Gold & Silver Daily

¤ Yesterday In Gold & Silver

There wasn't much in the way of price action in either Far or East or early London trading on their Tuesday.  Gold was up a bit more than five bucks by 11:30 a.m. GMT in London.  Then it got sold down a bit over ten bucks in the next hour, with the low of the day coming at 8:30 a.m. EDT in New York.  The high tick in New York during the subsequent rally came at the London p.m. gold fix, which was 11 a.m. EDT, as London is still not on British Summer Time as of yet.  By noon, the gold price gave up five dollars of its prior gain, before trading flat into the 5:15 p.m. EDT close.

The high and low ticks, such as they were, were recorded as $1,318.00 and $1,306.00 in the April contract.

Gold closed in New York on Tuesday at $1,311.70 spot, up $2.10 from Monday's close.  Gross volume was over 200,000 contracts once again, but once the heavy roll-over volume was subtracted out, the real volume was only around 102,000 contracts, which wasn't particularly heavy.

Silver got sold off a bit in early Far East trading, but finally made it back to the $20 spot price mark by noon Hong Kong time.  A bit of a rally commenced around 3 p.m.---and ran into a not-for-profit seller two hours later at 9 a.m. in London.  From there it traded in a 25 cent range for the rest of the day, but once noon arrived in New York, the price didn't do much after that.

The CME Group recorded the low and high ticks as $19.905 and $20.215 in the May contract.

The silver price closed in New York yesterday at $20 right on the button.  Volume, net of March and April, was 42,500 contracts.

The platinum price didn't do much in Far East or early London trading---and once the high tick was in shortly after 11 a.m. GMT, it was all downhill to the absolute low, which came minutes after 4 p.m in New York.  After that, it recovered a few bucks, but still finished down a few bucks on the day.

Palladium traded pretty flat until shortly before 2 p.m. Hong Kong time---and then it rolled over, hitting its low of the day at 9 a.m. EDT in New York.  Then, like platinum, the palladium price rallied a few dollars into the close, but still finished down on the day.

The dollar index closed in New York late on Monday afternoon at 79.94.  From there it didn't do much until a rally began shortly after 9 a.m. in London on their Tuesday morning.  The index topped out at 80.18 shortly after 12 o'clock noon in New York before getting hit for a 30 basis point decline, with the 79.87 low coming shortly before 2 p.m. EDT.  The index then rallied ten points before trading sideways from 2:30 p.m. onwards.  The index closed back at 79.94---right where it started the day.

The gold stocks opened in positive territory and manged to stay there for the remainder of the day, although they did sell off into the close.  The HUI finished up 0.61%.

It was the same price pattern for the silver equities as well---and Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 0.91%.

The CME's Daily Delivery Report showed that 3 gold and 23 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Monday.  JPMorgan was involved as the main short/issuer in both metals.  The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

After a decent deposit in GLD on Monday, there was withdrawal yesterday.  An authorized participant took out 86,720 troy ounces.  And as of 9:24 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.

The good folks over at the Internet site updated the short positions up to mid-March for both SLV and GLD yesterday.  There was a tiny decrease in SLV's short position of 2.52%.  The short position now stands at 13.29 million shares/troy ounces, which works out to more than six days of world silver production, or stated in other terms---410 metric tonnes of the stuff.

The short position in GLD blew out by 12.24% during the first two weeks of March---and it's entirely possible that some of the gold added after that cut-off date was used to cover part of that increase in the short position, but we won't know that for sure until the next report from that won't be posted for another two weeks or so.  The short position in GLD increased from 1.23 million ounces, to 1.38 million ounces up until mid-March.

The U.S. Mint had another sales report yesterday.  They sold 2,000 troy ounces of gold eagles---500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes---and another 392,000 silver eagles.  They also sold 200 one-ounce platinum eagles as well.

Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Monday, they reported shipping out 53,216 troy ounces of gold.  Most of it came out of the HSBC USA depository---and the link to that activity is here.

And, like Friday, there was monstrous in/out movement in silver once again on Monday.  They reported receiving 1,003,021 troy ounces---and shipped out 1,837,730 troy ounces of the stuff. In the last two business days [Friday and Monday combined] five million ounces has been shipped in and shipped out.  The link to that action is here---and it's definitely worth a look.

Here's what Ted Butler had to say about this in the quote I used in yesterday's column.  Keep in mind that the 5 million ounces I spoke of in the previous paragraph are over and above the amounts Ted speaks of here.

Turnover or physical movement of metal into and out from the Comex-approved silver warehouses moderated to under 2.5 million oz. this week, as total inventories fell 250,000 oz to 182.5 million oz. Over the last three weeks, 10 million oz. have come in or departed the Comex warehouses as total levels have barely fluctuated on a weekly basis. There must be a reason for this activity---and at the core of that reason must include the fact that most of the existing inventory is not available for sale at current prices, which necessitates the bringing in of new supply to meet demand. This certainly would not seem to be in keeping with silver’s rotten price performance, both absolutely and relative to gold. - Silver analyst Ted Butler: 22 March 2014

I have a decent number of stories today---and a lot less than in Monday's column, so I hope you have the time to read the ones that interest you.


¤ Critical Reads

Wal-Mart: Food Stamps Spending by Customers Key to Its Profits

For the first time, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is citing its dependence on customers using food stamps in order to maintain its revenues and profits.

Wal-Mart's annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission included a required cautionary statement which informs the public of factors that could harm future profitability, according to The International Business Times on Tuesday. Wal-Mart's statement included usual warnings such as as natural disaster, civil unrest, changes to income and corporate tax rates, and ongoing investigations against the company, but said the public assistance inclusion was new.

"Our business operations are subject to numerous risks, factors and uncertainties, domestically and internationally, which are outside our control," the Wal-Mart statement said. "These factors include ... changes in the amount of payments made under the Supplement[al] Nutrition Assistance Plan and other public assistance plans, changes in the eligibility requirements of public assistance plans, ..."

This amazing story showed up on the Internet site yesterday morning---and it's worth your time.  I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for today's first news item.


Can Americans Retire in a Decade of Financial Repression?

Twelve years after retiring as a telephone repairman, Roger Wood clocks 12 to 15 hours a week at a Lowe’s Cos. hardware store near Glen Allen, Virginia.

“About the same amount I made 30 years ago,” Wood, 69, says of his $12 hourly wage. “I’m worried about my portfolio because of low interest rates, even to the point of considering full-time again.”

Feeble returns on the safest investments such as bank deposits and fixed-income securities represent a “financial repression” transferring money from savers to borrowers, says Bill Gross, manager of the world’s biggest bond fund. Workers 65 and older, struggling with years of depressed yields, are the only group of Americans who are increasingly employed or looking for jobs, according to Labor Department participation-rate data.

This right-on-the-money article was posted on the Bloomberg website early yesterday morning MDT---and it's the second contribution in a row to today's column from Elliot Simon.


Hosting Obama costs Belgium 20 times as much as hosting E.U. Summit

The American presidency has become grotesquely imperial, and when a president travels overseas, the contrast between the entourage and security measures commanded by a president versus an ordinary head of government of a major nation is downright embarrassing to citizens of a democratic republic. The left wing U.K. Guardian reports:

As Belgium's capital and host to the E.U. and NATO, Brussels is used to deploying heavy security when big names pop by. But U.S. President Barack Obama's visit on Tuesday will strain the city like never before with €10m (£8.4m) of Belgian money being spent to cover his 24 hours in the country.

The president will arrive on Tuesday night with a 900-strong entourage, including 45 vehicles and three cargo planes. Advance security teams orchestrating every last detail have combed Brussels already, checking the sewers and the major hospitals, while American military helicopters were last week given the green light for overflights. The city hosts at least four E.U. summits a year, with each of these gatherings costing €500,000 in extra police, military and transport expenses. "But this time round, you can multiply that figure by 20," said Brussels mayor, Yvan Mayeur.

This interesting news item showed up on the Internet site yesterday---and my thanks go out to reader M.A. for his first offering in today's column.


Monks recant: Bundesbank opens the door to Q.E. blitz

The last bastion is tumbling. Even the venerable Bundesbank is edging crablike towards quantitative easing.

It seems that tumbling inflation in Germany itself has at last shaken the monetary priesthood out of its ideological certainties.

Or put another way, the Pfennig has dropped that euroland is just one Chinese shock away from a deflation trap, an outcome that would play havoc with the debt dynamics of southern Europe, render the euro unworkable, and ultimately inflict massive damage on Germany.

Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann was not exactly panting for QE in comments to Market News published this morning, it has to be said, but the tone marks a clear shift in policy.

This Ambrose Evans-Pritchard blog was posted on the Internet site yesterday---and it's the first contribution of the day from Roy Stephens.  It's definitely worth reading.


European Central Bank now considering even negative interest rates

European Central Bank officials sent strong signals Tuesday that they are willing to consider dramatic steps to guard against dangerously low inflation, suggesting that the bank is prepared to shed some of its traditionally cautious approach.

The possible tools, cited by some top policy makers from different parts of the euro zone, include effective negative interest rates -- meaning rates so low that commercial banks would essentially pay the ECB to park their extra cash overnight. They also include purchases of government or private-sector debt to hold down long-term rates and spur lending.

"We haven't exhausted our maneuvering room" on interest rates, Bank of Finland Governor Erkki Liikanen, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview in Helsinki. Mr. Liikanen is on the ECB's 24-member governing council. Asked what tools the ECB has remaining, Mr. Liikanen cited a negative deposit rate as well as additional loans to banks and asset purchases.

Only the part of this Wall Street Journal story [from yesterday] that is posted in the clear, is shown above---and the rest is available from their website---and the link to that is in this GATA release that Chris Powell filed from Hong Kong late in the afternoon local time earlier today.


Murderous Ukrainian ultra-nationalist dead – after 2 decades of violent thuggery

Notorious ultra-nationalist leader Aleksandr Muzychko has been shot dead by Ukrainian special forces after going on the rampage amid Ukraine's current turmoil. Muzychko’s death followed many years of unpunished militant activity in neo-Nazi organizations.

Born in Russia’s Urals in 1962, Muzychko served his military duty in Tbilisi, Georgia, and then got his first experience of warfare in Afghanistan as he served side-by-side with fellow Soviet troops.

As the Soviet Union fell, Muzychko joined the militant wing of the radical nationalist Ukrainian UNA-UNSO organization to fight against his former fellow citizens.

This very ugly story showed up on the Russia Today website late yesterday afternoon Moscow time---and I thank Roy Stephens for sending it our way.


Russia's New Ability to Evade NSA Surveillance is Either a Crazy Coincidence or Something Much Worse

U.S. officials think that Russia may have recently obtained the ability to evade U.S. eavesdropping equipment while commandeering Crimea and amassing troops near Ukraine's border.

The revelation reportedly has the White House "very nervous," especially because it's unclear how the Kremlin hid its plans from the National Security Agency's snooping on digital and electronic communications.

One interesting parallel is the presence of Edward Snowden in Russia, where he has been living since flying to Moscow from Hong Kong on June 23.

This short, but very interesting article showed up on the Internet site late Monday morning EDT---and I thank reader "Goodsport from Massahusetts" for sending it our way.


'Dear to Our Hearts': The Crimean Crisis from the Kremlin's Perspective

The E.U. and U.S. have come down hard on Russia for its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula. But from the perspective of the Kremlin, it is the West that has painted Putin into a corner. And the Russian president will do what it takes to free himself.

Last September, Vladimir Putin invited Russia experts from around the world to a conference, held halfway between Moscow and St. Petersburg. At the gathering, the Russian president delivered a passionate address. "We will never forget that Russia's present-day statehood has its roots in Kiev. It was the cradle of the future, greater Russian nation," Putin said. He added that Russians and Ukrainians have a "shared mentality, shared history and a shared culture. In this sense we are one people."

At the time, German and European leaders still believed that it would be possible to bind Ukraine to the European Union by way of an Association Agreement and to free the country from Moscow's clutches. But Putin had long before made the decision to prevent such an eventuality.

This longish, but very excellent essay, was posted on the German website early yesterday evening---and it falls into the absolute must read category for all serious students of the New Great Game.


Capital controls feared in Russia after $70 billion flight

Capital flight from Russia has spiked dramatically since President Vladimir Putin first sent troops into Crimea and may reach $70bn (£42bn) over the first quarter of the year, prompting fears that the country may soon have to impose capital controls to stem the loss.

Andrei Klepach, the deputy economy minister, admitted in Moscow that the outflows are likely to reach $65-70bn, far higher than originally expected and a clear sign that investors are extremely nervous of escalating sanctions.

“It is shocking,” said Bartosz Pawlowski from BNP Paribas. “Markets have been extremely complacent, fooling themselves that Russia is invulnerable because it has almost half a trillion in foreign reserves. But reserves can become almost irrelevant in this sort of crisis.”

This Ambrose Evans-Pritchard commentary showed up on The Telegraph's website on Monday evening GMT---and once again I thank Roy Stephens for sending this story our way.


Brazil, China, India rally round Russia after G7 snub

U.S. ally Australia had indicated Russia might also be excluded from a G20 summit in Brisbane in November.

But Brazil, China, India, and South Africa rejected the idea.

They said, together with Russia, also at The Hague, where almost 60 countries had sent VIPs to a Nuclear Security Summit, that “the escalation of hostile language, sanctions and counter-sanctions … does not contribute to a sustainable and peaceful solution” to the Ukraine crisis.

“The custodianship of the G20 belongs to all member states equally and no one member state can unilaterally determine its nature."

This news item appeared on the Internet site yesterday morning Europe time---and the stories from Roy Stephens just keep on coming.


Russia Prepares Mega-Deal With India After Locking Up China With "Holy Grail" Gas Deal

Last week we reported that while the West was busy alienating Russia in every diplomatic way possible, without of course exposing its crushing over-reliance on Russian energy exports to keep European industries alive, Russia was just as busy cementing its ties with China, in this case courtesy of Europe's most important company, Gazprom, which is preparing to announce the completion of a "holy grail" natural gas supply deal to Beijing.

We also noted the following: "And as if pushing Russia into the warm embrace of the world's most populous nation was not enough, there is also the second most populated country in the world, India."

Today we learn just how prescient this particular comment also was, when Reuters reported that Rosneft, the world's top listed oil producer by output, may join forces with Indian state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp to supply oil to India over the long term, the Russian state-controlled company said on Tuesday.

This Zero Hedge piece was posted on their Internet site late yesterday morning EDT---and it's definitely worth reading.  I thank Phil Barlett for sending it our way.


Pepe Escobar: Asia will not 'isolate' Russia

Any (bureaucratic) doubts the New Cold War is on have been dispelled by the Group of Seven issuing a pompous, self-described Hague Declaration. Abandon all hope those who expected The Hague to become the seat of a tribunal judging the war crimes of the Cheney regime.

The G-7 also cancelled its upcoming summer summit in Sochi as a means of "punishing" Moscow over Crimea. As if this carried any practical value. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov responded with class; if you don't want us, we have better things to do. Everyone knows the G-7 is an innocuous, self-important talk shop. It's in the G-20 - much more representative of the real world - where crucial geopolitical and geoeconomic issues gain traction.

The Hague Declaration comes complete with the kiss of death, as in, "The International Monetary Fund has a central role leading the international effort to support Ukrainian reform, lessening Ukraine's economic vulnerabilities, and better integrating the country as a market economy in the multilateral system." That's code for "wait till structural adjustment starts biting".

And then there will be "measures to enhance trade and strengthen energy security" - code for "we will destroy your industry" but "are not very keen on paying your humongous Gazprom bill".

This longish commentary by Pepe was posted on the Asia Times Internet site yesterday sometime---and it's courtesy of Roy Stephens, of course.  It's also a must read for all students of the New Great Game.


Hundreds of Egyptians Sentenced to Death in Killing of a Police Officer

A crowd gathered outside a courthouse in the town of Matay erupted in wailing and rage on Monday when a judge sentenced 529 defendants to death in just the second session of their trial, convicting them of murdering a police officer in anger at the ouster of the Islamist president. Here in the provincial capital just a few miles away, schools shut down early, and many stayed indoors fearing a riot, residents said.

But the crowds went home, and soon the streets were quiet.

After nine months of escalating repression that culminated in the extraordinary verdict, the military-led government that removed President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood appears to have finally cowed his supporters into near-silence here in Minya, perhaps their greatest stronghold. The city was the heart of a fierce Islamist insurgency just two decades ago, and threatened to rise up again, against the new government.

Legal experts called it the harshest mass conviction in modern Egyptian history, arguing that it disregarded legal procedures, defied plausibility and stood little chance of surviving appeals. A three-judge panel reached its verdict after two sessions of less than an hour each, and about 400 of those convicted were sentenced in absentia.

This news item showed up on The New York Times website sometime on Monday---and it's the final offering of the day from Roy Stephens, for which I thank him.


What a Bank Run in China Looks Like: Hundreds Rush to Banks Following Solvency Rumors

Curious what the real, and not pre-spun for public consumption, sentiment on the ground is in a China (where the housing bubble has already popped and the severe contraction in credit is forcing the ultra wealthy to luxury real estate in places like Hong Kong) from the perspective of the common man?

The photo below, which shows hundreds of people rushing today to withdraw money from branches of two small Chinese banks after rumors spread about solvency at one of them, are sufficiently informative about just how jittery ordinary Chinese have become in recent days, and reflect the growing anxiety among investors as regulators signal greater tolerance for credit defaults.

I posted a story about this in my column yesterday---and here's the Zero Hedge take once they got their hands on it.  I thank Phil Barlett for sending this follow-up piece after providing the original story in yesterday's column.


Brazil scrambles to avoid power rationing as costs soar

Brazil is fighting against time to avoid crippling power blackouts and electricity rationing as a drought prevents the world's most water-rich nation from recharging its hydroelectric dams.

Rio de Janeiro-based energy consultancy PSR puts the odds of rationing at nearly 1 in 4.

A decade of growth has diversified the electricity system away from hydro power, but policymakers, industrial companies and investors in the world's seventh-largest economy may find little cause to relax.

Hydro reservoirs, which generate two-thirds of Brazil's power, are at near-record lows. To keep the lights on and factories open, all of the country's main thermal power plants are running full throttle as an estimated 600,000 visitors prepare to arrive for the June start of the soccer World Cup.

This very interesting Reuters story, filed from Rio de Janeiro, was picked up by the Internet site---and was posted on their Internet site on Monday evening EDT.  It's the second contribution of the day from reader M.A.


Four King World News Blogs

1. Art Cashin: "Jeremy Grantham's Major Prediction"  2. Dr. Stephen Leeb: "There is a Conspiracy in the Silver Market"  3. Rick Rule: "We're Going to See 300% to 400% Gains From Here"  4. Ben Davies: "One of the Greatest Market Calls in History Happened in Silver"

[Please direct any questions or comments about what is said in these interviews by either Eric King or his guests, to them, and not to me. Thank you. - Ed]


Kinross Asks Canada for ‘Balanced Approach’ on Russia

Kinross Gold Corp., the largest foreign gold miner operating in Russia, told Canada it wants a “balanced approach” in resolving a standoff with Russia after the annexation of Crimea earlier this month.

“We have communicated to the government of Canada our desire to see a balanced approach to resolving this situation in a way that considers Canadian interests in Russia,” Andrea Mandel-Campbell, a spokeswoman for Toronto-based Kinross, said yesterday in an e-mail.

Kinross operates the Kupol and Dvoinoye mines in Russia’s far east, which Mandel-Campbell said haven’t been affected by the political situation. About 27 percent of Kinross’s 2014 gold-equivalent production, which includes silver, may come from Russia, the Toronto-based company said Feb. 12.

This Bloomberg story, filed from Toronto, was posted on their website early yesterday afternoon Denver time---and I thank reader Ken Hurt for sending it along.


Iraq Buys Massive 36 Tonnes of Gold in March

The Central Bank of Iraq said it bought 36 tons of gold this month to help stabilise the Iraqi dinar against foreign currencies, according to a statement from the bank that was emailed this morning.

It is very large in tonnage terms and Iraq’s purchases this month alone surpasses the entire demand of many large industrial nations in all of 2013. It surpasses the entire demand of large countries such as France, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Italy, Japan, the UK, Brazil and Mexico. Indeed, it is just below the entire gold demand of voracious Hong Kong for all of 2013 according to GFMS data.

The first question I have is---where the heck did they get the money to buy it?  The other questions that comes to mind are---is it in allocated or unallocated form---and did they take delivery, or is it stored for 'safekeeping' in London?  This very interesting news item showed up on the Internet site yesterday morning---and found a home over at Zero Hedge.  It's definitely worth reading---and I thank U.A.E. reader Laurent-Patrick Gally for being the first one through the door with it yesterday.


China’s monthly gold imports jump 30% to 109.2 tonnes in February

According to new data from Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department mainland China's net imports of gold totaled 109.2 tonnes in February.

That's up more than 30% over the 83.6 tonnes in January and up a whopping 79.3% compared to the same month last year when Chinese imported 60.9 tonnes from the financial and trading hub.

China overtook India to become the world's top importer of gold bars, coins and jewelry last year with 2013 imports soaring to 1,065 tonnes, up from 807 tonnes the year before.

Here's another must read story.  This one was posted on the Internet site yesterday sometime---and it's the final offering of the day from reader M.A.


Lawrence Williams: China/Hong Kong gold imports accelerating - 109 tonnes in February

Gold bulls should be heartened by the latest official figures for Chinese gold imports through Hong Kong for February. Not only were net imports some 30% higher than in the previous month, but fully 79% higher than in February 2013 according to calculations from Bloomberg based on the latest Hong Kong official data. The latest figures out of Hong Kong suggest that far from Chinese gold demand slowing down this year it could even be accelerating.

Indeed for the first two months of the year net imports through Hong Kong totalled 192.8 tonnes as compared with 80.6 tonnes in the first two months of 2013 suggesting that imports over the 2 month period have actually risen by just under 140%. Some demand slowdown!! The very fact that China imported more than 100 tonnes in February – normally a weak month for gold imports because of the Chinese New Year holiday – has to be highly significant as a guide to likely ongoing Chinese demand. Indeed the 109 tonnes imported was a comfortable new record for the month.

This commentary by Lawrie was posted on the Internet site yesterday sometime---and it's worth reading as well.


Chris Powell: Gold market manipulation update, March 2014

Here's the speech that Chris presented at the Mines and Money Hong Kong Conference earlier today.  It's your long read of the day---but a must read in my opinion.  Chris slid it into my in-box in the wee hours of this morning EDT.



¤ The Funnies

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¤ The Wrap

Plunderers of the world, when nothing remains on the lands to which they have laid waste by wanton thievery, they search out across the seas. The wealth of another region excites their greed; and if it is weak, their lust for power. Nothing from the rising to the setting of the sun is enough for them. Among all others only they are compelled to attack the poor as well as the rich. Robbery, rape, and slaughter they falsely call empire; and where they create a desolate wasteland, they call it peace. - Tacitus, Agricola

It was another day where not too much happened---and although I'm happy about it, I'm still apprehensive about future price action because of the massive long positions still held by the technical funds in both gold and silver, which JPMorgan et al can still run the stops on for fun, profit---and price management purposes.  Why they didn't do anything yesterday, especially when volume was very light, was a big surprise.  Ted Butler says that this result is inevitable at some point in the future---but the 'when' part of all this is still an unknown.

China continues to gobble up gold at a prodigious rate---and unless they change their long-term plans, I can't see these imports slowing down any time soon.  These imports, of course, don't include domestic production, which never sees the light of day outside China---nor does it include gold imported through other channels, as other commentators have written about.

Through all this, the price remains subdued, as JPMorgan et al continue to ride shotgun over the prices of all four precious metals, despite the supply/demand fundamentals that are visible everywhere in all of them---and that scream out that prices should be materially higher across the board.

I note that we finally have our precious "golden cross"---and it remains to be seen whether it has any effect on prices going forward, as "da boyz" as short sellers of last resort, have been steadfast in their stand in the face of even the smallest rally that erupts anywhere on Planet Earth, at any time of day---and in any metal.

You'd think that with all this talk about suing the major bullion banks for manipulating the gold price at the London p.m. fix, that it would draw the interest of the miners, but there's nary a peep from them---individually, or as a group.  And it's a given the the World Gold Council and its members will be "no shows" for this event---just as The Silver Institute was when the class-action lawsuit was underway against JPMorgan Chase.  As I stated before, all current and past members of these organizations are owned by the bullion banks, or act like they are.

There is a body of opinion gathering out there which holds that all precious metal mining executives should carry little bells, like lepers in the Middle Ages, to warn respectable stockholders of their foul approach.  An idea that has considerable merit in my opinion---and make 'em cowbells.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is a bit under an hour away.  Gold, which had a tiny rally in early trading in the Far East, got sold down again---and is only up a few dollars at the moment, as is platinum.  Silver is up a handful of cents---and palladium is down a buck.  Net volume in both gold and silver is down sharply from this time yesterday---and the dollar index is up 8 basis points and barely back above the 80.00 mark.

Yesterday was the cut-off for Friday's Commitment of Traders Report---and because it really wasn't a wild and crazy day as far as price and volume were concerned, I expect virtually all of yesterday's trading data to show up in this upcoming COT Report.

And not a thing has changed in the two hours since I wrote my previous comments on trading in the Far East.  Now that London has been open an hour or so, the price action is about the same, volumes are still very light in both metals---and the dollar index is still barely above the 80.00 mark.

I haven't a clue as to how trading will unfold in New York today, so nothing will surprise me when I check the charts later this morning.

That's more than enough once again---and I'll see you here tomorrow.