Gold & Silver Daily
 

¤ Yesterday In Gold & Silver

The gold price got sold down five bucks the moment that trading began at 6 p.m. EDT in New York on Sunday evening.  It chopped around that new price all through Far East and the London trading session, although London was also closed for some sort of bank holiday.  Then at 8:30 a.m. EDT a rally began which got capped minutes after 9:30 a.m. EDT.  The second smallish rally after that also met the same fate about 12:20 p.m.---and then it got sold down a bit into the 1:00 p.m. early close.  All this trading occurred on the Globex system outside the U.S., as the U.S. [and London perhaps] were closed for Memorial Day.  But there was obviously trading going on from somewhere.

With the CME closed, there were no low and high ticks available.

Gold closed on Monday at $1,207.00 spot, up $1.10 from Friday.  Net volume was a tiny 20,800 contracts.

Silver also got sold down on the Sunday evening open in New York---and it's price pattern was identical to gold's, which it almost always is.

There are no low and high ticks, either, but it traded in a two bit range for the entire Monday session---such as it was.

Silver finished the day at $17.105 spot, up a whole 3 cents.  Net volume was a microscopic 6,000 contracts.

The platinum price eked out a tiny two dollar gain and closed on Monday at $1,148 spot.

Like gold and silver, palladium's price pattern had some structure to it.  It began to rally at 2 p.m. in Zurich---and by the time the markets closed at 1 p.m. EDT, the metal had tacked on another 7 bucks, finishing the day at $786 spot.

The folks over at ino.com stated that the dollar index closed at 96.01 on Friday afternoon in New York, but that's not what the closing numbers stated yesterday.  They showed that dollar closed on Monday at 96.37---up 5 basis points from Friday's close.  I don't know what to make of that, but I thought I'd point it out.  Here's the 3-day chart so you can see it for yourself.

With everything shut tight in New York yesterday, there's nothing from either GLD or SLV, the U.S. Mint, or the COMEX-approved depositories.  There's no CME Daily Delivery Report or Preliminary Report, either.

All the large traders in the COMEX futures market that aren't standing for delivery in the June gold contract have to be out of their positions by the COMEX close tomorrow---and the rest have to be out by the COMEX close on Thursday, so it's going to be a pretty wild from a volume perspective for the rest of the month.

And as I stated in Saturday's column, whatever outstanding May contracts that haven't been posted for delivery yet, have to be in this evening's report from the CME---and it will be interesting to see who the hold-out short/issuers were in both silver and gold.  More to the point is how many of the remaining silver contracts were picked up by JPMorgan for its own account.

Here's a nifty chart that reader U.D. passed around yesterday.  It's the Euro Interbank Offered Rate.  It is, as reader U.D. so succinctly put it---"mass insanity".

I have don't have all that many stories for you today---and I hope there are a few in here that you'll find of interest.

 

¤ Critical Reads

Did Someone Forget to Tell the Machines the U.S. is Shut Today?

"Unrigged"... European weakness - on the heels of increasing event risk and slowing ECB purchases - provided downward impetus to global risk assets this morning... but the machines rigging running U.S. equity futures appears to have forgotten that the U.S. markets are shut and sparked the ubiquitous rampathon back to unchanged for S&P futures (on less than 10% of daily average pro-rata volume).

The same can be said of the trading in gold and silver yesterday as well.  This tiny Zero Hedge article has a must see chart embedded, so it's worth 30 seconds of your time.

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Don Coxe: Bull Market in Bonds Now Ending - Risks Ahead

Don Coxe, Chairman of Coxe Advisors, called the dawn of the bull market in bonds in 1981. Now, 34 years later, he sees it ending as bonds enter their final mania phase marked by negative interest rates. Don discusses this historic period we are now in and both the risks and opportunities he sees ahead.

This excellent transcript, plus an embedded 6:27 minute video clip, appeared on the financialsense.com Internet site on Friday---and it's definitely worth your while.  I thank Casey Research's own John Grandits for passing it around on Sunday afternoon.

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Dr. Dave Janda interviews your humble scribe

The good doctor and I spent 25 minutes talking about the banks in general---and JPMorgan in particular---on Sunday afternoon.  Of course we also spent some time talking about the precious metals as well.  It was posted on the davejanda.com Internet site yesterday.

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Ferguson Protesters Now Protesting Over Not Getting Paid

At least some of the protesters who looted, rioted, burned buildings and overturned police cars in Ferguson, Missouri, last year were promised payment of up to $5,000 per month to join the protests.

However, when the Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE), the successor group to the now-bankrupt St. Louis branch of ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), stiffed the protesters, they launched a sit-in protest at the headquarters of MORE and created a Twitter page to demand their money, The Washington Times reports.

Presidential candidate and former Rep. Allen B. West, [R-Fl.], noted on his website, "Instead of being thankful for getting off the unemployment line for a few weeks and having a little fun protesting, the paid rioters who tore up Ferguson, MO, are protesting again."

"First of all, can you even imagine getting paid $5,000.00 a month for running around holding a sign and burning down an occasional building? That's around $1,250.00 per week. Try making that at McDonalds or Starbucks."

MORE is funded by liberal billionaire George Soros, the Times notes, through his Open Society Foundations (OSF).

Only in America.  This amazing story appeared on the newsmax.com Internet site at 3:07 p.m. EDT on Memorial Day---and it's another contribution from reader U.D.  It's definitely worth reading.

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Businesses quietly turn to the dollar in fiercely anti-American Venezuela as currency crashes

It's still possible to buy a gleaming Ford truck in Venezuela, rent a chic apartment in Caracas, and snag an American Airlines flight to Miami. Just not in the country's official currency.

As the South American nation spirals into economic chaos, an increasing number of products are not only figuratively out of the reach of average consumers, but literally cannot be purchased in Venezuelan bolivars, which fell into a tailspin on the black market last week.

Businesses and individuals are turning to dollars even as the anti-American rhetoric of the socialist administration grows more strident. It's a shift that's allowing parts of the economy to limp along despite a cash crunch and the world's highest inflation. But it could put some goods further out of reach of the working class, whose well-being has been the focal point of the country's 16-year-old socialist revolution.

This AP story was picked up by the startribune.com Internet site at 1:45 p.m. EDT yesterday---and I found it on the gata.org Internet site.

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Banks brace for more foreign exchange rigging pain as civil lawsuits come forth

Banks are bracing for hundreds of millions of pounds in new claims for foreign exchange manipulation from class-action lawsuits triggered by last week’s vast market rigging fines.

Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and four other banks were ordered on Wednesday to pay $6bn (£3.84bn) by U.K. and U.S. authorities.

The Barclays penalty represents the biggest bank fine in British history.

The regulators, detailing how traders gathered in chat rooms using monikers such as “The Cartel” and “Coiled cobra” to rig the $5.3 trillion-a-day currency market, also forced the banks to plead guilty to criminal charges.

Lawyers say that the fines, as well as an investigation from the European Commission, could be a springboard to damaging civil litigation in the U.K. and Europe.

This article put in an appearance on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site at 7:46 p.m. London time on their Saturday evening---and I found it embedded in a GATA release.

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E.U. parliament cracks down on shell firms

People trying to hide their money in shell companies will face greater scrutiny following a new law adopted Wednesday (20 May) by the European Parliament.

Initially proposed at the start of 2013, the bill - also known as the fourth anti-money laundering directive - proposed to crack down on money laundering, terrorist financing, and to improve ways of tracing illicit transfers.

A political agreement with member states was reached last December.

MEPs expanded on it, making it more difficult for fraudsters and other criminals to hide behind shell companies to avoid paying taxes or to launder income from criminal activities. Member states have two years to transpose the rules into their national laws.

This story, filed from Brussels, showed up on the euobserver.com Internet site last Wednesday---and the reader that sent it to me wishes to remain anonymous.

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Spain's ruling party punished in local elections

Voters in Spain’s two biggest cities have put the leaders of new and untried citizens’ platforms in pole position to become their mayors as the results of Spain’s local and regional ballots on Sunday reveal a highly fragmented political scene ahead of a general election due at the end of the year.

Barcelona en Comú, whose city council candidates were supported by anti-austerity movement Podemos and the Left-wing Catalan Green party, won 11 councillors with 25 per cent of the vote, narrowly ahead of the CiU Catalan nationalist grouping of current city mayor Xavier Trias, which picked up 10 seats out of 41 available.

Barcelona en Comú leader Ada Colau, formerly known as an anti-eviction campaigner, has promised a drastic reduction in perks for councillors and an emergency anti-poverty plan for the city’s poor and marginalised. “It’s a David versus Goliath victory,” a tearful Mrs Colau said as the result came in.

“We said it could be done, and we’ve proven it,” said Mrs Colau. “We are an unstoppable democratic revolution.”

This story appeared on The Telegraph's website just before midnight BST on Sunday evening---and I thank Roy Stephens for sharing it with us.

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Greece to miss IMF payments amid fears of 'catastrophic' eurozone rupture

Greece will be unable to find the €1.6bn (£1.1bn) sum it is due to hand the International Monetary Fund (IMF) next month, one of the country’s ministers has admitted.

Nikos Voutsis, the Greek minister of the interior, said that “this money will not be given and is not there to be given”, speaking on Mega TV. The Greek state is due to hand over the money in four installments in June, as part of its obligations for its 2011 bail-out.

Mr Voutsis’ comments came as Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, told The Andrew Marr Show that if progress was not made, it would be the beginning of the end for the euro project.

This is another story from the telegraph.co.uk Internet site.  It showed up there at 10:50 a.m. BST on Sunday morning---and it's the second story in the row from Roy Stephens.  Our man in Greece, Harry Grant, sent us the Zero Hedge spin on all this headlined "Greece Is on the Ragged Edge: Bloodied Ideologues vs. Bloodthirsty Technocrats".  And here's another story on Greece from The Telegraph.  This one's from Monday morning BST---and it's headlined " Greece begs for leniency as investors warn 'time for complacency' on collapse is over"---and it's courtesy of Roy Stephens as well.

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No to Brussels, Yes to Kiev: New president sets course for more independent Poland

Youthful energy and rhetoric for change have seen Andrzej Duda transformed from a virtual unknown to the rising star of Eastern European politics – but his presidency could set Poland against Russia and the E.U.

On Sunday, 51.6 percent of the electorate cast their votes for Duda to replace the centrist incumbent Bronislaw Komorowski, with a turnout of 55.4 percent, according to the official results. Exit polls showed that over 60 percent of rural voters supported Duda, but only about 40 percent of those live in cities.

Like the last president from the Law and Justice party and Duda’s idol, the late Lech Kaczynski, who held the office from 2005 to 2010, the new Polish leader won by appealing to voters from the traditional heartlands – Catholics, social conservatives, farmers, and those left behind by Poland’s superficially stellar economic performance in the last decade.

This story was posted on the Russia Today website at 9:52 p.m. Moscow time on their Monday evening, which was 2:52 p.m. EDT in Washington.  It's also courtesy of Roy Stephens.

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Ukraine crisis: Rebel commander Alexei Mozgovoi 'killed'

One of the top rebel commanders in eastern Ukraine, Alexei Mozgovoi, has been killed in an attack on his car, Russian and Ukrainian media report.

Mr Mozgovoi led the "Prizrak" (Ghost) battalion which was based in the Alchevsk area of Luhansk.

Reports said a bomb struck his car, which was then targeted by gunfire that killed Mozgovoi and six others.

Mr Mozgovoi was a critic of the Russian-backed separatist leadership and the Minsk accord signed with Kiev.

This story put in an appearance on the bbc.com website on Saturday sometime---and I thank Jim Skinner for sending it along.

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Putin signs bill on ‘undesirable foreign groups’ into law

The Russian president has signed a bill banning the activities of foreign groups that pose a threat to national security or defense capability, and to punish those who continue to cooperate with such groups.

The bill, initially drafted by two opposition MPs, was passed by both chambers of the Russian parliament last week. It tasks the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Foreign Ministry with creating a proscribed list of “undesirable foreign organizations” and to outlaw their activities in the country. The main criterion for putting a foreign or international NGO on the list is a “threat to the constitutional order and defense capability, or the security of the Russian state.”

Once the group is recognized as undesirable, all its assets in Russia must be frozen, its offices closed and distribution of any of its information materials must be banned.

No surprises here, as foreign-sponsored NGO's, mostly U.S., have been working in many countries to overthrow their current governments.  This news story was posted on the Russia Today website at 9:52 a.m. Moscow time on their Monday morning, which was 2:52 a.m. EDT in Washington.  There was also a Fox News item on this headlined "Putin signs Russian law to shut down 'undesirable' organizations"---and it's courtesy of Brad Robertson.

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City in the sky: world's biggest hotel to open in Mecca

The holy city is fast becoming a Las Vegas for pilgrims.

Four helipads will cluster around one of the largest domes in the world, like side-plates awaiting the unveiling of a momentous main course, which will be jacked up 45 storeys into the sky above the deserts of Mecca. It is the crowning feature of the holy city’s crowning glory, the superlative summit of what will be the world’s largest hotel when it opens in 2017.

With 10,000 bedrooms and 70 restaurants, plus five floors for the sole use of the Saudi royal family, the £2.3bn Abraj Kudai is an entire city of five-star luxury, catering to the increasingly high expectations of well-heeled pilgrims from the Gulf.

Modelled on a “traditional desert fortress”, seemingly filtered through the eyes of a Disneyland imagineer with classical pretensions, the steroidal scheme comprises 12 towers teetering on top of a 10-storey podium, which houses a bus station, shopping mall, food courts, conference centre and a lavishly appointed ballroom.

“The city is turning into Mecca-hattan,” says Irfan Al-Alawi, director of the UK-based Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, which campaigns to try to save what little heritage is left in Saudi Arabia’s holy cities. “Everything has been swept away to make way for the incessant march of luxury hotels, which are destroying the sanctity of the place and pricing normal pilgrims out.”

This very interesting article showed up on The Guardian website on Friday afternoon BST---and it's the second contribution in a row from reader Brad Robertson.

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‘Titanic’ Global Economy May “Collapse” Warn HSBC – Gold Is Lifeboat

The chief economist of the world’s third largest bank, HSBC’s Stephen King, has compared the global economy to the Titanic.

In a note to clients on Wednesday he wrote We may not know what will cause the next downswing but, at this stage, we can categorically state that, in the event we hit an iceberg, there aren’t enough lifeboats to go round.

“The world economy is like an ocean liner without lifeboats.” As we have been warning in recent months, when another recession arrives, governments do not have the ability or the reserves to prop up the economy like they did in 2008.

Global debt has soared by 40 percent since the Great Recession. We now have a staggering $200 trillion of debt globally, or almost three times the size of the global economy. It would be a “truly titanic struggle” for policymakers to right the economy, King said.

This commentary by Mark O'Byrne over at the goldcore.com Internet site on Friday was something I meant to stick in Saturday's column, but completely forgot about---so here it is now.  If you haven't already, it's worth reading.  Here's The Telegraph's spin on this, courtesy of Ambrose Evans-Pritchard.  It's headlined "HSBC fears world recession with no lifeboats left"---and I thank Roy Stephens for finding it for us.

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60 countries invest in Chinese fund to facilitate central bank gold purchases

A gold-sector fund involving countries along the ancient Silk Road has been set up in northwest China's Xi'an City during an ongoing forum on investment and trade this weekend.

The fund, led by the Shanghai Gold Exchange, is expected to raise an estimated 100 billion yuan (U.S. $16.1 billion) in three phases.

China is the world's largest gold producer and a major importer and consumer of gold. Among the 65 countries along the routes of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, there are numerous Asian countries identified as important reserve bases and consumers of gold.

About 60 countries have invested in the fund, which will in turn facilitate gold purchases for the central banks of member states to increase their holdings of the precious metal, according to the SGE.

This gold-related item, filed from Xi'An in China, appeared on the xinhuanet.com Internet site at 6:18 p.m. Beijing time on their Saturday evening.  I found it in a GATA release.  Koos Jansen also has something on this---and it's headlined "Xinhua: China Sets Up Gold Fund For Central Banks".  His comments are a must read.  The Zero Hedge spin on this is entitled "China Establishes World's Largest Physical Gold Fund"---and it's courtesy of reader M.A.

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Australian gold production falls in first quarter of 2015

Australian gold production fell by 7 per cent in the first quarter of this year.

Less than 70 tonnes of the precious metal was pulled from the ground in the first three months of 2015, according to mining consultancy firm Surbiton Associates.

Director Dr. Sandra Close said the low figure was in part due to a number of shutdowns, wet weather and fewer production days from January to March.

"March is usually the lowest quarter of the year anyhow, but overall both the grade and tonnage of ore treated was lower this quarter than for December and there are quite a few reasons for that happening, in fact," she said.

This gold news item was posted on the Australia Broadcasting Corporation website on Sunday "down under"---and I thank South African reader B.V. for digging it up for us.

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1,000 platinum-powered Hyundais in UK this year – Amplats

Fuel cell electric vehicles will allow platinum mining to build its future in a truly sustainable way on the back of zero exhaust emissions and the use of the world’s endless supply of hydrogen as a fuel source, Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) CEO Chris Griffith has told Platinum Week 2015 in London.

Griffith said this against the background of Korean automotive manufacturer Hyundai targeting the production of 1,000 ix35 fuel cell vehicles in the U.K. by the end of this year.

Highlighting the need for continuous industry collaboration with customers and nontraditional partners to develop uses for platinum-group metals (PGMs), Griffith outlined that if fuel cell cars succeeded in dominating the electric vehicle segment in Europe, platinum demand within Europe would rise to 6.6-million ounces in 2050.

Conversely, if battery cars dominated, demand for platinum within Europe would decline to 2.5-million ounces in the same period.

This article, filed from Johannesburg, appeared on the miningweekly.com Internet site yesterday---and it's the second offering in a row from reader B.V.

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Above-ground platinum stocks unlikely to reach zero

Above-ground inventories of platinum are unlikely ever to reach zero, World Platinum Investment Council CEO Paul Wilson predicted.

Sizeable above-ground stocks are often cited as the primary reason for platinum’s failure to react to the current fundamental deficit.

“[But] they certainly don’t need to reach zero for sentiment to change and there could be a change to the price level in the marketplace,” he told delegates at the Bloomberg and CME Precious Metals Forum here on Friday.

Prices are now down 50 percent at $1,150 since the all-time peaks hit in 2008 at $2,300. The metal recently struck its lowest since the post-peak crash during 2008/2009 at $1,080 per ounce.

It's hard to believe that the guy running the World Platinum Investment Council is as ignorant as his brethren in the gold and silver mining industry, but this story proves that he is.  Until the Big 8 traders, led by JPMorgan et al, who are currently short 115 days of world platinum production get out of Dodge, the price of that precious metal is going nowhere as well.  This story, which was posted on the fastmarkets.com website, found a home over at the mineweb.com Internet site yesterday.

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As LME looks east, CME throws down challenge in west: Andy Home

The London Metal Exchange (LME) Asia festivities have just wrapped up in Hong Kong.

It is the third such annual event since the LME was bought by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) in 2012 and each year, it seems, the Asian gathering of the metals industry gets larger.

The grand old London lady of metals trading is all part of Charles Li's vision of positioning Hong Kong as the renminbi gateway between mainland China and international markets. The HKEx chief is confident the LME will help open up a commodities channel to complement the newly-opened Stock-Connect highway.

It's very much still an aspiration but LME Week Asia is where the foundation stones are being laid.

This opinion piece, filed from Singapore, appeared on the Reuters website last Friday---and I found it on the Sharps Pixley website just now.

Read more...

 

¤ The Funnies

This is a male yellow-headed blackbird.  They are widespread in the western half of North America, but not nearly as common as their red-winged cousins, at least not in these parts.  The last photo shows him standing on the road, where he was looking for road-kill insects.  He was so close that I had to back the car up [which I was using as a blind] so I could get him in focus.















Uranium Energy Corp. (NYSE MKT: UEC) is pleased to announce that the final authorization has been granted for production at its Goliad ISR Project in South Texas.  As announced in previous press releases, the Company received all of the required authorizations from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, including an Aquifer Exemption which has now been granted concurrence from EPA Region 6.

Amir Adnani, President and CEO, stated, “We are very pleased to have received this final authorization for initiating production at Goliad. Our geological and engineering teams have worked diligently toward achieving this major milestone and are to be truly commended. We are grateful to the EPA for its thorough reviews and for issuing this final concurrence. The Company’s near-term plan is to complete construction at the first production area at Goliad and to greatly increase the throughput of uranium at our centralized Hobson processing plant.” Please contact Investor Relations with questions or to request additional information, info@uraniumenergy.com.

 

¤ The Wrap

Unlike the situation in gold where there was a record weekly change but nowhere near a record level of total commercial shorts; in silver not only was there a record change for the week, the resultant level of total commercial net shorts was the highest since September of 2010. The total commercial net short position in gold is still way below where it was a few months ago, yet the total commercial net short position [in silver] is higher than it has been in more than four and a half years. My point? This is clear evidence that silver is much more manipulated in price than is gold, or any other commodity.

Eight non-silver producing speculators, euphemistically classified as commercials by the CME and CFTC, hold more than 376 million oz of equivalent silver net short in COMEX futures according to the current COT report, the most in six years. That’s the equivalent of more than 47% of total world mine production according to the CPM Group (790 million oz) and  more than 42% of the 877 million oz reported by GFMS (why there are such disparities in world silver production is beyond me – I don’t trust either organization).

The one key feature which I have long identified as at the core of the silver manipulation - the concentrated short position on the COMEX - has just rocketed to a multi-year record extreme on an anemic silver rally to just over $17 an ounce, a level at which most primary silver miners can’t turn a profit. What kind of madness is this? - Silver analyst Ted Butler: 23 May 2015

It was a nothing sort of day in the precious metals yesterday.  But, having said that, one has to wonder who the traders were in gold and silver that showed up to play at 9 a.m. EDT when New York was supposedly shut.  And as I also mentioned, there appeared to be an entity riding shotgun over them, as the tiny rallies in both metals weren't allowed to get far.

And as the Zero Hedge story in the Critical Reads section headlined "Did Someone Forget to Tell the Machines the U.S. is Shut Today?" pointed out, you have to wonder what machines are really running the show in the S&P futures market as well.  Based on that, it's not much of a stretch to think that JPMorgan et al are on top of the precious metal markets 24/7--- U.S and U.K. holidays notwithstanding.

So here we sit, looking at the ugliest Commitment of Traders Report in a very long time---and just waiting for the hammer to fall.  When that will happen is unknown, but unless JPMorgan et al get overrun, fall it will.

And as I write this paragraph, the London open is about ten minutes away---and I see that the 'salami slicing' has begun in all four precious metals, starting shortly after 2 p.m. Hong Kong time.  Gold came within a dollar of taking out its 50-day moving average to the downside---and silver is now about 30 cents away from its.  JPMorgan et al took out platinum's 50-day moving average with ease.

Gross volume in gold is at 55,000 contracts, with 17,000 of that being roll-overs out of the June contract, with most of that activity now in the new front month, which is August.  Silver's net volume is also enormous at just a hair over 11,500 contracts.  Not surprisingly, this is all being hidden behind what has all the hallmarks of a short-covering rally in the U.S. dollar index, which is currently up 53 basis points.  Like the engineered price declines in the precious metals going on at the moment, it's pretty much a given that this short-covering rally in the U.S. dollar index had some help getting started---and "da boyz" are cleaning up there as well.  The dollar rally began almost the moment that trading began in the Far East on their Tuesday morning.

Of course the technical funds in the Managed Money category are now in the process of selling their newly-acquired long positions---and probably going short as well.  The commercials are taking the other side of the trade and ringing the cash register in the process.  What a scam JPMorgan et al have going for themselves.  I wonder what percentage of the profits are ending in the pockets of persons at the CME Group and the CFTC as their 'cut'.

As I mentioned in the first section of today's column, it's going to be a busy three days in the COMEX futures market in gold in particular, as all the traders, both big and small not standing for June delivery, have to be sell or roll by the close of COMEX trading on Thursday---no "ifs, ands or buts" about it.

And as I fire today's missive out the door at 5:25 a.m. EDT, I note that gold, silver and platinum have all hit new lows for this move down once again now that London has been open for a couple of hours.  Gold's 50-day moving average has now been taken out by a bit---and the silver price is lower still.  "Da Boyz" are putting the lumber to the platinum price as well.  Here's the silver chart as of 5:37 a.m. EDT.

Net gold volume is now 51,000 contracts---and silver's net volume is just north of 15,500 contracts.  The dollar index is now back above the 97.00 mark---and up 69 basis points from Monday's close.

One thing I should point out is that the net volumes shown above includes Monday's net volumes, so you have to subtract out 20,800 contracts in gold---and 6,000 net contracts in silver to get a true picture of Tuesday's trading volume so far.  Once you do that, the volume for Tuesday isn't overly heavy.  I expect that will change once trading begins on the COMEX at 8:20 a.m. EDT.

Well, the final three days before First Notice Day are turning out to be pretty wild right out of the gate.  Today, at the close of COMEX trading in New York, is also the cut-off for this Friday's COT Report---and it will be interesting to see how much of Tuesday's [and Monday's] volume data actually makes it into that report.

I must admit that the slices out of the precious metal salamis so far today are much bigger than I was expecting, so maybe the powers-that-be are in somewhat of a rush for reasons that we don't know about.  Time will tell.

With all the insanity out there as far as the eye can see, I was reminded of how bad things really are by the quote below that has graced this column before.  I found it embedded in an e-mail that I received from reader Jim Akers yesterday.

"When you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors; when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you…you may know that your society is doomed." - Ayn Rand

That pretty much sums up where we are in the world today.

Based on the current price 'action'---absolutely nothing will shock me when I check the charts later this morning.

See you tomorrow.

Ed Steer