Gold ticked higher on Sunday night in New York at the open...but then got sold off as the trading day advanced in the Far East, with the low of the day coming about fifteen minutes before the London open.
From there, the gold price rallied about five bucks into the 8:20 a.m. Comex open...and then jumped up another five bucks. But its attempt to move above the $1,700 price mark ran into a willing seller on every attempt. The high tick of the day, if one wishes to dignify it with that name, was $1,700.30 spot...and that came at 10:30 a.m Eastern.
Gold closed at $1,698.10 spot...up $1.90 from Friday's close. Volume was very light at only 92,000 contracts.
The silver price path was very similar to gold's right up to and including the rally after the Comex open. Silver then got sold off after that...and then struggled back to close at a small loss.
Silver finished the day at $32.28 spot...down a whole 3 cents. Volume was pretty light as well...around 27,000 contracts.
The dollar index price action wasn't very exciting on Monday, either. It opened at 79.56...rallied to it's 'high' of the day at precisely 3:00 p.m. Hong Kong time...and the slid to its 'low' of the day around 10:20 a.m. in New York. The index rallied a hair from there...and closed at 79.66
It's a real stretch to say that the gold and silver prices moves yesterday were in response to such tiddling little moves in the dollar index...but stranger things have happened. It's up to you if you want to read anything into it or not.
The gold stocks wandered around either side of unchanged all day long...and a tiny rally during the last fifteen minutes of trading propelled the HUI to a small gain of 0.31%.
With the announced buyout of Orko Silver by First Majestic, it was a wild day in the silver equities yesterday...and coupled with the fact that the metal spent most of the New York trading day in the red, Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 1.58%.
(Click on image to enlarge)
The CME's Daily Delivery Report for Monday drew a blank in both gold and silver, as there no deliveries posted in either for Wednesday.
There was a smallish decline in GLD, as an authorized participant withdrew 29,056 troy ounces of gold. There were no reported changes in SLV.
The U.S. Mint had a sales report today. They sold 2,500 ounces of gold eagles...500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes...and 232,000 silver eagles.
It was a very quiet Friday over at the Comex-approved depositories, as no silver was deposited...and only 6,034 ounces were reported shipped out.
Well, I fired off an e-mail to ombudsman at Scotiabank of Sunday...and it's my last swing for the fences because, as you'll note in the e-mail below, I've gone as far as I'm prepared to go to get a real answer out of them on this issue.
Dr. Mr. Dougall,
Thank you for your reply of last Monday.
Both Mr. Shearim and yourself have been kind enough to answer a question that I never asked. I know perfectly well that the "Scotiabank/Scotia Mocatta has no connection with data provided by the CFTC"...but I also know, that as a market-making member of the LBMA, you are required to report COMEX gold and COMEX silver futures and options positions to the CFTC on a weekly basis.
Here's my question one more time as put to Dave Shearim...and now to you, again.
"Part of my reading material includes two reports that are issued by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission...the CFTC. The most notable of those are the weekly Commitment of Traders Report and the monthly Bank Participation Report.
"If you click on the Bank Participation Report link, you'll note that the CFTC has included a comment about its October figures that took quite a few people who follow this report, completely by surprise...including me.
"The comment states... "The October 2012 Bank Participation Report includes COMEX gold and COMEX silver futures and options positions for a newly classified non-U.S. bank, based upon the entity's self-description on its latest CFTC Form 40. Given the methodology of the Bank Participation Report, the entity's most recent Form 40 submission results in all of its futures and options positions now being included within the report. For more information on the methodology used for the Bank Participation Report, see Explanatory Notes" [Emphasis is mine. - Ed]
"All I would like to know is if the "non-U.S. bank" that the CFTC is referring to in its comments above...and on its Bank Participation Report home page...is The Bank of Nova Scotia - Scotia Mocatta?
Mr. Dougall, if you do not wish to answer, we can drop the issue right here...and you won't hear from me again. I was hoping for a definitive answer...but since all I've received is a series of "non-denial denials"...I'm not prepared to push this issue further.
Hoping to hear from you in the near future, I remain,
Edward Steer, Editor
Ed Steer's Gold & Silver Daily
Casey Research, LLC
Here's a chart of the U.S. M3 money supply courtesy of Nick Laird...and it requires no further embellishment from me.
(Click on image to enlarge)
Wesley Legrand sent me the chart below...along with the following commentary..."You can see in the chart above that in the last decade, the relatively 'slow years' of 2004 and 2008 have been followed by big years. And gold has now had two slow years in a row - so maybe gold is now set for a boomer year in 2013."
And lastly...here's a chart from Washington state reader S.A. He sent me a tiny jpg version of this graph...and Nick was kind enough to upgrade it to the full-size png chart you see before you now.
(Click on image to enlarge)
It's a Tuesday...and that means I have a lot of stories for you today. Once again it gives me great pleasure to leave the final edit up to you.
I'm never happy to start off the 'Critical Read' section with a must watch...but such is the case today. This is Jim on Russia Today's "Capital Account" program with Lauren Lyster last week. It begins at the 2:30 mark...and ends around the 18:45 mark. I thank Brad Robertson for our first story of the day...and the link is here.
Two top Federal Reserve officials on Friday raised questions about the U.S. central bank's unprecedented decision to tie monetary policy to specific economic guideposts, and warned that its latest policy actions risk straying into fiscal territory.
The Fed on Wednesday vowed to keep interest rates low until unemployment falls to at least 6.5 percent, as long as inflation does not threaten to rise above 2.5 percent.
It was the first time the Fed had picked a specific marker for unemployment to guide policy.
"I do not believe that tying the federal funds rate to a specific numerical threshold for unemployment is an appropriate and balanced approach to the FOMC's price stability and maximum employment mandates," Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker said in a statement, referring to the Fed's policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee.
This story showed up on the Reuters website on Monday morning...and is the first of three items from yesterday's King Report. The link is here.
House Speaker John A. Boehner has offered to push any fight over the federal debt limit off for a year, a concession that would deprive Republicans of leverage in the budget battle but is breathing new life into stalled talks over the year-end “fiscal cliff.”
The offer came Friday, according to people in both parties familiar with the talks, as part of the latest effort by Boehner (R-Ohio) to strike a deal with President Obama to replace more than $500 billion in painful deficit-reduction measures set to take effect in January.
With the national debt already bumping up against a $16.4 trillion cap set last year, Congress risks a government default unless it acts to raise the debt ceiling in the next few months. Some Republicans had argued that party leaders should use the threat of default to demand additional spending cuts from Obama.
This story appeared on The Washington Post's Internet site on Sunday...and I found it in yesterday's edition of the King Report as well. The link is here.
The threat of expulsion comes two months after the International Monetary Fund said that Argentina had "not brought itself into compliance" over the "quality of the official data reported to the Fund" and warned that there could be repercussions.
The IMF set a deadline of Monday for the country to comply. Argentina is yet to respond.
Ejection from the 188-member club could mean the country loses access to vital international credit lines. It will also be the first time a country has been expelled since the former Czechoslovakia was kicked-out in 1954 for "failing to provide required data".
A resolution requiring a country to withdraw from the IMF would need the support of governors representing 85pc of voting rights.
This story was posted on The Telegraph's website yesterday morning GMT...and I thank Roy Stephens for his first offering in today's column. The link is here.
Over the past two years, Ana María Molina Cuevas, 36, has worked five shifts a week in a ceramics factory on the outskirts of this city, hand-rolling paint onto tiles. But at the end of the month, she often went unpaid.
Still, she kept showing up, trying to keep her frustration under control. If she quit, she reasoned, she might never get her money. And besides, where was she going to find another job? Last month, she was down to about $130 in her bank account with a mortgage payment due.
“On the days you get paid,” she said at home with her disabled husband and young daughter, “it is like the sun has risen three times. It is a day of joy.”
Mrs. Molina, who is owed about $13,000 by the factory, is hardly alone. Being paid for the work you do is no longer something that can be counted on in Spain, as this country struggles through its fourth year of an economic crisis.
This story showed on The New York Times website on Sunday...and is the second offering in a row from Roy Stephens...and the link is here.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was full of praise for the euro-zone bank oversight plan passed last week at the EU summit in Brussels. But the deal is not nearly as watertight as she claimed. It lacks a legal foundation and could lead to a conflict of interest at the highest levels of the European Central Bank.
Angela Merkel received recognition from the highest possible level -- herself. The most recent resolutions made by the European Union in its ongoing effort to save the common currency, she said last Thursday, "can't be spoken of highly enough." Her administration had been able to "push through Germany's core demands," she said.
Self praise, of course, is often inaccurate. But in this case, the gap between fiction and reality is particularly wide. The agreement reached by European leaders and their finance ministers during last week's summits in Brussels could ultimately destroy Merkel's reputation as a level-headed and firm savior of the common currency.
Her strategy in the crisis has long been praised for being one focused on a series of systematic small steps. The results of last week's negotiations, however, can best be described as large steps backwards.
This story was posted on the German website spiegel.de yesterday...and it's Roy's third story in a row in today's column. The link is here.
Political resistance and potential court challenges are among "very large" risks to reforms required for Greece's bailout programme, the country's European lenders said on Monday.
The long-awaited report from the European Commission and the European Central Bank details the findings of the "troika" of the EC, ECB and the International Monetary Fund on Athens' efforts to meet targets under its latest rescue package.
The report formally confirmed that Greece deserved further aid under the 130-billion-euro (104 billion pounds) bailout, and a Greek finance ministry source said Athens had received a long-delayed instalment of over 34 billion euros in aid on Monday.
But the lenders warned Athens still risked falling short on its commitments.
I thank Manitoba reader Ulrike Marx for sharing this Reuters story from yesterday with us...and the link is here.
Shinzo Abe, who returns to power after leading the Liberal Democratic Party to victory in general elections on Sunday, said there was no doubt about Japan's ownership of the islands, known as the Senkakus in Japan, but the Diaoyus in China, at the centre of the row.
"China is challenging the fact that (the islands) are Japan's inherent territory," said Mr Abe. "Our objective is to stop the challenge. We don't intend to worsen relations between Japan and China."
Despite the Liberal Democrats' name, Mr Abe's party is inherently conservative and struck a nationalistic tone throughout the election, promising a return to prosperity for the world's third-largest economy and a more assertive foreign policy.
This story was posted on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site on Sunday afternoon GMT...and is another article that I borrowed from yesterday's edition of the King Report. The link is here.
Japan’s incoming leader Shinzo Abe has vowed to ram through full-blown reflation policies to pull his country out of slump and drive down the yen, warning Japan's central bank not to defy the will of the people.
The profound shift in economic strategy by the world’s top creditor nation could prove a powerful tonic for the global economy, with stimulus leaking into bourses and bond markets - a variant of the "carry trade" earlier this decade but potentially on a larger scale.
"We think this could be the beginning of a fresh reflation cycle for the global system, combining with the US recovery to mark a turning point in the crisis," said Simon Derrick from BNY Mellon.
"It is tremendously important for global growth, and markets are starting to take note," said Lars Christensen from Danske Bank.
This Ambrose Evans-Pritchard story was posted on The Telegraph's website early yesterday evening...and is definitely worth running through. Casey Research's own David Galland sent it around to all the CR editors yesterday...and I was more than happy to make use of it. The link is here.
1. John Embry: "Chinese Demand for Silver has Exploded". 2. James Turk - "The Cartel is Getting Desperate in the Gold & Silver War". 3. Dan Norcini: "Our Path to Collapse Will Impact Everyone Around the World". 4. Robert Fitzwilson: "We are Headed to a Historic Collapse of the Financial System". 5. Richard Russell: "The Ring of Fire, QE Forever & Gold". 6. Audio interview with Nigel Farage. 7. Audio interview with Rick Rule.
A JPMorgan-backed investment vehicle that aims to track the price of copper has won the approval of US regulators in spite of strong opposition from users of the metal and senior politicians.
The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday approved the exchange traded fund, which is backed by physical buying of copper, opening the door to easy investment in the metal. The regulator's approval comes despite opposition from Carl Levin, chairman of the powerful Senate subcommittee on investigations, on the grounds that the proposed products "would allow speculators to create a squeeze on the market."
Senator Levin said that the SEC's approval of the ETF was "a blow to American businesses and consumers" and that it would "increase copper prices and volatility, and undermine market efforts to produce prices in response to supply and demand by copper users."
This story showed in the Financial Times of London yesterday morning...and is posted in the clear in this GATA release. The link is here.
Packed into hand luggage and tucked into jacket pockets, roughly hewed bars of gold are being flown out of Kabul with increasing regularity, confounding Afghan and American officials who fear money launderers have found a new way to spirit funds from the country.
Most of the gold is being carried on commercial flights destined for Dubai, according to airport security reports and officials. The amounts carried by single couriers are often heavy enough that passengers flying from Kabul to the Persian Gulf emirate would be well advised to heed warnings about the danger of bags falling from overhead compartments. One courier, for instance, carried nearly 60 pounds of gold bars, each about the size of an iPhone, aboard an early morning flight in mid-October, according to an airport security report. The load was worth more than $1.5 million.
The gold is fully declared and legal to fly. Some, if not most, is legitimately being sent by gold dealers seeking to have old and damaged jewelry refashioned into new pieces by skilled craftsmen in the Persian Gulf, said Afghan officials and gold dealers.
This story was posted on The New York Times website on Saturday...and the first reader through the door with this article was Patrick Leavens. It's a very interesting and worthwhile read...and the link is here.
Despite the relative health of the German economy compared to its beleaguered Mediterranean peer states in the EU, average Germans are investing in physical gold en masse due to concerns over their fiscal well-being.
The Local reports that a new study by the Steinbeis Research Center for Financial Services has discovered that 69% of Germans have invested in gold, with around half of them keeping bullion in their own homes. 48% stash their gold in bank vaults, while 9% sequester their precious metals at the premises of specialized gold traders.
The Teutonic enthusiasm for gold is also increasing, with the number of Germans who have a net monthly income in excess of EUD4,000 and express an interest in gold investment having doubled in the current year.
This very short story appeared on the mining.com Internet site on Sunday...and I thank Ontario reader Richard O'Mara for bringing it to our attention. The link is here.
Despite the turbulence many believe gold is still a good long-term investment. Its ability to hold value is unmatched.
Compare it to the pound in your pocket. A shopper buying a white loaf in 1945 would have paid around 2p.
Walk in to Sainsbury’s or Tesco today and you’ll stump up £1.30. This is why gold is often called a ‘safe haven’ by experts: it comes into its own when other types of investment crumble away.
The key is there is only so much gold in the world. So when more investors try to buy it, the price rises. After a wobbly year, investment experts are tipping gold to glow again in 2013.
This story was posted on the dailymail.co.uk Internet site on Friday...and I thank U.K. reader Tariq Khan for sending it along. The link is here.
Those who follow the day to day developments in the gold and silver markets have typically seen rampant market manipulation by large traders and bullion banks.
Although supposedly against the rules — and even being subjected to an ongoing investigation by the CFTC that now reaches into its fifth year — this market bullying is nevertheless allowed to happen over and over again without effective regulatory intervention.
Some of these big players even employ algorithmic trading systems to move into and out of the market faster than any human can. The transactions initiated by these computerized trading programs happen rapidly and often in huge size.
This commentary by Dr. Jeffrey Lewis showed up on the mineweb.com Internet site on Sunday. There's nothing in here that Ted Butler hasn't brought up many times in the past, but it's still worth reading..and I thank Paul Laviers for bringing it to our attention. The link is here.
The Paramus Diamond Center might have closed by now if it weren't a family business.
Ervin Bahdo, whose family owns the jewelry store, said working in a mom-and-pop shop has one fallback when times are tough: "You just don't pay yourself," he said.
The Paramus Diamond Center at Paramus Park Mall is one of many jewelry merchants being pushed to the edge by the soaring price of gold.
Jewelers have been forced to adjust to the soaring price of gold.
An ounce of gold cost $500 in 2005. Today, the same ounce would cost more than $1,700.
That's great for traders, but bad news for merchants like Bahdo. The average person's budget for jewelry is already squeezed these days.
It was posted over at the nj.com Internet site yesterday morning...and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for sending it. The link is here.
Authorized purchasers will be faced with a three week period during which there will be no American Silver Eagle bullion coins available to order from the United States Mint.
The Mint recently informed authorized purchasers that all remaining inventories of 2012-dated Silver Eagle bullion coins had sold out and no additional coins would be struck. Since the 2013-dated coins will not be available to order until January 7, 2013, this leaves a three week void for the Mint's most popular bullion offering.
As with other bullion programs, the US Mint does not sell Silver Eagle bullion coins directly to the public, but distributes them through a network of authorized purchasers. The primary distributors are able to purchase the coins in bulk quantities at a price based on the market price of silver plus a fixed mark up. The coins are then resold to other bullion dealers, coin dealers, and the public.
This story appeared on the coinupdate.com Internet site yesterday...and it's courtesy of reader Elliot Simon once again. The link is here.
While the price of gold has languished in a trading range much of the year, leaving some investors scratching their heads, many have been buying - and in some cases, really loading up.
It's a tad puzzling that gold hasn't broken into new highs, despite enough catalysts to move a herd of stubborn mules. But that's the hand we're dealt right now. We can't get up from the table until the game reaches its conclusion. Besides, I think the stall in prices is giving us one last window to buy before prices break permanently into higher levels for this cycle.
At least that's how a number of prominent investors and institutions are viewing the price action right now. Here's a sampling of this year's "gold bugs" and what they've been doing about precious metals recently.
Jeff Clark has cobbled together an impressive list of "Gold Bugs" that will keep you spirits up this holiday season. It's embedded in yesterday's edition of the Casey Daily Dispatch...and the link is here.
The gold miners who made California famous were the rugged loners trying to shake nuggets loose from streams or hillsides. The ones who made the state rich were those who worked for big mining companies that blasted gold from an underground world of dust and darkness.
The last of the state's great mines closed because mining gold proved unprofitable after World War II. But with the price of the metal near historic highs, hovering around $1,700 an ounce, the California Mother Lode's first large-scale hard rock gold mining operation in a half-century is coming back to life.
Miners are digging again where their forebears once unearthed riches from eight historic mines that honeycomb Sutter Gold Mining Co.'s holdings about 50 miles southeast of Sacramento. Last week, mill superintendent Paul Skinner poured the first thin stream of glowing molten gold into a mold.
This AP story was filed from Sutter's Creek yesterday...and is a very interesting read. It was picked up by the new.yahoo.com Internet site early yesterday evening...and I thank Phil Barlett for sending it. The link is here.
The Central Bank of Sudan on Wednesday issued a ban on the exports of gold ore effective January 2013, state media reported.
No reason was given for the decision but the report stated that the bank will focus on developing marketing channels for the gold locally through the establishment of precious-metals exchange in Sudan.
Gold mining firms will be allowed to export in line with bank policies only after refining it in the newly built Khartoum refinery.
This story is from about a week ago. It was filed from Khartoum and posted on the Sundan Tribune website last Thursday. I found this piece in a GATA release...and the link is here.
Thanks to the government of India for acknowledging today that the great advantage of "gold-backed financial instruments" is not to their purchasers but rather to the government itself in its campaign to talk Indians out of their gold to reduce the country's current account deficit.
That is, as the Press Trust of India reports in the story appended from The Hindu, replacing the investment of the Indian people in gold with "gold-backed financial instruments" can reduce gold purchases only insofar as those "gold-backed financial instruments" don't actually have all the gold that has been sold in their name.
"In its mid-year economic analysis tabled in Parliament on Monday," the PTI story says, "the government said gold-backed products would help investors enjoy the benefits of investment in the metal without investing in the physical commodity."
Well, dear reader, I certainly hope you know which kind of precious metal to hold. This story, filed from New Delhi, was posted on thehindu.com Internet site yesterday and is definitely worth reading...but I've posted the GATA link to this story, as it contains an extensive preamble by Chris Powell...and that's worth reading as well. The link is here.
Recently, I have received a good number of emails containing conversations between readers and CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton about the allegations of a silver price manipulation because of the large concentrated COMEX short position held by JPMorgan. Chilton had previously led the move to begin the current silver investigation in September 2008...and has always been quick to respond to those writing to him, a rarity for high officials. I couldn’t help but notice that Commissioner Chilton had recently begun to say things that seemed to try to explain away the allegations of a silver manipulation, much different from his former stance of promising to look into it. I found this change disturbing and it has influenced my thinking that the CFTC would never do anything about the silver manipulation.
I've always been somewhat suspicious of Bart Chilton...but was happy to see that he was at least responsive to the public, even though he did nothing about the situation. Ted points out that things appear to have changed...and even I've noticed it...as readers are always sending me things that Chilton tells them...and there's a definite change in tone. I get the impression that someone has told him that it must be no more Mr. Nice Guy from hereon in.
This essay was Ted's mid-week commentary to his paying subscribers last Wednesday...and he's seen fit to publish it in the public domain. I agree with that decision. It's an absolute must read...and was posted on the silverseek.com Internet site yesterday. The link is here.
Once upon a time," Martenson writes, perhaps with a weary glance at GATA, "it would have been considered in bad taste to suggest that the world was being centrally managed in secret by a smallish cabal of bankers whose actions served to either prop up the excessive spending habits of the very governments that conferred upon them the power to print money or to bolster the health and profits of the banks they mainly serve. That was then. Today you can just read about it in the Wall Street Journal."
"I don't really think that gold's current market price or recent behavior have anything useful to do with gold's value here. ... [S]ome entity has been selling literally thousands and thousands of gold contracts into the thinly traded overnight markets so rapidly that we have to use millisecond charting to see it for what it is. Again, there is no other legitimate explanation for this activity of which I am aware besides having an intent of pushing the price down.
"Whether there is some motivation for this activity besides 'making money,' I remain convinced that the gold market, like many others, is no longer sending useful price signals.
This commentary by Chris Martenson contains an extensive preamble by Chris Powell, as well as other links. The GATA release...and Ted Butler's essay above...are your two big must reads of the day. The link to this GATA release is here.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lost in the weekly observations of COT changes is the enormity of the size of JPMorgan’s COMEX silver short position. It would be impossible for any one entity to hold a short position equaling 23.4% of the world annual production of most food or industrial commodities (like corn or crude oil) because such a position would require a size well in excess of current total open interest levels in most markets. For instance, someone holding 23.4% of world annual oil production would have to hold 7 million NYMEX contracts; a neat trick for a market that has a total open interest of 1.5 million contracts. The record still indicates that JPMorgan added more than 100 million oz of COMEX short positions since the summer, making the bank the only real silver short seller during that time. When there is only one buyer or seller in any market, that market is manipulated. - Silver analyst Ted Butler...15 December 2012
Well, it was another slow start to the week for both gold and silver, as there wasn't a lot of volume...and that allowed anyone with a vested interesting in managing the precious metal prices to so...and it's my belief that they did, as both gold and silver's attempt to move higher shortly after the Comex open ran into the usual not-for-profit sellers.
Today is the cut-off for this Friday's Commitment of Traders Report...and I'll be more than interested in the numbers when they're posted...especially in silver.
I just want to repeat something that I mentioned in this space on either Friday or Saturday...and that is the fact that with all this massive money printing on our doorstep in the coming year, there's no way that JPMorgan et al will be able to keep the price under control. If inflation is what the Fed wants, one of the ways to do that would be to let the precious metals run to the upside as another sign that inflation was about to rear its ugly head. We'll just have to wait and see how all of this unfolds in the new year.
In Far East trading on their Tuesday, both metals rallied a bit into the Hong Kong lunch hour...and then didn't do much after that...and aren't doing much now that London has been open for a couple of hours. Volumes are about average for this time of day...and the dollar index isn't doing much.
That's way too much for one day...but my Tuesday column is like that at times. See you here tomorrow.