It should come as no surprise that all four precious metals got sold off the moment that the Globex trading system opened for business in New York at 6:00 p.m. Eastern on Sunday night...with the biggest declines coming in both gold and silver.
The only surprise, at least to me, was that JPMorgan et al didn't press their advantage even more in the thinly-traded Far East market on their Monday.
From that smallish drop, the gold price traded sideways until around lunchtime in Hong Kong...and the developed a bit of a positive bias from there. That all ended shortly before the Comex open at 8:20 a.m. in New York...and gold 'fell' in three steps down to its low tick of the day, which was $1,727.50 spot, which came at precisely 10:30 a.m. Eastern.
From there gold rallied a bit until about 12:40 p.m. in New York...and then traded pretty much ruler flat into the 5:15 p.m. Comex close.
The gold price finished at $1,737.40 spot...down $16.90 on the day. Not surprisingly, the volume was a pretty decent 189,000 contracts...as sell stops got hit, and some technical fund/small trader longs were forced to dump their positions...while "da boyz" rang the cash register one more time.
The silver chart was pretty much a carbon copy of the gold chart, so I shan't dwell on it further.
And, like gold, the low price tick came at precisely 10:30 a.m. in New York...and that was $32.46 spot. Silver had an intraday move of a bit over a dollar.
Silver closed at $32.70 spot...down 78 cents on the day. Volume was pretty decent...but not overly high at around 42,500 contracts...and I found that somewhat surprising, as I was expecting much bigger volume than that considering the price move.
The dollar index began to rally at the same time as the gold and silver prices headed south on Sunday night...but the declines in the precious metals were done long before the dollar index hit its zenith in the Far East. The high tick was around 79.96...and the index held in there until shortly after 2:00 p.m. Hong Kong time...which was about an hour before the 8:00 a.m. BST London open.
From that point, the dollar index rolled over...and by around 7:10 a.m. Eastern, hit its nadir...around 79.62...a drop of 34 basis points from its high. From that low, the index rallied to its New York high of 79.82...and that event occurred at 10:30 a.m. precisely, which was the precise low for gold and silver as well. That's just too cute for words, isn't it? Then the dollar index sold off a bit into the close and finished the trading day at 79.76...up the magnificent sum of 7 basis points from Friday's close.
The dollar rally at the Sunday night open looked like an engineered afterthought, as the PMs were at their lows long before the index topped out. You will carefully note that the 30 plus basis point decline in the index during London trading had zero impact on the gold price...but the 20 basis point rally between 7:10 and 10:30 a.m. in New York, carved over twenty bucks off the gold price and 70 cents off the silver price. Hmmmm.....
Even though the gold stocks opened lower, they attempted to rally almost immediately, before getting sold down to their 10:20 a.m. New York low. From there, they rallied in fits and starts for the rest of the New York trading session...but rallied strongly in the last hour to finish only a hair lower on the day, as the HUI was only down 0.22%. I was impressed.
Despite the pounding that silver took, the stocks that mattered put in a surprisingly strong performance, although some the junior producers took a hit. Nick Laird's Silver Sentiment Index actually closed up 0.10%!!! As you can imagine, that was a surprise as well.
(Click on image to enlarge)
The CME's Daily Delivery Report showed that 37 gold and only 2 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday. For the most part, it was all the 'usual suspects' that were the issuers and stoppers.
Both GLD and SLV showed withdrawals yesterday. GLD declined by 213,228 troy ounces...and SLV declined by 290,558 troy ounces.
There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint.
Friday was another active day over at the Comex-approved depositories, as 342,399 troy ounces of silver were received...and 693,477 ounces were shipped out. All of the received silver went into JPMorgan's depository once again. They now hold 24,154,328 troy ounces of the stuff. The link to Friday's activity is here.
Australian reader Wesley Legrand asked me to mention The Gold Symposium 2012 that's being held on Monday and Tuesday of next week [22 October and 23 October] in Sydney, Australia. For any readers living in the area...or prepared to make the trip "down under", it would be more than worth your while if you could find the time to attend...and you can find out everything about this conference by clicking here.
Here's the 6-month dollar chart. I've been watching the dollar index carefully during its attempted 'rally' above the 80.00 mark...and as you can see from the chart, it has never been able to close above that level, including the attempt in Far East trading yesterday. It appears, at least at the moment, that this attempt will fail, unless there is some sort of 'divine intervention'. by "da boyz". You will also note that the 50-day moving average has finally dropped below the 200-day moving average.
I will be watching developments with great interest.
Being a Tuesday column, I have a lot of reading material for you today...and the final edit will be up to you.
"Concern about politics and the processes of international co-operation is warranted but the best one can hope for from politics in any country is that it will drive rational responses to serious problems. If there is no consensus on the causes or solutions to serious problems, it is unreasonable to ask a political system to implement forceful actions in a sustained way. Unfortunately, this is to an important extent the case with respect to current economic difficulties, especially in the industrial world.
I think we can draw a rough parallel between a black hole and our current global economic situation. (For physicists this will be a very rough parallel indeed, but work with me, please.) An economic bubble of any type, but especially a debt bubble, can be thought of as an incipient black hole. When the bubble collapses in upon itself, it creates its own black hole with an event horizon beyond which all traditional economic modeling breaks down. Any economic theory that does not attempt to transcend the event horizon associated with excessive debt will be incapable of offering a viable solution to an economic crisis. Even worse, it is likely that any proposed solution will make the crisis more severe.
This very long commentary by John was posted on the businessinsider.com Internet site late yesterday evening...and I thank Roy Stephens for his first offering in today's column. The link is here.
Whether you like it or not, the Obama and Romney campaigns have been using cookies and data miners to track what you're up to on the web. You know when those phone jockeys from Obama for America or Romney for President catch you at home working on your fantasy football team? Chances are they probably know all about your fantasy football habits and your voting record and your friends and your porn habits. This is the hyper-connected 21st-century, after all. Even your political machine can be personalized.
Of course, both campaigns swear that they're respecting people's privacy. "You don't want your analytical efforts to be obvious because voters get creeped out," a Romney campaign official told The Times. "A lot of what we're doing is behind the scenes."
This story showed up on The Atlantic Wire on Sunday...and was picked up by the news.yahoo.com website...and I thank Alberta reader Jerome Cherry for sending it along. The link is here.
How does a private-equity kingpin worth at least $250 million pay a lower tax rate – just 14 percent – than many teachers and firemen? By exploiting tax loopholes that favor the rich and hiding his money in the world's most notorious havens for tax cheats. That's what Mitt Romney has done, according to his 2010 and 2011 tax returns, a trove of secret Bain Capital documents unearthed by Gawker, and exposés by Bloomberg and Vanity Fair. "The bottom line," says Rebecca Wilkins, senior counsel at Citizens for Tax Justice, "is that these are ways to reduce your taxes that are only available to rich people."
Are Romney's tax dodges legal? It's impossible to say for sure, given how little he has disclosed. But tax experts note that there are plenty of red flags, including an investigation by New York prosecutors into tax abuses at Bain Capital that began on Romney's watch. "He aggressively exploits every loophole he can find," says Victor Fleischer, a professor of tax law at the University of Colorado. "He's pushing the limits of tax law beyond what many think is reasonable." Indeed, a look at Romney's finances reveals just how skilled he is at hiding his wealth – and paying a fraction of his fair share in taxes.
This longish Rolling Stone magazine piece was posted on their website last Friday...and I thank Australian reader Wesley Legrand for bringing it to our attention. The link is here.
The U.S. has the world’s highest incarceration rate, with Department of Justice data showing more than 2.2 million people are behind bars, equal to a city the size of Houston.
The Chart of the Day shows that, with a rate of 730 people per 100,000, the U.S. jails a higher proportion of its citizens than any other country, according to data from the International Centre for Prison Studies, an independent research center associated with England’s University of Essex.
This Bloomberg story was posted on their Internet site early on Monday morning Mountain Time...and I thank Washington state reader S.A. for finding it. The chart is worth the trip even if you don't bother reading the article...and the link is here.
It’s been a month since what were then described as “riots” in Benghazi escalated — so the story went — into a full-scale armed attack, and resulted in the murder of the American ambassador, Chris Stevens, and three others.
At the time, almost all the talk and outrage was about a wretched video, the odd and amateur Innocence of Muslims, made by some crackpot in California. For days, the air was thick with remorse and apology over the Islamophobic film. The death of an ambassador, the storming of the consulate, the actual attack itself, got drowned in the fever of denunciation about a 14-minute film.
Innocence of Muslims, in the view of everyone from Barack Obama, to Hillary Clinton, to Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN, was one of the most contemptible and vile sets of moving images ever to convey images and sound.
And yet, here in the West, mocking the fervour of religious “believers” (Christians, especially) is almost an official sport in entertainment and artistic circles — from Saturday Night Live to shows that are actually funny. And so the outrage and unction of Hillary and Obama on this file simply didn’t ring true.
Canada's premier political commentator weighs in on this debacle...and he's one man in this country that I would not care to argue with. Sharp as a tack...and with a photographic memory to boot. His commentary found a home on the nationalpost.com website on Saturday...and is worth the read. The link is here.
Tom Naratil, chief financial officer of UBS AG, said the Swiss bank fired as many as 550 employees after it suffered a $2.3 billion loss from unauthorized trading last year.
The bank’s share price fell more than 10 percent on Sept. 15, 2011, the day the loss was announced, and employee morale suffered, Naratil testified yesterday at the London trial of Kweku Adoboli, the trader accused of causing the loss.
“We did have layoffs that continued in the period following the unauthorized trading incident,” Naratil said via video link from New York, with most of the cuts coming in November and December. Naratil is the most-senior UBS official to give evidence in the case so far.
This Bloomberg story was posted on their website late yesterday afternoon Mountain Daylight Time...and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for bringing it to our attention. The link is here.
Portugal's centre-right government presented its 2013 budget on Monday, which outlined the harshest measures yet under Lisbon's €78bn (£62.9bn) bailout.
The budget will face immediate opposition from angry Portuguese, who plan to march on parliament to demand the resignation of the government and an end to austerity, which has sent Portugal into its worst recession since the 1970s.
The 2013 budget is set to introduce sharp income tax hikes, which could amount to up to two or three months' wages for middle income workers, to ensure the country meets its budget goals under the bailout. Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar has described the planned tax increases as "enormous".
Economists fear the tough measures, which will also include pension cuts, a financial transaction tax and higher property taxes, could push Portugal into a recessive spiral like Greece, further undermining Europe's German-inspired austerity drive for the euro's highly-indebted countries.
This story was posted on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site early yesterday morning BST...and I thank Roy Stephens for his second offering in today's column. The link is here.
Spain could ask for financial aid from the euro zone next month and if it does the request would likely be dealt with alongside a revised loan programme for Greece and a bailout for Cyprus in one big package, eurozone officials said.
Spain replaced Greece, Ireland and Portugal as the main focus in the euro zone debt crisis earlier this year after its crippled banks, highly-indebted regions, a second recession in three years and soaring debt unnerved investors.
Since then, the country's borrowing costs have reached levels deemed unsustainable in the long run, raising the prospect of a second aid programme for Madrid following the €100bn lifeline it obtained for its banks in June.
"We're moving, we're taking steps, we're preparing it, things will crystallise in November," said a senior official who is directly involved in talks about a potential Spanish aid.
This Reuters piece was posted on The Telegraph's Internet site at 8:30 a.m. BST yesterday morning while North America slept. It's Roy's second offering in a row...and the link is here.
After weeks of saying that no decisions about Greece's future would be made until after the release of the next troika report, German Chancellor Wolfgang Schäuble broke his silence on Sunday and said that Athens would remain a member of the euro zone.
Answering a question about Greece during a speech in Singapore, Schäuble said, "I think there will be no government bankruptcy in Greece." He added that Athens could remain part of the common currency if it continued to fulfill the conditions set by its public creditors and monitored by the troika, which is comprised of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.
The statement comes in the middle of an apparent split within the troika over the contents of its upcoming report. Originally, the international creditors had reached an agreement with Athens that the country must reduce its deficit to 120 percent of gross domestic product by 2020. Adherence to this agreement had been a precondition for the disbursement of the next €31.5 billion ($40.83 billion) tranche of credit to Athens. Given the current negative economic developments in the country, the troika has concluded in its internal calculations that Greece can no longer meet that target.
This spiegel.de story from yesterday is Roy Stephens' third story in a row...and the link is here.
The International Monetary Fund has demolished the intellectual foundations of Europe's debt crisis strategy.
Drastic fiscal tightening in a string of interlinked countries does two to three times more damage than assumed, especially if there is no offsetting monetary stimulus.
Pushed beyond the therapeutic dose, it is self-defeating. At a certain point it becomes pain for pain's sake.
The error has long been obvious in Greece. The EU-IMF Troika originally said the economy would rebound quickly, growing 1.1pc in 2011, and 2.1pc in 2012, and on from there to sunlit uplands.
In fact, Greek GDP contracted by 4.5pc in 2010, 6.9pc in 2011, and is expected to shrink a further 6pc this year, and 4pc next year. If the Troika were a doctor, it would face manslaughter charges.
This AE-S blog was posted on The Telegraph's website late on Sunday afternoon BST...and I consider it to be a must read. I thank Manitoba reader Ulrike Marx for her first offering in today's column...and the link is here.
Leading off today's 7-car parade is this blog with Michael Pento....and it's headlined "What to Expect Next With Gold & Silver Under Pressure". Next is Jean-Marie Eveillard. It's entitled "Here is What to Focus on in the Gold Market Right Now". In third place is a report by Martin Mesicek of Gold Source...the largest bullion dealer in Norway. It's headlined "Riots & Money Fleeing the Euro into Gold & Silver". The next blog is with Dan Norcini...and it's entitled "More Stunning Developments in the Gold & Silver Markets". The last blog is with Citi analyst Tom Fitzpatrick...and it bears the title "Here is What to Look For Next on Gold, Silver & Oil". The two audio interviews are with Art Cashin here...and Bill Fleckenstein here.
Ben Bernanke's move in early July to begin a third round of quantitative easing, or so-called QE3, has done little for economic growth, according to latest figures, but it has benefited gold, silver, and oil trading by cheapening the dollar, analysts say.
"The dollar is selling off compared to gold because of the market's belief that the recent round of QE3 is going to cause a weaker dollar with investors bidding up gold prices," Mark Martiak, senior wealth strategist at New York-based Premier Financial Advisors, told The Post.
And it's not just gold. Since the Fed chief announced the latest round, unleashing $40 billion a month to purchase mortgage bonds, the greenback has depreciated 10 percent against the euro.
This story showed up in the New York Post on Sunday...and I pulled it out of a GATA release on the same day. The link is here.
Gold is not cheap, compared to the $200-per-ounce range of a decade ago. No argument. However, as our hockey-playing friends like to say, you don't skate to where the puck was, you skate to where the puck will be.
In financial terms, the causes for the rise of the precious metals continue unabated - if not accelerating and indicating higher prices in the future. BIG GOLD's Jeff Clark throws caution to the wind and makes a price prediction in the article below.
History is never linear for long, but I think Jeff's projection is quite reasonable.
CR's senior metals investment strategist Louis James wrote the above introduction to BIG GOLD editor Jeff Clark's Monday edition of Casey Daily Dispatch. It's a must read of course...and the link is here.
South Africa’s three top gold producers will now negotiate individually with unions after negotiations at the Chamber of Mines (CoM) reached an impasse on Monday.
CoM employment relations senior executive Dr Elize Strydom said AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields and Harmony would now negotiate and develop their own tailor-made solutions to bring an end to the unprotected industrial action, which has spread to another Gold Fields mine on Sunday.
Gold Fields has reported that another 8,500 of its workers had gone on strike at its KDC East operation, bringing the total number of Gold Fields striking workers to 19,500.
This story was filed from Johannesburg on Monday...and was posted on the miningweekly.com Internet site...and I thank Ulrike Marx for passing it along to us. The link is here.
Chris was interview on Saturday on the "Your Wealth Preservation" program on KKNT-AM960 in Phoenix, Arizona. It has been posted on their Internet site...and the program begins about ten minutes into the archived material. The link is here. It's an mp3 file...and I'm not sure how long it runs.
Apprehending a spurt in gold smuggling ahead of the festive season, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has put bullion traders across the country under its scanner and alerted its field formations to scan all their major dealings of the yellow metal.
Both land and air customs officers are minutely scanning consignments originating from Middle East and South East Asian countries to check smuggling of gold.
"There may be a rise in smuggling of gold ahead of the festive season. We have alerted all field officers to double check suspected consignments or dealings by bullion traders. Customs Overseas Intelligence Network officers posted outside the country have also been told to keep a hawk eye on consignments originating there for India," a DRI official said.
This very interesting read was filed from New Delhi...and posted on the economictimes.com Internet site at 12:25 p.m. India Standard Time on Sunday, October 14th. I thank Mumbai reader Avinash Raheja for sending it along...and the link is here.
Silver has been outperforming gold but with greater volatility. In India, the country's largest commodity bourse, Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX) which launched a 1 kilo Silver futures contract at the start of October, has witnessed a bull run.
Officials say retail investors have shown high interest in the new offering as it enables them to take delivery of 1 kilo silver bar at lower margins, as compared to the earlier 30 kilo bars. Though the exact number of investors who have opted for the new contract was not immediately available, MCX officials said the timing of the new offering was ripe.
"We have the Navratri festival starting tomorrow, and given the beginning of the holy, pious period, many more investors are expected to get into silver futures and also buy silver coins to mark the occasion," said Manikbhai Godhadia, bullion retailer.
This mineweb.com story was filed from Mumbai on Monday...and I thank Ulrike Marx for finding it for us. The link is here.
Though the central bank is yet to find a way to mobilize the massive volume of gold held by private individuals in the country to serve economic needs, it has banned banks from accepting gold deposits with effect from late November.
Nguyen The Hung, general director of the Vietnam Gold Investment and Trading Corporation, said that according to Swiss banks, the main source of gold imports for Vietnam, the country bought some 500 tons of gold between 1990 and 2011.
Privately held gold is estimated at some 400 tons valued at US$22 billion, or equal to the country’s foreign currency reserves, he said.
This story was posted on the thanhniennews.com Internet site last Friday...and is worth skimming. I thank Ulrike Marx for her fourth and final offering in today's column...and the link is here.
The Perth Mint of Australia has announced their latest sales figures for gold and silver sold as coins and minted products. During September 2012, sales for both metals surged to their highest levels since the start of monthly reporting. The higher sales were undoubtedly driven by the release of the new designs for popular series of gold and silver bullion coins.
Sales of silver coins and minted products rose to 1,251,580.06 troy ounces, up 269% from the prior month and more than doubling the previous highest reported monthly amount from March.
The sales for gold coins and minted products rose to 81,095.13 troy ounces, representing an increase of 118% from the prior month. This eclipsed the previous highest monthly reported amount from June.
Year ago comparisons are not available, since the Perth Mint only began reporting monthly sales levels in March of 2012.
This story was posted on the coinupdate.com website yesterday...and I thank Elliot Simon for his last story in today's column. The link is here.
The long-term bull market in the prices for industrial commodities has paused in the middle of this year, but this correction seems to be coming to an end. The banks' lending rates have been hammered to the floor and the inspectors are being told to ease off on forcing asset liquidations. The last people to understand this, it seems, were the attendees at Basel bank regulatory meetings, but even they are getting the picture: It's time to get that velocity of money circulation moving again.
That means that a hyperbolic, 1979-1980 style blow off in the gold market is becoming much more likely. From the time of the gold price low in the autumn of 1999, the demand for gold has been supported by a gradual shift from net central bank selling to net central bank buying, and from the interest of more or less professional investors. The broader public has not really been drawn into any gold mania, as it was in the late 1970s.
An interesting signal of this acceleration of the long-term rise in the price of gold has been the recent outperformance of gold shares relative to the metal. Up to now gold shares have tended to disappoint, but since the spring, the price of gold shares has been going up much faster than the price of the metal. In the third quarter, for example, the dollar price of gold rose by 10.9 per cent while the broad XAU index increased by 21.7 per cent.
Well, dear reader, for those of you who have never heard of John Dizard, he's the British equivalent of Kitco's Jon Nadler. A more anti-gold creature you are not likely to find anywhere and, like Nadler, bashes precious metals at every opportunity. He, too, is strong with the dark side of The Force. So when he writes in the Sunday edition of the Financial Times of London that it's time to buy the ancient metal of kings, you can pretty much bet the ranch on the fact that gold's day in the sun is fast approaching. This is an absolute must read...and it's posted in the clear in this GATA release. The link is here.
A battle for survival…
The New Cold War
The combatants are fighting over the very lifeblood of their economies. Whoever wins will be have massive advantages over the rest of the world, while the loser will suffer a steep drop in living standards. And those who take action now can position themselves for incredible gains… no matter who wins.
In times of great change, learners will inherit the earth, while the learned will be beautifully equipped for a world that no longer exists. - Eric Hoffner
Despite yesterday's tiny sell off in both metals, the grotesque and outrageous short positions in silver [and probably gold] that are owned by JPMorgan Chase, the Bank of Nova Scotia...and HSBC USA, haven't changed much because of it. It would take a sell-off well below gold and silver's respective 200-day moving averages to accomplish that feat...and I'm not sure if that is in the cards at the moment.
And even if JPMorgan et al can engineer it, I'm on record as saying that the bottom will be a spike low...and I'll be surprised if anyone will be able to trade it, as it will be that quick. But only time will tell.
I was particularly encouraged by the strong performance of the gold stocks going into yesterday's close. The silver equities did even better. The failure of the dollar index to break above 80.00 on numerous tries is also encouraging.
But never forget for one moment that the short positions held by market-making members of the LBMA are the 800 pound gorillas in the living room. Despite the fact that South Africa's gold production has taken a header, it certainly hasn't shown up in the gold price. That, along with the dollar, mean nothing if JPMorgan et al are going short against all comers or are working over the markets with their high-frequency trading tactics.
And as has been stated by GATA and others, this is probably a U.S. government-backed operation...and is the big reason that the CFTC can't, and won't, move against the "da boyz" no matter how overwhelming the evidence.
And there's enough evidence contained in the Commitment of Traders Report, the Bank Participation Report...and the quarterly OCC Report on Derivatives to lock up the top managements and boards of directors of all these companies [and the CME Group] for the rest of their natural lives. When the regulators won't move against the collusive behavior of these traders, no matter what their own reports show, you know that the system is corrupt to its core...and no one at the top gives a damn, because they will never have to pay for their sins. This is a case of absolute power corrupting absolutely.
But I'm still "all in".
In overnight trading, gold and silver prices were comatose up until 2:00 p.m. Hong Kong time...an hour before the London open. Since then, both metals have tacked on some gains, but have partially reversed course the moment that London began to trade. The dollar is down about 25 basis points as of 5:10 a.m. Eastern time...and volumes are nothing out of the ordinary.
But it's always what happens in Comex trading that matters...and I'll look forward to that when I switch my computer on later this morning.
Before heading out the door today, I have a "HELP WANTED" ad to place...and it reads as follows...
Our friends at Hard Assets Alliance are looking for someone to join their growing customer support staff. Candidate must be familiar with precious metals and have a sincere interest in assisting customers with their account set up and purchases. The position requires contacting potential customers to offer assistance and answer questions. No heavy selling!
If you are comfortable using an online purchasing website and would enjoy helping precious metals investors reach their goals, please send a note and your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you on Wednesday.