The gold price got sold down the moment that trading began in New York on Sunday evening. The HFT boyz took the price down to its low tick of the day shortly after 2 p.m. Hong Kong time---a new low for this move down---and the rally that began at that point got capped at the London p.m. gold fix. From there it got sold down until 2 p.m. EDT in electronic trading---and it didn't do much after that.
The high and lows ticks were reported by the CME Group as $1,251.00 and $1,241.10 in the August contract.
Gold finished the Monday session at $1,243.50 spot, down another $7.80 from Friday's close. Volume, net of June and July, was pretty light at only 90,000 contracts.
The silver price action was very similar to gold's, so I shall spare you the details---except to note that silver also touched a new low price for this move down as well.
The high and low for silver were recorded as $18.87 and $18.65 in the July contract.
Silver closed in New York yesterday at $18.76 spot, down 5 cents from Friday. Net volume was also pretty light at only 22,500 contracts.
Platinum and palladium weren't spared, either---and both closed down on the day as well. Platinum by seventeen bucks---and palladium by 7 dollars. Here are the charts.
The dollar index closed at 80.38 on Friday in New York---and chopped quietly higher throughout the entire Monday trading session, finishing the day at 80.63---up 25 basis points on the day.
The gold stocks opened down a bit, but rallied back into positive territory on the rally going into the London p.m. gold fix. Once the gold price got capped, the stocks sold off as well, hitting their lows of the day at 2 p.m.---the moment that the gold price stopped falling. From there they rallied quietly in the close---and finished down 0.60%.
The price path of the silver equities was almost the same as the gold stocks, except for the fact that Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 1.04%.
The CME Daily Delivery Report for Day 3 of the June delivery month in gold showed that 7 gold and 81 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday. So far this month, only 99 gold contracts have been posted for delivery. I don't know what to make of that---and I forgot to ask Ted Butler about it when I spoke to him on the phone yesterday.
In silver, the largest short/issuer was Jefferies once again with 70 contracts---and the three largest long/stoppers were JPMorgan, Scotiabank and Barclays. The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.
There were no reported changes in GLD yesterday---and as of 7:31 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either. But when I checked the iShares.com Internet site at 3:02 a.m. EDT this morning, much to my surprise, there had been a very chunky deposit of 2,401,285 troy ounces reported. One can safely assume, based on the recent price action, that this was deposited to cover an existing short position.
The U.S. Mint had a smallish sales report yesterday. They sold 4,500 troy ounces of gold eagles---1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes---100 platinum eagles---and zero silver eagles.
In gold over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday, they reported receiving 32,147 troy ounces---all of which went into the warehouse over at HSBC USA.
In silver, there was 601,134 troy ounces reported received---and 62,199 troy ounces reported shipped out. The big receipt went into Brink's, Inc.
Here are a couple of charts courtesy of Nick Laird. They are the intraday price movement for both gold and silver during the month of May. As you tell, the charts are very similar, with the major inflection points in both coming at the 8 a.m. London open, the London noon silver fix---and the 1:30 p.m. EDT Comex close.
I have a decent number of stories for you today---and the final edit is yours.
If the insatiable demand for bonds has upended the models you use to value them, you’re not alone.
Just last month, researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York retooled a gauge of relative yields on Treasuries, casting aside three decades of data that incorporated estimates for market rates from professional forecasters. Priya Misra, the head of U.S. rates strategy at Bank of America Corp., says a risk metric she’s relied on hasn’t worked since March.
After unprecedented stimulus by the Fed and other central banks made many traditional models useless, investors and analysts alike are having to reshape their understanding of cheap and expensive as the global market for bonds balloons to $100 trillion. With the world’s biggest economies struggling to grow and inflation nowhere in sight, catchphrases such as “new neutral” and “no normal” are gaining currency to describe a reality where bonds are rallying the most in a decade.
The biggest bubble in world history goes supernova. This Bloomberg news item showed up on their website early yesterday afternoon Denver time---and today's first story is courtesy of West Virginia reader Elliot Simon.
When an economy is healthy, there is lots of buying and selling and money tends to move around quite rapidly.
Unfortunately, the U.S. economy is the exact opposite of that right now. In fact, as I will document below, the velocity of M2 has fallen to an all-time record low. This is a very powerful indicator that we have entered a deflationary era, and the Federal Reserve has been attempting to combat this by absolutely flooding the financial system with more money.
This has created some absolutely massive financial bubbles, but it has not fixed what is fundamentally wrong with our economy. On a very basic level, the amount of economic activity that we are witnessing is not anywhere near where it should be and the flow of money through our economy is very stagnant.
This article was posted on the economiccollapseblog.com Internet site on Sunday---and it's the second offering in a row from Elliot Simon. It's worth reading.
The Supreme Court on Monday turned down an appeal from James Risen, a reporter for The New York Times facing jail for refusing to identify a confidential source.
The court’s one-line order gave no reasons but effectively sided with the government in a confrontation between what prosecutors said was an imperative to secure evidence in a national security prosecution and what journalists said was an intolerable infringement of press freedom.
The case arose from a subpoena to Mr. Risen seeking information about his source for a chapter of his 2006 book, “State of War.” Prosecutors say they need Mr. Risen’s testimony to prove that the source was Jeffrey Sterling, a former C.I.A. official.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., ordered Mr. Risen to comply with the subpoena. Mr. Risen has said he will refuse.
This news item appeared on The New York Times website yesterday sometime---and I thank Roy Stephens for his first contribution to today's column.
London's vast foreign exchange market faces Government regulation for the first time under plans due to be unveiled by the Treasury within the next two weeks.
Treasury officials are working with the international Financial Stability Board (FSB) to draw up a set of regulations designed to “clean up” the £3 trillion-a-day global market, which is already subject to regulatory investigations following allegations of manipulation.
Despite being one of the biggest financial markets in the world, used daily by companies to move money between jurisdictions and currencies, the foreign exchange market has largely escaped official regulation. Prices for transactions are usually set by traders involved in the deals.
The Treasury wants to introduce a more formal pricing system and greater transparency. Plans include using electronic trading platforms, broadening the trades that impact the pricing, and imposing new codes of conduct. Manipulating the foreign exchange market is expected to be made a criminal offense, in line with measures introduced in the UK last year in the wake of the Libor rigging scandal.
This article appeared on The Telegraph's website at 6 p.m. Monday evening BST---and it's courtesy of South African reader B.V. There was also a BBC story on this as well. I found it in a GATA release---and the link to that is here.
A potential $10 billion U.S. penalty against France’s largest bank BNP Paribas SA (BNP) for its alleged dealings with Iran and other sanctioned nations is stirring outrage in the country. It is putting pressure on President Francois Hollande, who hosts Barack Obama this week to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, to protect the bank from the American onslaught.
Le Monde in its May 31 edition called the possible fine a “masterful slap.” Le Figaro newspaper said the U.S. was making an example of BNP to deflect criticism it had been “lenient with the American banks responsible for the financial crisis.” Hollande will discuss BNP with Obama on June 5 when the presidents meet in Paris, a French official said today.
U.S. authorities are seeking to impose the fine to settle allegations that BNP transferred funds for clients in violation of sanctions against Sudan, Iran, and Cuba, according to people with knowledge of the investigation. The fine could be the largest criminal penalty in the U.S., eclipsing BP Plc’s $4 billion accord with the Justice Department last year. “If this results in a guilty plea, it is likely to increase debate in France and the rest of Europe about the essential fairness of U.S. criminal procedures,” said Frederick T. Davis, a lawyer at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in Paris and a former U.S. prosecutor.
This very interesting Bloomberg article, filed from Paris, showed up on their Internet site at 10:17 a.m. MDT yesterday morning---and I thank Manitoba reader Ulrike Marx for sharing it with us.
Before the European Parliament election last month, voters were told the poll would also determine the next Commission president. In a silent putsch against the electorate, Angela Merkel is now impeding the process. She fears a loss of power and Britain's E.U. exit.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel had hardly begun her speech last Friday before she got right to the point. With her hands set on the podium in front of her in the Regensburg University auditorium, she said: "I am engaging in all discussions in the spirit that Jean-Claude Juncker should become president of the European Commission." German news agency DPA immediately sent out a headline reading: "Merkel: Juncker To Be EU Commission President."
And yet, if that is what she really wanted, it's a goal she could have achieved as early as last Tuesday. Instead, she opted against it. One can, of course, choose to believe the words Merkel delivered last Friday in Regensburg. Or one can focus more on her actions. Thus far, her actions have spoken a different language. It is the language of one for whom the voters are secondary.
This article put in an appearance on the German website spiegel.de late Monday afternoon Europe time---and I thank Roy Stephens for sending it.
The European Central Bank is preparing to take monetary policy into uncharted territory this week as it fights to prevent the 18-nation bloc from being sucked into a Japanese-style deflationary trap.
Mario Draghi, the president of Europe's central bank, is expected to unveil a package of measures designed to boost eurozone lending and stimulate growth, including reducing one of its key interest rates to below zero.
Analysts expect the ECB to introduce a negative deposit rate, meaning the central bank would charge lenders to hold money with it overnight. Such a measure has never been introduced by a major central bank, although Sweden and Denmark have set negative rates on reserves.
This news item was posted on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site late Saturday morning BST---and I found it embedded in a GATA release. It's worth skimming.
Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Sunday promised to "unblock Italy" with a new series of reforms designed to boost productivity and investments in the eurozone's third largest economy.
"By the end of July I will bring in measures dubbed 'unblock Italy', which will allow people to get want they want done, and free up initiatives blocked for the past 40 years," he said at an economic conference in the northern Italian town of Trento.
The 39-year-old premier, who is riding high on a wave of popular support following his party's triumphant victory at the European elections last weekend, said he would ask Italy's mayors to flag up projects unable to get off the ground because of red tape problems.
Streamlining complicated authorisation procedures for foreign investors looking for opportunities in Italy would also do much to boost the economy, which is trying to shake off the worst recession in the post-war period, he said.
This AFP story appeared on the france24.com Internet site early Sunday evening Europe time---and it's another offering from reader B.V.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold face-to-face talks on the Ukraine crisis with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Downing Street said on Monday.
The two leaders will meet after they attend events to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, France, on Friday.
"It is an important opportunity to set out the importance of a dialogue between the Russian government and the new Ukrainian government following the presidential elections that have happened over the last week or so in Ukraine," Cameron's official spokesman told reporters.
The talks will take place the day after Cameron, US President Barack Obama and other G7 leaders meet in Brussels for a summit at which situation in eastern Ukraine will be at the centre of discussions.
This news story was posted on The Voice of Russia website late Monday evening Moscow time---and it's another item from Roy Stephens.
At least five people are reported killed after an explosion in Lugansk administration building. The blast came as Kiev deployed fighter jets to the city in eastern Ukraine. This and heavy gunfire on the ground caused panic among civilians.
The death toll was first reported by RIA Novosti; later it was confirmed by local self-defense forces, who said the blast was caused by the army's fighter jets striking the building.
“Ukraine’s air force struck Lugansk downtown at 16.00 pm. Military aircraft made a targeted strike, deploying cluster bombs. The administration building is partially destroyed,” the government of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR) said.
This news item showed up on the Russia Today website during the Moscow lunch hour yesterday, but was revised in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Once again I thank Roy Stephens for bringing this article to our attention.
Ukrainian forces and separatist rebels have fought fierce gun battles around Luhansk, with hundreds of rebels attacking a border guard base and Ukraine responding with air raids on rebel positions.
Pro-Russian separatists claimed on Monday that at least five people were killed and eight were wounded when Ukrainian jets dropped bombs on a government administration building they occupied in the city.
The explosion came after 500 separatists attacked and lay siege to a border guard base near Luhansk manned by 70 Ukrainian soldiers.
Al Jazeera's David Chater, reporting from the base, said those soldiers had been trying to control a flow of separatist volunteers crossing the border from Russia.
This news item, similar in some respects to the Russia Today story that preceded it, was post on the aljzeera.com Internet site yesterday---and once again it's courtesy of Roy Stephens.
The deputy prime minister in charge of Russia’s space programs said Sunday that he had started to impose restrictions on Global Positioning System base stations here, as retribution for the refusal of the United States to allow similar base stations on American territory that would improve the accuracy of Russia’s navigation system.
The restrictions will not cause any disruption in the operation of GPS, as the American satellite navigation system is more commonly known. Still, they are a sign of how deeply soured relations have become between the United States and Russia in the months since the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea, and other long-simmering disputes, including Russia’s granting of asylum to Edward J. Snowden, the fugitive national security contractor.
The deputy prime minister, Dmitri O. Rogozin, said that as of Sunday the GPS base stations in Russia could not be used for military purposes, and he announced a deadline of Sept. 1 for the United States to agree to allow base stations on its territory for Russia’s navigation system, Glonass. Otherwise, he said, the GPS terminals would be shut down for good.
This short essay appeared on The New York Times website on Sunday---and it's the final offering of the day from Roy Stephens, for which I thank him.
At West Point Obama told us, to the applause of West Point cadets, that “American exceptionalism” is a doctrine that justifies whatever Washington does. If Washington violates domestic and international law by torturing “detainees” or violates the Nuremberg standard by invading countries that have undertaken no hostile action against the US or its allies, “exceptionalism” is the priest’s blessing that absolves Washington’s sins against law and international norms. Washington’s crimes are transformed into Washington’s affirmation of the rule of law. Here is Obama in his own words:
“I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being. But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it is our willingness to affirm them through our actions.”
Actions indeed. In the 21st century “American exceptionalism” has destroyed seven countries in whole or in part. Millions of people are dead, maimed, and displaced, and all of this criminal destruction is evidence of Washington’s reaffirmation of international norms and the rule of law. Destruction and murder are merely collateral damage from Washington’s affirmation of international norms.
Paul's commentary falls into the absolute must read category---and my thanks go out to reader B.V. for bringing it to my attention, and now to yours.
China’s central bank is exploring direct purchases of bonds and other assets to support key sectors of the economy in case the slowdown deepens, according to a leading Chinese business publication.
A front-page article in the China Securities Journal – regulated by the central bank – reported growing concerns about the weakness of the money supply and bad debts accumulating in the financial system.
The authorities may have to widen the range of possible options for “targeted monetary loosening”. These include surgical stimulus for the West and Central regions, as well as “direct asset purchases by the central bank”, mostly government bonds, financial and railroad debt, as well as state-backed housing bonds.
It is the first hint of quantitative easing in China, and has left analysts scratching their heads. The central bank has many other tools available that would normally be used first to combat incipient deflation. The Reserve Requirement Ratio (RRR) is still 20pc. This could be slashed to low single-digits if need be, generating up to $2 trillion of stimulus through higher lending.
This commentary by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard showed up on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site late Sunday afternoon BST---and I found it embedded in a GATA release. It's certainly worth reading.
1. Robert Fitzwilson: The Shocking Reality of What is Happening Around the World " 2. James Turk [#1]: "The Stunning Truth About the FCA Gold Market Investigation" 3. James Turk [#2]: "James Turk Reveals His Remarkable Response to the LBMA" 4. Richard Russell: "One of the Greatest Market Calls in History" 5. Bill Fleckenstein: "The Fantasy Will Die and Gold Will Skyrocket" 6. Michael Pento: "We Have Not Seen This Remarkable Event For Centuries" 7. Ronald-Peter Stoferle: "Key Metric Hits Same Level As Prior to the Great Depression" 8. The first audio interview is with Bill Fleckenstein---and the second audio interview is with Nigel Farage
[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]
“I would NEVER invest in a mining company—they destroy land, pollute our water and air, and wreck the habitat of plants and animals.”
These were the points made to me by a woman at a social gathering after I told her what I do for living. She prided herself on her moral high ground and looked upon me with obvious disdain. It was clear that as a mining researcher, I was partly responsible for destroying the environment.
I knew a reasonable discussion with her wouldn’t be possible, so I opted out of trying. (As Winston Churchill said, “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”) She left the party convinced her position was indisputably correct. But was she?
Not at all.
This excellent essay written by Laurynas Vegys was embedded in yesterday's edition of the Casey Daily Dispatch---and is worth reading.
The People's Bank of China, China's central bank, is the world's biggest gold hoarder and the bane of Wall Street traders, reports the Chinese-language financial news website BwChinese, citing a Hong Kong financial analyst.
Leung Hai-ming told the portal that China's central bank took advantage of the US Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program in 2013, when the price of gold fell by 27%. The bank bought in over 1,000 tonnes of gold, representing almost one third of the world's 3,756 tonnes last year.
There is reportedly less than 180,000 tonnes of gold reserves left, and only 20% of that remaining gold is tradable. This means that the People's Bank of China will likely keep hold of the gold, limiting the gold trading volume — a concern for both the US government and Wall Street traders.
This interesting story, which lost a little something in the translation, was posted on the wantchinatimes.com Internet site yesterday morning in Beijing---and I thank Manitoba reader Ulrike Marx for sharing it with us.
With gold prices tumbling to a 11 month low, below the crucial $456 (Rs 27,000) per 10 gram in Mumbai given the weak trend in global markets, customers are thronging stores. The week ahead could get some support from the lower tariff value.
On Monday, the Indian government slashed the import tariff value on gold and silver to $408 per 10 grams and $617 per kilogram respectively, in view of the weakness in global bullion prices. The earlier tariff value on imported gold stood at $424 per 10 grams and silver at $650 per kilogram.
With consumers showing an interest in gold once again, given the lower price as compared to the start of the year, jewellers are smiling all the way to the bank.
This mineweb.com story, filed from Mumbai, was posted on their website yesterday---and it's definitely worth reading. I thank Ulrike Marx for her second contribution in a row.
Ecuador agreed to transfer more than half its gold reserves to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for three years to give the government easier access to cash.
The central bank said it will send 466,000 ounces of gold to Goldman Sachs, worth about $580 million at current prices, and get the same amount back three years from now. In return, Ecuador will get “instruments of high security and liquidity” and expects to earn a profit of $16 million to $20 million over the term of the accord. The central bank didn’t detail additional terms of the transactions, such as any fees or financing costs paid to Goldman Sachs.
The deal comes as the South American country’s government, which defaulted on about $3.2 billion of bonds five years ago, seeks to cover a budget deficit forecast by the Finance Ministry to swell to a record $4.94 billion this year. President Rafael Correa said in April he also planned to sell about $700 million of foreign debt this year in the country’s first international bond sale since the 2008 and 2009 default.
“Gold that was not generating any returns in vaults, causing storage costs, now becomes a productive asset that will generate profits,” the central bank said in the statement. “These interventions in the gold market represent the beginning of a new and permanent strategy of active participation by the bank, through purchases, sales and financial operations, that will contribute to the creation of new financial investment opportunities.”
I'm prepared to bet a fair chunk of change that Ecuador never sees this gold again---and it gets turned into kilobars and ends up in China.
This short Bloomberg story, filed from Quito, showed up on their Internet site at 12:18 p.m. MDT yesterday afternoon---and I thank reader Brad Robertson for today's final story. There was also commentary on this event posted over at the Zero Hedge website yesterday. It's linked here---and it's worth reading as well. I thank Harry Grant for sending it our way.
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What should be seen as being beyond doubt is that COMEX positioning is the price driver in silver and gold. Nothing else even comes close. We went down in price this past week and on every previous price sell-off because the technical funds got snookered into selling on price signals rigged by the commercials. We will go up when the technical funds have sold all they can sell and then begin to buy. No one knows the day of the price turn up in advance, but it will come---and should most likely come soon, given the extreme COT readings, particularly in silver. - Silver analyst Ted Butler: 31 May 2014
It was a low volume, nothing sort of day in both gold and silver on Monday. Low volume or not, one shouldn't overlook the fact that a new low price tick for this move down was set in both metals during the Hong Kong afternoon trading session---and the price of both got sold down once the London p.m. gold "fix" was in.
Here are the 6-month charts for both gold and silver so you can see the "slicing of the salami" to the downside that's been going on day after day.
In Tuesday trading in the Far East, not much happened price-wise in either gold or silver up until 1 p.m. Hong Kong time. Then both popped a bit, however it remains to be seen if this develops into anything as the trading progresses in London and New York. And as I write this paragraph, the London open is five minutes away---and volumes in both metals are on the lighter side. The dollar index is basically flat.
Today, at the 1:30 p.m. Comex close, is the cut-off for this Friday's Commitment of Traders Report. Providing nothing untoward happens to the upside in price during Tuesday trading, it's a given that the numbers in the COT Report will be another one for the record books, particularly in silver.
And as I hit the send button on today's column an hour after the London open, all four precious metals are in the plus column. Gold and silver volumes are up some more, but not by alarming amounts---and the dollar index is down a handful of basis points.
I'm off to bed early, as I have a plane to catch later this morning---and I'll see you here tomorrow.