wall of worry’ has been entirely demolished.

The ammunition for yet another short squeeze run to record highs is out – Short Interest in the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) has crashed to its all-time lows.

This longish 4-chart Zero Hedge article appeared on their website at 6:45 p.m. EDT on Monday evening — and another link to it is here.


12 Million Americans Are About to Get an Artificial Boost to Their FICO Scores

Back in August 2014, we reported that in what appeared a suspicious attempt to boost the pool of eligible, credit-worthy mortgage recipients, Fair Isaac, the company behind the crucial FICO score that determines every consumer’s credit rating, “will stop including in its FICO credit-score calculations any record of a consumer failing to pay a bill if the bill has been paid or settled with a collection agency. The San Jose, Calif., company also will give less weight to unpaid medical bills that are with a collection agency.” In doing so, the company would “make it easier for tens of millions of Americans to get loans.” Stated simply, the definition of the all important FICO score, the most important number at the base of every mortgage application, was set for an “adjustment” which would push it higher for millions of Americans.

As the WSJ said at the time, the changes are expected to boost consumer lending, especially among borrowers shut out of the market or charged high interest rates because of their low scores. “It expands banks’ ability to make loans for people who might not have qualified and to offer a lower price [for others],” said Nessa Feddis, senior vice president of consumer protection and payments at the American Bankers Association, a trade group.” Perhaps the thinking went that if you a borrower has defaulted once, they had learned your lesson and will never do it again. Unfortunately, empirical studies have shown that that is not the case.

Now, nearly three years later, in the latest push to artificially boost FICO scores, the WSJ reports that “many tax liens and civil judgments soon will be removed from people’s credit reports, the latest in a series of moves to omit negative information from these financial scorecards. The development could help boost credit scores for millions of consumers, but could pose risks for lenders” as FICO scores remain the only widely accepted method of quantifying any individual American’s credit risk, and determine how much consumers can borrow for a new house or car as well as determine their credit-card spending limit.

The banking system is obviously desperate to get anyone, regardless of their credit rating, to borrow and spend.  Let’s see if it works again.  This is another Zero Hedge article — and this one was posted on their Internet site at 5:25 pm. EDT yesterday afternoon.  Another link to it is here.


The Empire Should be Placed on Suicide Watch — The Saker

In all the political drama taking place in the U.S as a result of the attempted color revolution against Trump, the bigger picture sometimes gets forgotten. And yet, this bigger picture is quite amazing, because if we look at it we will see irrefutable signs that the Empire in engaged in some bizarre slow motion version of seppuku and the only mystery left is who, or what, will serve as the Empire’s kaishakunin (assuming there will be one).

I would even argue that the Empire is pursuing a full-spectrum policy of self-destruction on several distinct levels, with each level contributing the overall sum total suicide. And when I refer to self-destructive behavior I don’t mean long-term issues such as the non-sustainability of the capitalist economic model or the social consequences of a society which not only is unable to differentiate right from wrong, but which now decrees that deviant behavior is healthy and normal. These are what I call “long term walls” into which we will, inevitably, crash, but which are comparatively further away than some “immediate walls”. Let me list a few of these:

Political suicide: the Neocons’ refusal to accept the election of Donald Trump has resulted in a massive campaign to de-legitimize him. What the Neocons clearly fail to see, or don’t care about, is that by de-legitimizing Trump they are also de-legitimizing the entire political process which brought Trump to power and upon which the United States is built as a society. As a direct result of this campaign, not only are millions of Americans becoming disgusted with the political system they were indoctrinated to believe in, but internationally the notion of “American democracy” is becoming a sad joke.

And just to make things worse, the U.S. corporate media is finally revealing its true face and has now unapologetically shown the entire world that not only is it not in any way “fair” or “objective”, but that it is a 100% prostituted propaganda machine which faithfully serves the interests of the U.S. “deep state”.

This longish commentary, which is definitely worth reading, put in an appearance on the unz.com Internet site on Sunday — and is the first of two stories that come to us courtesy of Larry Galearis.  Another link to this article is here.


Iceland’s recovery shows benefits of letting over-reaching banks go bust

It looks set to be a week packed with big financial milestones. In the U.S., the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates, putting the country on a path towards getting back to a normal price for money. In the Netherlands, a tense election may deal the fragile eurozone another blow. In this country, Theresa May could finally trigger Article 50, starting the process of taking the U.K. out of the European Union.

The most significant event, however, as is so often the case, may well be something that hardly anyone is paying attention to. On Sunday, Iceland ended capital controls, finally returning its economy to normal after a catastrophic banking collapse back in 2008 and 2009.

Why does that matter? Because Iceland was the one country that defied the global consensus and did not bail out its bankers. True, there was shock to the system. But it was relatively short, and once the pain was dealt with, the country has bounced back stronger than ever.

There is, surely, a lesson in that. It might well be better just to let banks go to the wall. Next time around, we should follow Iceland’s example.

This excellent and happy news item appeared on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site at 6:00 a.m. GMT this morning, which was 2:00 a.m. in New York — EDT plus 4 hours — and I thank Roy Stephens for sliding it into my inbox just after 1 a.m. Denver time this morning.  Another link to it is here.


U.K. Parliament Gives Theresa May Approval to Start Brexit

Moments ago, U.K. Parliament passed legislation giving prime minister Theresa May approval to start the Brexit process and allowing the government to invoke Article 50, with the House of Commons overturning amendments from the unelected House of Lords that sought to limit May’s room for maneuver.  While press reports earlier said May could trigger Article 50 as early as Thursday, subsequent reports from Bloomberg suggested that she will commence Brexit in the last week of March.

The victory for May in Parliament, where she has a slim majority, allows her to negotiate Brexit with a free hand and consolidates her hold on power in the ruling Conservative Party. That said, according to Bloomberg she now faces the simultaneous challenge of pulling Britain out of the E.U. on good terms while navigating a second constitutional upheaval: Scotland’s renewed bid for independence.

On Monday evening, lawmakers rejected two revisions by unelected peers which would have guaranteed rights for E.U. citizens living in the U.K. and given Parliament a final binding say on what May negotiates with the E.U. The government argued against the changes, saying it wanted to preserve May’s flexibility in the talks. While some Tories had signaled they might vote against the government, several would-be rebels fell into line, or abstained. As Bloomberg adds, May will address the House of Commons on Tuesday, although she isn’t expected to fire the starting gun on exit talks yet.

Waiting until the end of the month will avoid souring the March 25 celebrations in Rome of the 60th anniversary of the EU’s founding treaty and allow her to avoid the Dutch election on March 15 and the Scottish National Party’s conference on March 17-18. With March 26 a Sunday and the British Parliament on recess on March 31, the likeliest days for the notification are March 27 to March 30, a Bloomberg source said.

This is another news item from the Zero Hedge website.  It showed up there at 6:29 p.m. on Monday evening EDT — and another link to it is here.  There was another story about this in The Telegraph at 10:46 p.m. GMT last night…6:46 p.m. EDT…and it’s headlined “Theresa May rules out Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for a new Scottish independence referendum before Brexit, as Lords pass landmark Brexit bill following MP’s vote“.  It’s courtesy of Roy Stephens.


Dutch election exposes fragility of mainstream

A brash politician with a distinctive quiff uses incendiary rhetoric to gain a popular following. His nativist message chimes with the anti-elite mood across the developed world. As the election nears, pundits and pollsters insist he cannot win. Does this sound familiar?

Geert Wilders hopes the parallels with Donald Trump will extend further when voters in the Netherlands cast their ballots on Wednesday. The firebrand leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV) is trying to channel the same forces that propelled the reality-TV tycoon to the White House. But the international obsession with the “Dutch Trump” misunderstands Wilders’ clout. It also obscures political shifts that are undermining his country’s reputation for stable and consensual government.

Opinion polls show Wilders vying with Prime Minister Mark Rutte to lead the largest political party in the Dutch lower house. Neither will come close to commanding a majority in the 150-seat chamber, where seats are allocated in proportion to the number of votes cast. But the biggest party generally makes the first attempt to form a government.

That would be a huge endorsement for Wilders, who advocates closing mosques and has promised to crack down on “Moroccan scum”. A diplomatic row with Turkey, which saw protesters clash with police in Rotterdam on Sunday after the Dutch government barred Turkish ministers from speaking at a rally, could give him a pre-election boost.

This Reuters article, flied from London, showed up on their website at 7:17 a.m. EDT yesterday morning — and it comes to us courtesy of Richard Saler.  Another link to it is here.


Here’s why Ukraine is suing Russia in the International Court of Justice — Alex Mercouris

The case Ukraine is bringing in the International Court of Justice is attracting scant international attention and has been almost entirely ignored by Western governments and by the Western media.  Having said this it is an interesting case which begs a number of obvious questions.

Ukraine’s claim is set out in an indictment which apparently runs to 45 pages.  The summary of its claim, which is dated 17th January 2017, can be found here.

Essentially Ukraine is demanding compensation from Russia for the damage it says Russia has done to Ukraine through its aggression in eastern Ukraine and because of the harm Ukraine alleges Russia is doing to the Ukrainian and Tatar minorities in Crimea.

Two questions about this case immediately stand out: (1) its timing; and (2) why does it fail to ask that the International Court of Justice declare that Crimea’s unification with Russia is contrary to international law?

Normally, I would save a piece such as this for Saturday.  But because I have so little for you today, I though I’d include it, rather than wait.  It’s a tad on the longish side, but certainly a must read for any international political wonk that’s serious about the New Great Game.  It was posted on the duran.com Internet site on Friday — and I thank Larry Galearis for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.


Turkey Says “Migrant Deal Has Ended“, May Unleash Millions of Refugees

As we noted moments ago, the tit-for-tat aggression resumed its escalation between Turkey and the Netherlands, with Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus exclaiming from Ankara that “Europe’s politicians are under fascist, neo-nazi influence” and in response, Turkey will suspend all high-level diplomatic meetings and cancel all flight permissions for Dutch politicians.

As part of its furious response, Turkey said it would impose various travel sanctions on Dutch diplomats such as halting all high-level political discussions with the Netherlands in the wake of the Dutch government’s decision to bar two cabinet ministers from campaigning in the country. Kurtulmus said during a news conference following a weekly cabinet meeting that Ankara also is closing its air space to Dutch diplomats until the Netherlands meets Turkish requests, according to the AP.

Kurtulmus also says the Dutch ambassador to Turkey, who was traveling when the diplomatic row started, won’t be allowed to return, and said that Turkey’s government plans to advise parliament to withdraw from a Dutch-Turkish friendship group.

However the most troubling development, and one which has the potential to sway the outcome of the Dutch election which will be held in less than two days, is that in the final power play aimed towards Merkel, Kurtulmus exclaimed that since “Europe has not kept its promises on the migrant deal, for us that agreement has ended.

Which means that one year after it collected $3 billion for the migrant deal, Turkey has just voided the agreement, and the next step would be that Turkey is about to flood Europe with refugees currently held inside Turkish borders. And since by some estimates Turkey currently harbors over 2 million potential migrants, Europe’s refugee situation is about to get far worse, and as a corollary, support for anti-immigrant political organizations across the continent is about to take another step function higher.

This is yet another ZH story from yesterday.  This one showed up on their Internet site at 4:23 p.m. EDT on Monday afternoon — and another link to it is here.


Gold Has Been the Best Performing Asset Class Since 2000: Here’s Why It’s Still a Good Place to Be — John Hathaway

John Hathaway: Tocqueville Asset Management, which currently manages approximately $12 billion in assets, launched its gold strategy back in 1998 when gold was very disrespected. It was the Rodney Dangerfield of investment ideas. Tocqueville is at its core a contrarian firm. And we thought that in those days, when investors were chasing dot-coms and overpriced technology stocks, we should do something that was value based. That thinking led us to launch the Tocqueville Gold fund in 1998. That fund now has about $1.4 billion under management. And in addition, we have another $1 billion or so of separate accounts and funds that we manage for European clients and separate institutional accounts.

We have found that if gold were to move, for the sake of argument, 10% on the upside, which is about what it did last year, mining stocks are going go up a lot more. And last year, the gold mining stocks index that we benchmark against was up about ten times that.

Forbes: Does that work in the opposite direction also?

Hathaway: That’s the downside. Obviously, there’s great leverage in either direction. When gold prices are not doing well, which after peaking in 2011, they suffered a four-and-a-half-year correction. And mining stocks were much harder hit than the gold price itself.

But now, I feel like we’ve turned the corner and have had our correction. Gold has been the best performing asset class since 2000. It’s out-performed bonds — it’s out-performed stocks, and it’s out-performed the U.S. dollar because gold prices are significantly higher than they were in 2000. Everyone says, “Well, why is that?” The reason is that we’ve been living since 2000 in an era of radical monetary policy. So that’s why gold has been a good place to be.

This Q&A with John  was posted on the forbes.com Internet site very late on Monday morning EDT — and I found it posted on the Sharps Pixley website.  It’s certainly worth reading — and another link to it is here.  But be forewarned, there’s not a word about the precious metal price management scheme to found anywhere in this article.


India’s gold paperization scheme is a total flop

After 16 months temples and households have turned over just 7 tonnes of gold out of the 24,000 tonnes believed to be in private hands, two industry sources and a government official said, with almost all the gold coming from temples.

Families that hold about 80 percent of the idle gold have largely shunned the scheme, with some four dozen government-approved centers that opened to test purity still to process a single gram of household gold, said Harshad Ajmera, president of the Indian Association of Hallmarking Centres.

You hardly earn anything but you have to do so many things to deposit gold under the scheme. Why should I take all this pain?” said 54-year-old clerk Ganpat Shelke, who considered depositing 50 grams of gold.

Absolutely no surprises here.  I posted a story about this late last week, but here’s another that I found on the gata.org Internet site yesterday.  This Reuters piece, filed from Mumbai, appeared on their Internet site at 11:26 p.m. EST on Saturday — and another link to it is here.  The above headline is courtesy of Chris Powell.  The actual headline reads “India gold recycling plan fails to tempt households


Gold fund manager Egon von Greyerz interviewed by Grant Williams for Real Vision

Grant Williams of the “Things That Make You Go Hmmm…” financial letter and proprietor of the Real Vision interview service, has interviewed gold fund manager Egon von Greyerz about his background and views of the markets.

Von Greyerz expects a worldwide debt debacle, against which he sees gold as superior insurance for wealth preservation. He reviews the ideological corruption of the Swiss National Bank, which has made itself a mere agent of the U.S. Federal Reserve. He also expects the dissolution of the European Union.

The interview, which was done at the end of 2016…is 51:37 minutes long and was posted in the clear at Zero Hedge very late on Saturday night EST.  It’s the second video link, as the first link shown is the 4:43 minute trailer.  I found it in a GATA dispatch yesterday — and I must admit that I haven’t had the time to watch it, so I can’t offer an opinion.   Another link to it is here.


The PHOTOS and the FUNNIES


The WRAP

Based upon the remaining number of contracts still open in March (more than 1,000), unless the shorts truly run out of physical silver to deliver — and/or JP Morgan overtly lets them off the hook, JPM will take a total of around 2,500 contracts this month in its own name, plus perhaps a total of 1,000 contracts for customers.

Even though I was sensitive to the March silver delivery two weeks ago and have been pointing out that JP Morgan has been close to being the sole stopper of COMEX silver deliveries for the past three years, this is all far beyond what I ever would have imagined when I wondered if there would be some “pushing and shoving” in the March contract. I remain dumbfounded that no one in the precious metals world seems to be talking about this. Go figure.

On further reflection, perhaps I’m expecting too much from those never having experienced the taking and/or making of actual delivery on a futures contract in a professional capacity.  I never consciously sought out this delivery experience, but somehow it found me – too often ending in harsh but invaluable learning experiences. (Not just in OJ futures, but even before that when I learned a customer’s cocoa deliveries had worms). In any event, what has transpired in the COMEX March silver delivery is like nothing I have ever seen — and remains a very big deal. Silver analyst Ted Butler: 11 March 2017


It was fairly obvious, at least to me, that if the usual ‘gentle hands’ hadn’t shown up to ‘rally’ the dollar index when they did, it would have certainly turned out differently for the precious metals yesterday.  Of course, I’m of the opinion that JP Morgan et al, ‘da boyz’ — and these ‘gentle hands’ are, for the most part, one in the same.

Anyway, when it was all said and done, with the exception of palladium, all the precious metals that mattered were closed lower on the day.  It appears that there is a bottom being put in place for both gold and silver, but I’ll reserve judgement on that until after 2 p.m. EDT on Wednesday.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, plus copper, once again.  The click to enlarge feature helps a bit on the first four charts.

And as I type this paragraph — and taking the time change into consideration, I assume that the LBMA open is less than ten minutes away — and I see that gold was sold down two bucks and then rallied back to unchanged by 10 a.m. China Standard time on their Tuesday morning.  It began to head lower from there — and is down $2.30 at the moment.  It was more or less the same price pattern for silver — and it’s down 5 cents the ounce currently.  Ditto for platinum — and its down a dollar.  Palladium spent most of Far East trading down a bit — and it’s down 3 bucks as the Zurich open approaches.

The CME Group is having issues with their website regarding gold and silver trading volume at the moment, so I don’t have anything from them.

The dollar index rose and fell about 10 basis points in the first two hours of trading once it began in New York at 6:00 p.m. EDT yesterday evening.  Then it traded flat until precisely 2:00 p.m. in Shanghai, then away it went to the upside, which is one of the reasons why the precious metals are down this much at the moment.  The index is currently up 16 basis points.

Well, the FOMC meeting starts today — and the results of that, plus any debt ceiling news, most likely won’t be in play until tomorrow, so all we can do is wait it out.

And with only today left in the reporting week for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report, I must admit that I’m not expecting any big price moves before the close of COMEX trading today, as ‘da boyz’ don’t seem to be in the mood to let precious metal prices get far, at least to the upside.  If that turns out to be the case, then I expect Friday’s report to be a revelation as far as the Managed Money traders long positions in silver are concerned.  They were certainly missing in action during the last reporting week — and whether they did or didn’t sell [or go short] in droves during this reporting week, is all that matters.  If they didn’t…it is, as Ted Butler has already stated, most likely a whole new ball game.

Then, laid over top of that, are the tight-as-a-drum March deliveries in silver.  Rereading Ted’s quote above might be worth your while at this juncture.

So we wait some more.

And as I post today’s column on the website at 4:02 a.m. EDT this morning, I note that that all four precious metals continue to get guided lower in price as the dollar ‘rally’, albeit on the smallish side, continues.  At the moment, gold has rallied a bit off its current low — and is down $2.60 an ounce…about what it was down an hour ago.  Silver is off its current low — and down the same 5 cents it was an hour ago as well — but platinum and palladium are now down 3 and 5 dollars respectively.

The volume numbers from the CME Group are still not available, so it doesn’t look like this will get fixed until New York wakes up.

The dollar index rallied for exactly one hour, before trading sideways — and was up about 25 basis points at that time.  The ino.com Internet site is also having issues at the moment.  So I checked Bloomberg — and it shows it up 27 basis points currently.

I haven’t a clue as to what will happen either today or tomorrow.  I would think that this current dollar index ‘rally’ will allow ‘da boyz’ to use it as cover to continue to lean on the precious metal prices.  But there have been plenty of times when they didn’t give a rip what the currencies were doing — and hammered their prices anyway.

That may happen again today, but I’d be guessing if I said I knew for sure.

That’s it for my Tuesday missive — and I’ll see you here tomorrow.

Ed