Gold & Silver Daily
"Any significant rally will be met by the usual phalanx of not-for-profit sellers"

¤ Yesterday In Gold & Silver

The gold price didn't do much in Far East trading session on their Tuesday.  It began to rally starting around 8:30 a.m. BST in London---and that happy state of affairs lasted until 1:00 p.m. BST.  The rally got capped at that point---and JPMorgan et al finished the job twenty minutes later when the COMEX opened.  The New York low came at the London p.m. gold fix---and it rallied from there until around 12:45 p.m.---and that was it for the day.

The gold price traded within a ten dollar range yesterday, so I shall dispense with the high and low ticks, although gold managed to close back above the $1,200 spot mark, but only by a buck or so.

The gold price ended the Tuesday session at $1,201.80 spot, up an even 6 dollars from Monday's close.  Net volume was pretty light at only 97,000 contracts---and well over 90 percent of it was in the current front month, so it was mostly the HFT boyz keeping the price in check.

It was almost the same chart pattern in silver---and you don't need me, or anyone else offering you analysis, as you've seen it all before.

The high and low ticks were reported by the CME Group as $16.165 and $15.86 in the May contract.

Silver finished the day at $15.98 spot, up 4 cents from Monday's close.  Gross volume was huge, but it netted out to only 25,000 contracts, as the roll-overs out of the May contract are well under way.

If you've seen that platinum chart before, it's because it's almost a carbon copy of the gold and silver charts posted above.  Platinum closed at $1,148 spot, up two bucks on the day.

The palladium chart was a mere shadow of the platinum chart---and that white metal was closed at $766 spot, down five dollars from Monday.

The dollar index closed late on Monday afternoon in New York at 97.90---and didn't do much until shortly after 1 p.m. Hong Kong time.  Then away it went to the upside, topping out at 98.45 at 8:30 a.m. in London trading.  It was mostly down hill from there into the 97.67 low that came about 12:15 p.m. EDT in New York.  From that point it rallied up to the 98.00 mark shortly after 2 p.m.---and traded a hair under it for the remainder of the Tuesday session.  The dollar index closed at 97.99---up 9 basis points from Monday's close.

The gold stocks opened unchanged---and hit their lows of the day about two minutes after that.  From that point they chopped higher until they topped out just before 1 p.m. EDT, which was the end of the rally in New York.  From there they gave back some of their gains going into the close.  The HUI finished up 0.88 percent, which is certainly better than the alternative.

I wish I could say nice things about the silver equities, but can't---as they remained firmly underwater all day long.  And even though silver closed in positive territory, the equities finished lower, as Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 1.02 percent.

On Monday, silver closed down 28.5 cents, but their corresponding equities closed up on the day.  Go figure.

Here's Nick Laird's long-term Silver 7 Index---and as you can see, we're barely off last November's low---and it would take a 300 percent increase in this index to get us back to where we were on the Friday before the JPMorgan-sponsored drive-by shooting on May 1, 2011.

You'd think that the silver miners would show some interest in what happened to the price way back then---and even now.  But, as you already know dear reader, you would be wrong about that.  Only First Majestic Silver has raised a finger or two---but that's as far as they've gone.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 54 gold and 150 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Thursday.  HSBC USA was the biggest short/issuer in gold with 52 contracts.  Canada's Scotiabank stopped 28 of them---and JPMorgan stopped 26 in its in-house [proprietary] trading account.  HSBC USA was the only short/issuer in silver---and Canada's Scotiabank stopped 144 of them.  The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Tuesday trading session showed that gold open interest, not surprisingly, dropped by a further 661 contracts---and is now down to 525 contracts still open in the April delivery month, minus the 54 contracts posted above, of course.  In silver, April o.i. increased by one contract to 173, but from that amount, the 150 contracts posted for delivery tomorrow must be netted out---and that will be reflected in tomorrow's preliminary report.

There was another very decent deposit in GLD yesterday, as an authorized participant added 105,534 troy ounces.  And as of 9:44 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.

There was also a decent sales report from the U.S. Mint as well.  They sold 3,000 troy ounces of gold eagles---1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes---and another 482,000 silver eagles.

It was a pretty busy day in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on Monday, as they reported receiving 31,982 troy ounces---and shipped out a chunky 118,024 troy ounces.  The big receipt was at HSBC USA---and the big withdrawal was from Canada's Scotiabank.  The link to that activity is here.

In silver, nothing was reported received---and 468,850 troy ounces were shipped out.  Most of the out activity was at Brink's, Inc.---and the rest was from Canada's Scotiabank.  The link to that action is here.

Over at the COMEX-approved depositories in Hong Kong they continued to add to their gold kilobar stocks at a frantic pace.  At the Brink's Inc. depository on Monday they added 3,699 kilobars---and shipped out only 375 kilobars.  This depository has only been open about a month---and they're already at 19,579 kilobars, or 1.27 million troy ounces.  The link to Monday's activity in troy ounces is here.

Here's a newly-minted chart courtesy of Nick last night that he was kind enough to churn out on a moments notice at my request---and it shows the activity at the Brink's Hong Kong depository since it's inception last month.

Here's a chart the Dan Lazicki "borrowed" from the Internet site---and it speaks volumes about the value of paper/plastic money vs. physical gold bullion.  It shows how many grams, or fractions of grams, a single U.S. dollar bill would purchase from January 1, 1968---up until January 1, 1980.  At its maximum in 1970, a greenback would have bought about 0.90 grams.  In 1980 it was down to 0.06 grams per dollar.  In 2015 dollars, it would be a tiny fraction of 0.06 grams.

I got an e-mail from Joshua Gibbons yesterday evening---and as you know, he's been on Kitco's case about their pool accounts---and he has updated his website in that regard---and it's definitely worth reading.  The link is here.

I don't have a lot of stories for you today---and I hope it stays that way as the evening progresses.


¤ Critical Reads

Fed still wants easy money and any rate increases will be trivial

Janet Yellen wants you to know that while the era of zero rates may be drawing to a close, money will stay cheap for a long time to come.

The Federal Reserve chair and her colleagues have stressed in recent speeches that monetary policy will remain unusually easy after they begin to tighten this year for the first time in almost a decade. They are telling investors that the pace of increases is more important than the liftoff date.

"This should be the slowest tightening cycle since the funds rate became the policy instrument of choice" in 1982, said Roberto Perli, a former Fed official who is now a partner at Cornerstone Macro LLC in Washington.

Policy makers have ruled out an increase at the next meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, April 28-29. New York Fed President William C. Dudley stressed on Monday that once they start to lift rates above zero, "we will simply be moving from an extremely accommodative monetary policy to one that is only slightly less so."

This Bloomberg news item appeared on their Internet site at 10:00 p.m. Denver time on Monday evening---and I found it embedded in a GATA release.


Fed's Bill Dudley is alert to global liquidity storm, yet signals 3.5pc rates

The U.S. Federal Reserve will do its best to avert a bloodbath for emerging markets as it prepares to raise interest rates for the first time in eight years, but warned that it cannot let inflationary pressures take hold in the U.S. itself.

Bill Dudley, head of the powerful New York Fed, acknowledged that the institution has a special duty of care for the whole world, vowing to act with caution to soften a potentially brutal squeeze for borrowers holding record levels of dollar debt outside the U.S.

"The normalisation of U.S. monetary policy could create significant challenges for those emerging market economies that have been the recipients of large capital inflows in recent years," he said.

"We at the Fed take the potential international implications of our policies seriously. In part, this is out of simple self-interest, since the international effects of Fed policies can spill back onto the U.S. economy and financial markets. In part, too, it reflects a sense of special responsibility we have given the dollar’s role as the international reserve currency."

This commentary by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard appeared on the Internet site at 7:37 p.m. BST on Monday evening, which was 2:37 p.m. EDT in Washington---and it's the first contribution of the day from Roy Stephens.


Chatty Former Chairs Turn Up Fed Policy Noise

Paul Volcker is the latest former Federal Reserve chairman to chime in on central bank policy.

Mr. Volcker on Monday lamented the Fed’s large balance sheet, which grew rapidly after the 2008 financial crisis when Ben Bernanke was chairman and Janet Yellen was vice chairwoman. The Fed’s portfolio of assets grew to around $4.5 trillion from less than $1 trillion in recent years through three rounds of bond-buying aimed at spurring stronger economic growth.

“The Federal Reserve should not be so dominant in the markets,” Mr. Volcker told The Wall Street Journal after a press conference detailing his recommendations for financial regulatory reform.

His comments come less than a week after Mr. Bernanke suggested in his blog that the Fed should consider maintaining a large balance sheet. “I wonder if the case for keeping the balance sheet somewhat larger than before the crisis has been adequately explored,” he said.

This worthwhile commentary put in an appearance on the Internet site on Monday afternoon EDT---and I found it yesterday's edition of the King Report.


Harley Davidson's new warning resonates with a lot of America's biggest companies

When iconic motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson Inc warned on Tuesday that discounting from foreign rivals would dent its profits, the message resonated beyond the motorcycle business.

From cars to construction equipment, the impact of the strong dollar is a big problem for U.S. companies selling overseas. But the U.S. dollar's recent surge to multi-year highs against major currencies, such as the euro and yen, has also become a challenge to their efforts to protect market share on home turf.

Harley's U.S. market share slipped nearly five percentage points in the first quarter to 51.3 percent as competitors offered discounts of up to $3,000 per bike and slashed suggested retail prices by up to 25 percent.

Honda Motor Co Ltd and Suzuki Motor Corp both currently offer $1,000 cash back on selected models.

This Reuters new item, filed from Chicago, appeared on the Internet site at 6:57 p.m. CDT yesterday evening---and I thank Roy Stephens for sliding it into my in-box just before 2 a.m. EDT this morning.


Is Berkshire Hathaway ‘too big to fail?’

U.K. regulators want Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway classified as ‘too big to fail.’ FOX Business Contributor Bob Rice breaks down what this means for the reinsurance business and your bottom line.

This 3:32 minute CNBC video interview is well worth your time---and it's the second offering of the day from Dan Lazicki.


Oil Drops After API Inventories Show Builds Accelerating Again

After last week's smaller than expected API and DOE inventories data (which was merely average when considering the massive build from the prior week), it appears the machines have realized that everything is not awesome again in the crude complex. For the 15th week in a row, inventories rose - this time by more than expected at 5.5mm bbl (against a 2.5mm bbl expectation). Crude prices are slipping lower.

This tiny Zero Hedge article appeared on their website at 4:38 p.m. EDT yesterday---and the three embedded charts are worth the trip.  I thank Dan Lazicki for this story as well.


CFTC Charges U.K. Resident Navinder Singh Sarao and His Company Nav Sarao Futures Limited PLC with Price Manipulation and Spoofing

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today announced the unsealing of a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against Nav Sarao Futures Limited PLC (Sarao Futures) and Navinder Singh Sarao (Sarao) (collectively, Defendants).  The CFTC Complaint charges the Defendants with unlawfully manipulating, attempting to manipulate, and spoofing — all with regard to the E-mini S&P 500 near month futures contract (E-mini S&P). The Complaint had been filed under seal on April 17, 2015 and kept sealed until today’s arrest of Sarao by British authorities acting at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).  After the arrest, the DOJ unsealed its own criminal Complaint charging Sarao with substantively the same misconduct. 

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is an index of 500 stocks designed to be a leading indicator of U.S. equities.  The E-mini S&P 500 is a stock market index futures contract based on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and is one of the most popular and liquid equity index futures contracts in the world.  The contract is traded only at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). 

This press release was posted on the CFTC's website yesterday---and it's worth reading.  There was a brief 1:07 minute video clip about this on CNBC yesterday afternoon---and the headline there reads "U.K. trader charged for manipulation contributing to 2010 flash crash".  I thank Karen Nelson for bringing this story to our attention.  That paragon of virtue Bart Chilton had something to say about this as well in a 1:49 minute CNBC video clip headlined "Bart Chilton: Don't think charged trader 'sole culprit'"---and that was courtesy of Dan Lazicki.


This tiny European state may trigger a Grexit

Finland's rigid stance over euro zone bailouts could become even more hardline after the weekend's election, in what would be a further blow to beleaguered Greece as it tries to avert a default.

A parliamentary election on Sunday in the small, northern euro zone state was won by the opposition Centre Party's Juha Sipila.

He may have to rely on the euro-sceptic Finns Party for support to form a coalition government – a development that analysts say raises risks to the future of the euro area. The Finns Party is against sovereign bailouts and wants to boot Greece from the 19-member euro zone.

"Finland was in the anti-bailout camp before yesterday's election and it's now likely to take an even harder line towards Greece," Nicholas Spiro, managing director at Spiro Sovereign Strategy, told CNBC.

I had a story about his in yesterday's column, but it didn't reflect the outcome of the Finnish elections on Sunday.  This CNBC story from 6:03 p.m. EDT on Monday evening does that---and it's something that Roy Stephens sent our way on Tuesday morning.  He also dug up a Russia Today commentary from yesterday on this issue headlined "Finland: Exhibiting strain of northern independence".


Lenders Awash With Euros Pay Banks and Governments to Take Loans

Euros are so abundant thanks to Mario Draghi’s easy monetary policy that banks are starting to pay each other to get the cash off their balance sheets.

For the first time, an index of three-month interbank loans in euros fell below zero on Tuesday. Elsewhere, the Spanish government raised funding for the same period of time and got paid to take the money.

They’re the latest signs that the efforts by the European Central Bank President to get cash flowing into the economy are starting to percolate through markets. The plan is for the cheap money created by ECB bond purchases -- known as quantitative easing -- finally to boost growth and stave off deflation.

“It’s good news for borrowers, not so good news for lenders,” said Ciaran O’Hagan, the Paris-based head of European rates strategy at Societe Generale SA. “Mr. Draghi wants us to spend the cash. The purpose of QE is to get us to take on some risk.”

This Bloomberg article put in an appearance on their Internet site at 3:12 a.m. Denver time yesterday morning---and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for bringing it to our attention.


Greek bank shares slide to record low as ECB considers pulling the plug

Shares in Greece's stricken banks fell to an all-time low on Tuesday amid fears the European Central Bank was planning to finally pull the plug on the country's lenders.

Banks stocks fell by 4pc on the news that ECB staff had drawn up a memo which proposed limiting the emergency assistance (ELA) that has been keeping lenders alive since the Syriza-led government entered office at the end of January.

Tuesday's trading helped cap off a torrid run which has seen more than 50pc wiped off the value of Greece's lenders since the start of the year.

This news item showed up on The Telegraph's website at 6:00 p.m. BST yesterday evening---and It's another offering from Roy Stephens.


Hungary, Greece, Cyprus to Restart Food Trade With Russia Despite Sanctions

Hungary, Greece and Cyprus may soon be allowed to export fruit and vegetables to the Russian market, according to a report in the newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Russian health authorities are conducting audits of suppliers in all three countries, as well as India, Alexey Alexeyenko, the director of Rosselkhoznadzor (the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance) is quoted as saying.

"About 20 companies will be verified in Greece and Hungary. In India — less, around four to five. Cyprus has requested a delay for technical reasons and therefore, the audits will begin on April 27, where seven to eight companies will be checked."

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in early April and it is understood agricultural trade was discussed.

This story appeared on the website at 1:28 p.m. Moscow time on their Monday afternoon, which was 6:28 a.m. EDT in New York.  Once again I thank Roy Stephens for finding it for us.


19 Reasons Why You Should Never Visit Iran

No doubt you’ve heard a lot about Iran in the media. And it’s true, Iran is a truly evil and terrifying place. Here we present 19 reasons you should never, ever, visit this godforsaken land.

To tell you the truth, dear reader, two countries I'd love to spend some serious time in are Iran and neighbouring Turkey.  There's just so much history---and so much culture.  And I'd bet serious money that they people that live there are wonderful as well.  The pictures I would take!!!  This must read photo essay appeared on the Internet site.  I thank Nitin Agrawal for passing it around yesterday.


Unprecedented development ahead for renminbi

The Bank of China's chief economist Cao Yuanzheng feels China's efforts to promote the renminbi (RMB) as an international currency is blazing a new trail in world history.

"I think this is an unprecedented process in economic history," Cao said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua on the sidelines of the "RMB: Going Global. The Bank of China Renminbi Internationalization Forum".

Renminbi development may be unprecedented but carefully mapped out nevertheless. In his remarks during the forum, Cao said the process has its roots back in the 1990s, and the veteran economist said he still believed it would take several more years for the level of international convertibility of the currency.

"I now think we can speak in terms of years and not decades," Cao said. "I cannot predict the time table, but I think we'll get there before 2020."

This news item, filed from Rome, appeared on the Internet site on Saturday---and I found embedded in an article posted on the Internet site via a GATA release yesterday.  It's worth reading.


Japan Breaks 48-Month Deficit Streak, Manages Marginal Trade Surplus on Collapse in Imports

After 48 months of trade deficits, March saw a very modest ¥3.3bn surplus (vs. a ¥409bn deficit expectation), driven by a collapse in imports. Exports rose 8.5% (as expected) but against already dismal expectations of a 12.6% drop, March saw Japanese imports crash by 14.5% - the most since Nov 2009 (driven by the plunge in oil prices - alleviating some of the post-Fukashima fuel demands cost). Of course this is terrible news for stocks as it means less stimulus from the BoJ...and the yen is strengthening modestly.

This is another tiny Zero Hedge story with three embedded charts.  It appeared on their Internet site at 8:05 p.m. EDT yesterday evening---and it's courtesy of Dan Lazicki.


Wall Street Has No Idea How Much Money Venezuela Has

Bond investors suspect the Venezuelan government is pretty low on cash. Just how low, though, is a tricky question.

After all, this is a country that has stopped releasing even the most basic economic data -- things like inflation and government spending -- on a timely basis.

Given how high the stakes are, with many investors bracing for an imminent default, Wall Street analysts are scrambling to fill the void. Firms including Bank of America Corp. and Barclays Plc have created their own statistical series to try to help investors understand how dire the country’s cash squeeze is. It’s a challenging exercise, they say.

This very interesting article showed up on the Bloomberg website at 7:56 p.m. MDT on Monday evening---and it's the second contribution of the day from Elliot Simon.  The original headline read "Wall Street is refusing to accept Venezuela's blackout of data".


N.Y. apartments, art store wealth better than gold now, BlackRock chairman says

Gold’s traditional role as a store of wealth has been usurped by contemporary art and apartments in cities such as New York and London, according to Laurence D. Fink, head of the world’s biggest asset manager.

“Historically gold was a great instrument for storing of wealth,” the chairman of BlackRock Inc. said at a conference in Singapore on Tuesday. “Gold has lost its luster and there’s other mechanisms in which you can store wealth that are inflation-adjusted.”

Over the centuries, bullion traditionally lured demand as a protection of wealth during crises, including conflicts and periods of inflation. Prices posted the first back-to-back annual drop last year since 2000 as investor holdings in exchange-traded products contracted, global equities rallied and the dollar climbed on prospects for higher U.S. interest rates. Since peaking in 2011, it’s dropped about 38 percent.

“The two greatest stores of wealth internationally today is contemporary art….. and I don’t mean that as a joke, I mean that as a serious asset class,” said Fink. “And two, the other store of wealth today is apartments in Manhattan, apartments in Vancouver, in London.”

And as Chris Powell said in the preamble to this Bloomberg story in his GATA release---"If only someone had asked him why gold has lost its sheen. But that would have required actual journalism."  Amen to that bro!  This article showed up on their website at 11:48 Mountain Daylight Time on Monday evening.


Book tells of Germany's foreign-vaulted gold and the campaign to bring it home

A book chronicling the German gold repatriation campaign, written by its leader, Peter Boehringer, has just been published. It's titled "Holt Unser Gold Heim: Der Kampf um das Deutsche Staatsgold," which is roughly "Bring Our Gold Home: The Struggle over the German State's Gold."

In addition to the history of the gold repatriation movement, the book reviews the history of postwar Germany's vaulting much of its gold abroad and explains gold's crucial and enduring if unappreciated place in the world financial system.

This short GATA release was posted on their website on Tuesday afternoon EDT.


Currency Wars Back as Russia Buys One Million Ounces of Gold in March -- Mark O'Byrne

Russia increased its gold holdings by one million ounces in March, bringing its total reserves to nearly 40 million ounces or 1,238 metric tonnes. The Russian one million ounce gold purchase is a large one even by Russian standards as in recent years they have consistently been buying roughly 300,000 ounces per month.

It followed a two month break from the gold market which had led to erroneous speculation that Russia was not interested in increasing its gold reserves any further.

Since 2005, Russia’s gold reserves have increased three-fold. As a comparison, in the second quarter of 2009, Russia only had 550 tonnes of gold in its official reserves meaning that their reserves have doubled in recent years.

The 1 million ounce gold buy in March by The Central Bank of the Russian Federation was certainly in the news Monday and yesterday---and here's Mark's comments on it as posted on the Internet site yesterday.


Russian central bank gold buying back with a vengeance -- Lawrence Williams

According to a Russian central bank announcement on its latest gold reserve position it appears that it added 1 million ounces of gold (31.1 tonnes) to its holdings in March after a two month hiatus, bringing its total reserves to 39.8 million ounces (1,237.9 tonnes). There had been speculation that the nation had been cutting back on its gold purchases due to the economic difficulties it had appeared to face due to the falling oil price and western sanctions.  However the lack of any increase in the early months of the year is a pattern we have seen before – but now the March rise is the highest seen since last September when the bank added 1.2 million ounces (37.3 tonnes) which itself was the largest monthly total in 16 years. The big March gold reserve rise could thus be a signal that the Russian central bank is strongly back on its gold buying spree.

The news of the latest Russian gold reserve addition confirms the World Gold Council prediction that overall central bank gold reserve rises will continue at a strong rate this year – and there is also speculation by Bloomberg that China may also confirm a big rise in its reserve by as much as 2,500 tonnes or more in the months ahead as it jockeys to try and have the yuan accepted by the IMF as a part of the make-up of a revised Special Drawing Rights basket – although as we have pointed out here before this is something which could be vetoed by the U.S. as not being in its interest given its 16.75% blocking voting interest in significant IMF decisions.

This commentary by Lawrie on Russia's gold purchase was posted on the Internet site late yesterday morning in London---and it's worth reading as well.



¤ The Funnies

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¤ The Wrap

Not only does the delivery data on the March futures contract confirm that JPMorgan took delivery of 1,500 COMEX contracts in their own account, the physical movement of metal, mostly from other COMEX silver warehouses, also confirms JPMorgan continues to acquire actual metal and plans to hold onto it in the most cost effective manner (no outside storage fees). I’ve been beating on the drums about JPMorgan accumulating physical silver for quite some time (long before the ironclad proof of the March deliveries occurred) and it occurs to me my estimates of what JPM may hold may be a bit out of date.

I’ve been speculating for some time (six months or longer) that JPMorgan had amassed upwards of 300 million oz of physical silver in all forms since April 2011 (mostly in the form of 1,000 oz bars, but also as much as 60 -70 million oz in Silver Eagles). It’s been my private estimate all along that JPM was continuing to pick up additional quantities of actual silver at the rate of 5 to 10 million oz a month. It would appear that JPMorgan exceeded the upper band recently, but my point is that due to the passage of time and the continuing evidence that the bank is still accumulating silver, I must up my estimate of their total holdings to 350 million oz or more. - Silver analyst Ted Butler: 18 April 2015

In a trading pattern which is more than familiar, the rallies in Far East and London trading were summarily dealt with once the COMEX session in New York began.  True, the rallies were capped twenty minutes before then, but the engineered price declines really began in earnest in New York trading.

Not that that it matters really, because it's just JPMorgan et al in London handing it off to JPMorgan et al in New York.

Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals as of the close of trading yesterday---and there really wasn't much in the way of significant change.  However, that certainly wouldn't have been the case if "da boyz" hadn't been waiting in the wings as they were---like they are every day.

And as I write this paragraph, the London open is fifteen minutes away.  After selling down below the $1,200 spot mark in morning trading in the Far East on their Wednesday, the gold price began to rally a bit in early afternoon trading over there---and is back above the $1,200 spot price mark at the moment, plus it's a few dollars above its Tuesday close in New York as well.  The same can be said of the other three precious metals.

Net gold volume is just over 12,000 contracts---and there's a bit more roll-over volume so far today than there was this time on Monday.  Net silver volume is pretty light, around 2,500 contracts---and roll-over action is decent once again.

The dollar index, which made it up to 98.10 in mid-morning trading in Hong Kong, has now rolled over---and is about 35 basis points off its high, and down 21 basis points from Tuesday's close in New York.

Since yesterday was the cut-off for this Friday's Commitment of Traders Report, just a casual glance at the last five trading days, leaves me with the impression that there won't be much change in the Commercial net short position in gold.  However, since we're back above the 50-day moving average, albeit by a small amount, that may have changed things, so we'll have to wait and see.  Silver looks better---and hopefully the numbers will reflect that.

We're still quite some distance from wildly bullish---and as Ted Butler has stated on several occasions, market neutral would be closer to the mark, so prices could go in either direction.  However any significant rally will be met by the usual phalanx of not-for-profit sellers.

And as I send today's column out the door at 5:15 p.m. EDT, I note that the tiny rallies in all four precious metals didn't make it past the London open---and except for platinum, which is now down on the day, the other three precious metals are back to unchanged.

Net gold volume has doubled to 24,500 contracts---and silver's net volume is up to 4,100 contracts, which isn't a lot.  The dollar index is now down 46 basis points which, I suspect, is one of the reasons that JPMorgan et al are leaning on the precious metal prices at the moment.

How today will shape up as far as far as gold and silver are concerned is certainly an unknown, but it's obvious that "da boyz" are at battle stations at the moment.   And based on that, nothing will surprise me when I power up my computer later this morning.

See you tomorrow.

Ed Steer