The gold price did next to nothing in early Far East trading on their Monday. The high of the day was at noon in Hong Kong trading...and from there it got sold down a bit over ten bucks with the low of the day coming just minutes after 8:30 a.m. in New York. The subsequent rally got cut short at 9:15...and that was pretty much it for the rest of the day.
The Hong Kong high was a hair over $1,390 spot...and the N.Y. low was recorded by Kitco as $1,379.80 spot.
Gold closed at $1,384.70 spot...down $6.80 from Friday's close...but with gross volume a very anemic 82,000 contracts, I wouldn't read much of anything into Monday's price action.
It was very much the same story in silver, with the low tick [$21.61 spot] coming at 8:30 a.m. EDT...ten minutes after the Comex open...and the high tick [$22.06] coming at 10:00 a.m....the London p.m. gold fix. Once the gold fix was in, silver...like gold...sold off a bit before chopping sideways into the 5:15 p.m. New York electronic close.
Silver closed down 24 cents from Friday at $21.84 spot...and safely back under the $22 price mark that it had the audacity to close above on Friday. Volume, net of all roll-overs out of the July delivery month, was a tiny 17,000 contracts. Like gold, I wouldn't read a lot into the price action based on the associated volume....however, the downward price pressure in both was obvious.
Both platinum and palladium held up rather well...until Comex trading in New York began, that is. Then down they went too...and the lows for both metals came at, or just after, the 1:30 p.m. EDT Comex close.
The dollar index closed on Friday afternoon in New York at 80.62. From the open in Far East trading, it rallied in fits and starts before hitting it's high of the day [80.86] shortly after 2:00 p.m. in New York. Then just minutes before the equity markets closed in New York on Monday afternoon, the dollar had declined to its low of the day...80.54...before rallying a bit into the close. The dollar index finished the day at 80.63...basically unchanged from Friday.
The gold stocks rallied into positive territory within minutes of the New York open on Monday morning...but that didn't last. The low tick for the stocks came at the 3:00 p.m. BST London gold fix...10:00 a.m. EDT in New York...and then chopped around either side of unchanged, before rallying a bit into the close. The HUI finished up a smallish 0.35%.
The silver stocks did not fare as well...and Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 0.42%.
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The CME's Daily Delivery Report is hardly worth mentioning, as only 11 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday. The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.
There was a tiny withdrawal from GLD yesterday...11,742 troy ounces...which may have been a fee payment of some kind. And as of 9:59 p.m. EDT Monday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.
There was a small sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday. They reported selling 1,500 ounces of gold eagles...500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes...and 631,500 silver eagles.
Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday, they didn't report receiving any silver, but they did ship 538,576 troy ounces of the stuff out the door. The link to that activity is here.
In gold, these same depositories reported receiving 12,178 troy ounces...and shipped a smallish 202 troy ounces out the door for parts unknown. The link to that 'activity' is here.
Being a Tuesday column, I have more than the usual number of stories for you today...and I'll gladly leave the final edit up to you.
In four separate stories from yesterday's edition of the King Report...IBM to lay off 6-8,000 employees world-wide. CAT will lay off one third of its workers in Wisconsin..."With lower orders from mining customers, we must take steps to bring production in line with demand." Chrysler to freeze salaried employee's pensions in effort to limit liability..."Chrysler plans to freeze pensions for 8,000 salaried employees at the end of the year, the automaker announced Friday, joining a growing group of companies seeking to limit the amount of money they have to set aside now for future retirees." Some of Detroit's Creditors are Asked to Accept Pennies on the Dollar. "...deep cuts alone cannot save Detroit...painful sacrifices must be shared. The proposal includes an offer that amounts to less than 10 cents on the dollar on some of the city’s unfinanced debt obligations."
European Union car sales in May fell to a 20-year low as rising joblessness caused by a recession in the euro region contributed to falling demand at PSA Peugeot Citroen, Renault SA and General Motors Co.
Registrations in the 27-member EU dropped 5.9 percent to 1.04 million vehicles from 1.11 million cars a year earlier, reaching the lowest level for the month since 1993, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, or ACEA, said today in a statement. The drop contrasts with 1.7 percent growth in April that was the first gain in the market in 19 months. Including figures from Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, sales in May fell 5.9 percent to 1.08 million cars.
“Nobody’s buying cars,” and there’s “no reason to be optimistic,” as the sales increase the previous month was because of a calendar effect, Jens Schattner, a Frankfurt-based analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd., said before the ACEA released figures. Any revival in deliveries won’t start until the end of the third quarter at the earliest, he said.
This Bloomberg story was filed from Paris early this morning Europe time...and was posted on their website at midnight last night MDT...and it's the first of two in a row from U.A.E. reader Laurent-Patrick Gally.
The Serious Fraud Office is poised to bring criminal charges against former Citigroup Inc and UBS AG trader Thomas Hayes, who is alleged to have been a central figure in a scam to rig global benchmark interest rates, a source familiar with the situation said on Monday.
The SFO was expected as soon as Tuesday to charge Hayes, following the London interbank offered rate rigging scandal, which has rocked the financial industry from the United States to Japan, the source said.
Regulators allege Hayes and others made thousands of unlawful requests to colleagues to submit false Libor rates, colluding with other banks and at least five interdealer brokers to spread false information and influence others.
This Reuters story was posted shortly after midnight in London earlier this morning...and it's the second story in a row from Laurent-Patrick Gally.
The plan makes Co-operative Bank appear much more like a bank than a mutual organisation.
An announcement between the bank and the Prudential Regulation Authority could come within the next few hours.
Under such a rescue deal, it is unlikely that taxpayer money will be required or that savers will be affected, but it could affect up to 5,000 smaller investors.
Concerns about the bank's capital arose after a deal with Lloyds collapsed.
OK...who's next? Today's first story was posted on the bbc.co.uk Internet site early Sunday evening when nobody was looking...and I thank U.K. reader Tariq Khan for sending it our way.
A top U.S. banking regulator called Deutsche Bank's capital levels "horrible" and said it is the worst on a list of global banks based on one measurement of leverage ratios.
"It's horrible, I mean they're horribly undercapitalized," said Federal Deposit Insurance Corp Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig in an interview. "They have no margin of error."
Hoenig, who is second-in-command at the regulator, said global capital rules, known as the Basel III accord, allow lenders to appear well-capitalized when they are not. That is because the rules allow the banks to use complicated measurements of how risky their loans are to determine the capital they must hold, he said.
This Reuters story was picked up by CNBC in the wee hours of Saturday morning...and I thank Laurent-Patrick Gally for bringing it to our attention.
The espionage scandal that keeps on giving has released its latest installment, once more courtesy of The Guardian, which on the eve of tomorrow's starting G-8 meeting reveals that foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G-20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored, their phone calls intercepted, and fake internet cafes were set up on the instructions of the British Government Communications Headquarters, the sister organization to the U.S. NSA.
Naturally, it wasn't just the GCHQ - according to The Guardian, during the 2009 G-20 meeting there was an NSA attempt to eavesdrop on then-Russian leader, Dmitry Medvedev, as his phone calls passed through satellite links to Moscow.
And while broad espionage allegations can be deflected by pretending by the rhetoric-endowed and teleprompter-aided that only terrorist threats were targeted, it will be very difficult to explain why the national information super spooks used every trick of the trade to spy on the so-called leaders of the developed world.
This rather explosive story made an appearance on the Zero Hedge website late Sunday evening...and I thank Matthew Nel for finding it for us.
It started badly and then got worse. To begin with President Putin and his delegation were late. Their plane into the UK was delayed and when they did finally arrive at Downing Street, they had to be taken in through the back entrance to avoid a Turkish protest taking place on Whitehall. You could imagine Putin musing that you wouldn’t see that happening in Moscow.
After the obligatory forced smiles for the camera outside Number 10, Mr Putin and David Cameron got down to business.
Except rather than the one-to-one talks that the British had been expecting earlier in the week, the Russians had decided to bring along their Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov to join the party. So a tête-à-tête became a foursome, with diplomatic protocol dictating that William Hague also be included in the talks. There was going to be no repeat for Mr Cameron of his “productive” private talks last month.
What went on in the meeting was, of course, private but what was clear to everyone at the press conference afterwards was that the Russian President was not in a happy mood. Smaller than Cameron...but stocky...Putin managed to carry off an air of menace effortlessly.
This news item showed up on the independent.co.uk Internet site on Sunday as well...and I thank U.K. reader Tariq Khan for sending it along.
Russian President Vladimir Putin faced further isolation on the second day of a G8 summit on Tuesday as world leaders lined up to pressure him into toning down his support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Following an icy encounter between the Kremlin chief and U.S. President Barack Obama late on Monday, the G8 leaders will seek to find resolution to a war that has prompted powers across the Middle East to square off on sectarian lines.
The sticking point again will be Putin, who faced a barrage of criticism from Western leaders for supporting Assad and the Syrian's president's attempt to crush a 2-year-old uprising in which at least 93,000 people have been killed.
"It's a clarifying moment to see what kind of commitments the Russians are willing to make in a leading world forum," a British official said before the leaders met for dinner at a remote, heavily guarded golf course outside of Enniskillen.
Here's another prime example of the pots calling the kettle black. This Reuters piece was filed from Enniskillen in Northern Ireland early yesterday evening EDT...and it's another story courtesy of Laurent-Patrick Gally.
Turkey, South Africa and Russia have reacted angrily to the British government demanding an explanation for the revelations that their politicians and senior officials were spied on and bugged during the 2009 G20 summit in London.
The foreign ministry in Ankara said it was unacceptable that the British government had intercepted phone calls and monitored the computers of Turkey's finance minister as well as up to 15 others from his visiting delegation. If confirmed, the eavesdropping operation on a Nato ally was "scandalous", it added.
The ministry summoned the UK's ambassador to Ankara to hear Turkey's furious reaction in person. A spokesman at the foreign ministry read out an official statement saying: "The allegations in the Guardian are very worrying … If these allegations are true, this is going to be scandalous for the UK. At a time when international co-operation depends on mutual trust, respect and transparency, such behaviour by an allied country is unacceptable."
This must read article appeared on The Guardian's website late yesterday afternoon BST...and it's courtesy of Roy Stephens.
The threat of imprisonment or murder will not stop the truth from coming out, Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who blew the lid on the massive National Security Agency surveillance program, told The Guardian in a live Q&A.
The 29-year-old former NSA contractor in conjunction with Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian journalist who broke the story on the NSA’s two controversial data-collection programs which targeted Americans and foreign allies alike, took questions online regarding the fallout from the massive intelligence leak.
Edward Snowden kicked off the session by describing the targeted campaign by the US government to paint him as a traitor, “just as they did with other whistleblowers." The smear campaign, he argues, has destroyed the possibility of a fair trial at home. In this regard, his decision to leave the United States was not based on any desire to evade justice, especially since he believes he can “do more good outside of prison.”
This longish news item from Russia Today is well worth reading...and it was posted on their website mid-afternoon Moscow time. I thank Roy Stephens for this story.
Syria and Egypt are dying. They were dying before the Syrian civil war broke out and before the Muslim Brotherhood took power in Cairo. Syria has an insoluble civil war and Egypt has an insoluble crisis because they are dying. They are dying because they chose not to do what China did: move the better part of a billion people from rural backwardness to a modern urban economy within a generation. Mexico would have died as well, without the option to send its rural poor - fully one-fifth of its population - to the United States.
It was obvious to anyone who troubled to examine the data that Egypt could not maintain a bottomless pit in its balance of payments, created by a 50% dependency on imported food, not to mention an energy bill fed by subsidies that consumed a quarter of the national budget. It was obvious to Israeli analysts that the Syrian regime's belated attempt to modernize its agricultural sector would create a crisis as hundreds of thousands of displaced farmers gathered in slums on the outskirts of its cities. These facts were in evidence early in 2011 when Hosni Mubarak fell and the Syrian rebellion broke out. Paul Rivlin of Israel's Moshe Dayan Center published a devastating profile of Syria's economic failure in April 2011. 
Sometimes countries dig themselves into a hole from which they cannot extricate themselves. Third World dictators typically keep their rural population poor, isolated and illiterate, the better to maintain control. That was the policy of Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party from the 1930s, which warehoused the rural poor in Stalin-modeled collective farms called ejidos occupying most of the national territory. That was also the intent of the Arab nationalist dictatorships in Egypt and Syria. The policy worked until it didn't. In Mexico, it stopped working during the debt crisis of the early 1980s, and Mexico's poor became America's problem. In Egypt and Syria, it stopped working in 2011. There is nowhere for Egyptians and Syrians to go.
This short essay was posted on the Asia Times website yesterday...and is worth reading. It's another offering from Roy Stephens, for which I thank him.
Iran will deploy 4,000 Revolutionary Guards to Syria to bolster Damascus against a mostly Sunni-led insurgency, media reported. Meanwhile, U.S. F-16s and Patriots will stay in Jordan – speculatively, to help establish a no-fly zone to aid Syrian rebels.
The deployment of the first several-thousand strong military contingent was reported by The Independent on Sunday who quoted Iranian sources tied to the state’s security apparatus. The sources said the move signals Iran’s intention to drastically step up its efforts to preserve the government of President Bashar Assad.
The Islamic Republic’s heightened military commitment could reportedly extend to the opening up of a new “Syrian” front on the Golan Heights against Israel.
The thin edge of the war wedge in the Middle East is showing signs of growing thicker in a hurry. This Russia Today story was filed from Moscow late Sunday evening local time...and it's courtesy of Roy Stephens once again.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Brazil's biggest cities, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and the capital Brasilia, on Monday evening to protest the rising cost of public transport, corruption and heavy-handed police tactics.
In the city of Belo Horizonte, police clashed with protesters and fired tear gas to disperse crowds, Brazil's Globo TV reported.
The governor of Brazil's richest and most industrialized state Sao Paulo called the protesters "troublemakers."
The demonstrations began last week after a 0.20 Brazilian real ($0.10) increase in bus fares.
This CNBC story appeared on their website early yesterday evening...and it's another contribution to today's column from Laurent-Patrick Gally.
China's shadow banking system is out of control and under mounting stress as borrowers struggle to roll over short-term debts, Fitch Ratings has warned.
The agency said the scale of credit was so extreme that the country would find it very hard to grow its way out of the excesses as in past episodes, implying tougher times ahead.
"The credit-driven growth model is clearly falling apart. This could feed into a massive over-capacity problem, and potentially into a Japanese-style deflation," said Charlene Chu, the agency's senior director in Beijing.
"There is no transparency in the shadow banking system, and systemic risk is rising. We have no idea who the borrowers are, who the lenders are, and what the quality of assets is, and this undermines signalling," she told The Daily Telegraph.
This sounds very similar to what Doug Noland was saying in his Credit Bubble Bulletin from last Friday. This particular story is an Ambrose Evans-Pritchard offering...and it was posted on The Telegraph's website on Sunday afternoon BST...and I thank Roy Stephens for bringing it to my attention...and now to yours.
1. Dr. Stephen Leeb: "Massive Demand to Send Price of Silver Skyrocketing". 2. Rick Rule: "Gold, Silver and Institutional Investors Who Are Terrified". 3. Michael Pento: "Expect Panic and Devastation as Control of Markets is Lost". 4. Robert Fitzwilson: "Fed and Other Central Planners to Enact Frightening Solutions". 5. Richard Russell: "The Great Gold Rip-Off, China, Russia and Silver". 6. The first audio interview is with Gerald Celente...and the second audio interview is with Egon von Greyerz.
With the Indian rupee plumbing new lows against the US dollar and the country’s current account deficit at record levels, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is taking the easiest route to tackle both; it has declared a war on gold. Our Chart of the Week shows the Indian current account deficit from 1970 to the end of 2012. As you can see, it has hit a record deficit level and continues to weaken. Put simply, a current account deficit occurs when a country's total imports of goods is greater than its total export of goods; this situation makes a country a net debtor to the rest of the world. India is the largest consumer of gold, almost all of which is imported and is a significant contributor to this deficit.
The RBI has drawn the battle lines and targeted gold imports as the main culprit. The central bank has announced a series of measures over the past month, including restraining lending against gold-backed assets, and restricting gold imports. The hike in gold import duty to 8% this month is the most recent announcement in this drive and doubles the duty that was applied at the beginning of this year. The RBI has asked bank trading houses not to import gold on a consignment basis for domestic sales, further insisting on 100% cash margin for letters of credit. The restrictions were invoked after imports soared to 162 tonnes in May from 142 tonnes in April on the back of weak international prices. In their campaign against gold imports the Indian finance minister P. Chidambaram has even urged banks to advise their customers not to invest in gold. “I think the Reserve Bank has advised banks that they should not sell gold coins,” said Chidambaram, while speaking at an event in Mumbai.
This very short must read commentary by David Franklin was posted on the sprottgroup.com Internet site yesterday. The chart alone is worth the trip.
There has been considerable throughput of gold in western capital markets, with substantial buying from all round the world following the April price crash. The supply can only have come from two sources: the general public, or one or more governments. It really is that simple. Two months later the gold price has only partially recovered, so physical supplies have continued to be made available. Physical demand cannot have been entirely satisfied by ETF liquidations, confirming governments are involved. This article looks at the dynamics of the gold market around this event and the implications.
While the investing public in the western nations has been generally stunned following the April price smash, demand from Asia is running at record levels.
The increase in deliveries for April and May was spectacular, totalling 460.5 tonnes, with the week ending 26 April alone seeing phenomenal deliveries of 117 tonnes. In addition, according to the Economic Times, India imported 142.5 tonnes in April and 162 tonnes in May, compared with an average monthly rate of 86 tonnes in Q1 2013. Therefore these two countries imported 765 tonnes of gold in two months, before considering any unofficial imports or their government purchases in foreign markets. The rest of Asia, from Turkey to Indonesia would certainly have stepped up their demand for gold as well, as did the western world itself for physical metal as opposed to paper entitlements.
This extensive commentary by Alasdair Macleod was posted on the goldmoney.com Internet site on Sunday...and I found it in a GATA release yesterday.
The junior resource sector is struggling financially, something most investors seem to agree on – and rightly be wary of. Here at Casey Research, we've analyzed both producers and explorers to see how profitable (or value-adding) they may be under current market conditions. The rather obvious conclusion, shared by many company executives, is that now is the time to be frugal.
Producers have started to focus on cutting costs and pulling back from development projects that have diminished prospective returns or otherwise unacceptable risk profiles.
Developers have sinned in their own way, too: as gold prices rose year after year, the price assumptions used in economic studies likewise went higher and higher. Some used assumptions that were too optimistic. And now that trend is coming back to bite them – as well as any investor who buys into those assumptions.
Naturally, when the gold price continued rising, it seemed to justify using a higher gold price when calculating how profitable a mine might be. This worked well to persuade banks to loan money and investors to buy stock, and some mines were built without enough consideration of a protracted price reversal, which has caught less prepared companies and investors off guard.
This commentary is the Monday edition of the Casey Daily Dispatch...and it was posted on the CR website yesterday afternoon.
The mainstream financial news media's propaganda campaign against gold has gotten more intense than ever even as evidence abounds that gold -- the metal, not the paper labeled "gold" -- is in greater demand than ever. That's what Jeff Nielson of Bullion Bulls Canada writes in his commentary today, "Gold-Bashing Mythology Hits New Crescendo".
This is another precious metal-related story that I found embedded in a GATA release yesterday...and I thank Chris Powell for wordsmithing the introductory paragraph.
Eric Sprott, president and CEO of Sprott Asset Management, says extreme physical demand for gold and silver is draining supplies. Sprott predicts, "Somebody's going to fail here. All the data I look at says the Western central banks. . .that have been selling gold are running on fumes now...so, it's very close at hand."
This 17:51 minute audio interview with Eric was posted over at theaureport.com Internet site on Sunday...and I thank Roy Stephens for his final offering in today's column.
A record deficit in platinum supplies is set to push prices higher, as unrest sweeps the South African mining industry and demand is boosted by the auto sector and a new exchange traded fund (ETF), according to HSBC.
Platinum, which has been influenced by the wild swings in the price of gold since April this year, hit a six-week high of $1,531 earlier this month following the "highly successful" launch of a new physically backed ETF. According to James Steel, chief precious metals analyst at HSBC, prices will rise further over the next two years, as the risk of South African mining strikes weigh on output.
But Steel also cut his price target on the metal because platinum had been influenced more than he had anticipated by the sharp swings in the price of gold.
It's interesting to see the platinum/palladium shortage story show up in the main stream press...which is the only reason I'm posting it here, as it's already yesterday's news for most precious metal investors. This CNBC story was picked up by the finance.yahoo.com Internet site yesterday...and my thanks go out to West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for sharing it with us.
Here's your "cute quota"...and a couple of cartoons...
Skyharbour Resources Ltd. (TSX.V: SYH) owns a 100% interest in approximately 400,000 acres of land between seven uranium properties in the uranium rich Athabasca Basin region in northern Saskatchewan.
Six of the properties consisting of approximately 388,000 acres of prospective ground are strategically located near the Alpha Minerals (TSX.V: AMW) and Fission Energy (TSX.V: FIS) Patterson Lake South (PLS) uranium discovery area. The properties were acquired for their proximity to the PLS discovery and interpreted favourable geology for the occurrence of PLS style uranium mineralization. Skyharbour's land position is now one of the largest in the Patterson Lake area. The Athabasca Basin hosts the world's largest and richest high-grade uranium deposits accounting for approximately 20% of global primary uranium supply. There are still areas in the region that are highly prospective and underexplored as illustrated by the new 49.5 metres of 6.26% U3O8 discovery at the Patterson Lake South property. Please visit our website for more information.
The motive for the dramatic positioning changes in gold and silver must lie with either the principal buyers or sellers. So it comes down to who you think had the means and motive – the sellers or the buyers? On the one hand, the sellers have sold long positions (probably at a loss) and have exited the gold and silver market...or now hold extreme short positions at what are the lowest gold and silver prices in years. On the other hand, the buyers, primarily the largest and most powerful financial institution in the world, have bought back short positions (at great profit) and now hold record large net long positions (in gold) and record low net short positions (in silver) at the same lowest prices in years. Not only does JPMorgan have the means and motive (and not the sellers), they are in the best position they have been in since I first identified them as the big gold and silver crook in 2008. JPMorgan has played the gold and silver market like a fiddle since that time...and it’s almost inconceivable that they were not in control of the price downswing. - Silver Analyst Ted Butler...15 June 2013
Despite low volume, it was obvious that the precious metals were under selling pressure on Monday. With both the G-8 and the FOMC meetings in progress, it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if the powers that be in New York wanted to keep gold and silver under wraps until these events are over.
Once there is some sort of announcement from one or both meetings...especially from the FOMC meeting on Wednesday...it will be interesting to see how the precious metals react...or are allowed to react. If prices get hammered, it would be for the sole purpose of allowing JPMorgan to get longer in gold...and buy back some of their remaining short positions in silver. As Ted mentioned in his quote above, JPMorgan is still running this show to the downside...and as I said on Saturday, they'll be fully in charge whenever they decide to let the precious metals run to the upside.
So we wait.
In Far East trading on their Tuesday, all four precious metals didn't do much until around 10:00 a.m. Hong Kong time...and then they all came under selling pressure once again. That pressure lasted until just before, or at, the 8:00 a.m. BST London open...and the subsequent rallies, such as they were, came to an end an hour later. Volumes were not heavy at all.
And as I hit the 'send' button at 5:10 a.m. EDT...gold is down about six bucks...and silver is down a bit over a dime...and the dollar index, which had been up about 25 basis points at one time, is now back to virtually unchanged from Monday's close.
I have no idea what the precious metal prices will perform during the New York session today...but nothing will surprise me when I switch on my computer later this morning.
See you here tomorrow.