The gold price weakened once again during Far East trading on their Tuesday, with the low once again coming moments before London opened. The subsequent rally ran out of gas around 12:30 p.m. BST...and then began a slow decline into the Comex open in New York.
Then minutes after the U.S. equity markets opened at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time, the bid disappeared...and the gold price cratered twenty bucks in exactly thirty minutes. The low came minutes after 10:00 a.m. in New York, a time that corresponded with the London p.m. gold fix.
Once that was in, the gold price came roaring back...regaining all its loses...plus a few dollars more. The rally ended at precisely 11:30 a.m. Eastern time...and then got sold off about five bucks or so going into the close of Comex trading at 1:30 p.m. Eastern. From there it traded ruler flat going in the close of the electronic market at 5:15 p.m. in New York.
The gold price closed at $1,650.00 spot...down $2.90 on the day. Net volume was reasonably brisk at around 135,000 contracts.
Here's the New York Spot Gold [Bid] chart on its own so you can see the detail of what went on yesterday.
It was pretty much the same story in silver, except for the fact that the rally that started once London trading began had far more substance to it. By the time the bid disappeared in silver just minutes after 9:30 a.m. in New York, silver was already up more than 50 cents from the London open...and by the time the 30-minute sell-off in silver was over at 10:05 a.m. Eastern, that entire gain had vanished.
But, just like gold, silver came roaring back. It's high tick of the day [$32.04 spot] came at precisely 11:30 a.m. Eastern time...just like gold.
From that high tick, the silver price got sold down 30 cents by the time that Comex trading was finished two hours later...and, also like gold, silver traded ruler flat going in the close of electronic trading.
Silver closed the day at $31.71 spot...up 18 whole cents from Monday...and despite the huge price swings, silver's net volume was rather subdued at 27,000 contracts. Maybe there was some short covering going on. One can only hope.
Here's the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart for comparison against the same chart for gold posted above. Note the precision of the 11:30 a.m. end to the rallies in both metals.
The platinum and palladium charts were very similar to gold and silver, with both of these metals closing higher than Monday. For the day, silver closed up 0.57%....platinum up 0.51%...palladium up 1.85%...and gold closed down 0.18%.
The dollar index didn't do much yesterday. It rallied about 20 basis points up until 7:30 a.m. local time in London...and then gave it all back during the next two and a half hours of trading. After that it chopped sideways for the rest of Tuesday, closing basically unchanged from Monday.
The big take-down in gold was almost a non-event for the gold stocks, as they dipped into negative territory for only a few minutes during the twenty dollar smash down between 9:35 and 10:05 a.m. Once the rally began off the bottom, the gold stocks soared over two percent...but the gave back half of those gains after the gold price ran out of gas at 11:30 a.m. Eastern. The HUI finished up 1.15% on the day.
Not that I wish to be accused of "looking for black bears in dark rooms that aren't there" once again...but take a few seconds to think about who might be catching a falling knife in the gold stocks during that 30-minute price smash, as I'm certain there would have been selling of some type. What were the intentions of the buyers who bought in that period?
As we are more than keenly aware, the precious metals stocks have been savaged...and everyone has their own personal whipping boy as to why gold and silver stocks are getting hit out of all proportion to the metal itself.
I just checked the netdania.com website...and as of 10:24 p.m. Eastern time yesterday evening, gold was up 5.62% on the year...and silver was up 14.79%.
I'm firmly of the belief, along with John Embry and others, that the precious metals stocks are being managed just as much as the metal itself. 'Da Boyz' buy when others are selling...and sell not only when others are buying to blunt any big upside rally...but to exacerbate any down moves in the gold and silver stocks as well.
This hypothesis is just as good as some other comments I've read about why the precious metal stocks are doing so poorly. But, it's only an opinion...and you can either accept it or reject it.
The silver stocks did just OK yesterday...and the ones that made up Nick Laird's Silver Sentiment Index faded a bit into the close...and the SSI closed up only 1.15%, the same percentage as the HUI.
(Click on image to enlarge)
The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that only 18 gold contracts were posted for delivery tomorrow....but the out-of-the-blue surprise was that Jefferies issued another 115 silver contracts for delivery on Thursday. The Bank of Nova Scotia stopped 106 of those contracts...and 8 went to JPMorgan. The link to the Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.
There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV yesterday...and no sales report from the U.S. Mint, either.
For whatever reason, I received another update from the Zürcher Kantonalbank yesterday. That's the second one in less than a week. According to the update, this is for the period from April 10th to 13th. Their gold ETF showed a withdrawal of 4,322 troy ounces...and their silver ETF had 91,276 troy ounces withdrawn.
Monday was another big day over at the Comex-approved depositories. They reported receiving 1,308,917 troy ounces of silver...and shipped 734,127 ounces out the door. All the big activity was at Brink's, Inc...and JPMorgan came in a distant second. The link to that action is here.
I'm sure that Ted Butler will have a lot to say about the activity levels in both SLV and Comex silver stocks in his mid-week comments to his paying subscribers later today.
I have the usual number of stories...and I'll leave the final edit up to you once again.
While the Internal Revenue Service encourages electronic filing of returns, it doesn’t yet make use of e-mail or social media tools to begin communication with taxpayers, because of security concerns. The agency says that is important to keep in mind in light of recent tax-related phishing schemes that try to lure taxpayers into visiting fictitious Web sites and providing sensitive financial information.
The I.R.S. emphasizes that it “does not initiate contact with taxpayers by e-mail or any social media tools to request personal or financial information.” Further, it says, the agency doesn’t “send e-mails stating you are being electronically audited or that you are getting a refund.”
“This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels,” the agency says.
This short item appeared in yesterday's edition of The New York Times...and if you're an American taxpayer, it's worth the read. I think Phil Barlett for sending it...and the link is here.
President Barack Obama urged Congress to bolster federal supervision of oil markets, including bigger penalties for market manipulation and greater power for regulators to increase the amount of money traders must put up to back their energy bets.
Obama asked Congress to fund a six-fold increase for surveillance and enforcement staff at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to put “more cops on the beat” overseeing oil markets.
“We can’t afford a situation where some speculators can reap millions, while millions of American families get the short end of the stick,” Obama said in remarks in the White House Rose Garden today.
I wonder if these increased powers, if they ever materialize, will be used against short side manipulators as well as those on the long side? Just asking. This Bloomberg story from yesterday was sent to me by reader Andrew Holland...and the link is here.
Few question the prevailing wisdom that tensions with Iran have caused the recent rise in oil prices. But another possibility exists – and it’s a much greater long-term threat to economic growth.
One troubling statistic that the media largely ignores, according to independent financial consultant Jim Hansen, is the background depletion rate from existing oil wells, which Hansen conservatively pegged between 3% and 4%. This is the percent reduction in production from existing wells. With total world crude oil production now at 75 million barrels per day, the same wells will produce only 72 or 73 million next year. That 3%-4% depletion rate has to be made up for by new wells coming on line if world production is not to decline.
That problem, Hansen said, looms larger than the growth in demand. Chinese demand, for example, might grow by 10% next year, which is less than the 2-3 million barrels lost to depletion. “Everyone focuses on China,” he said, “and overlooks depletion which never takes a break like China may if its economy slows.”
“Even if there is spare capacity,” Hansen said, “There is still a problem.”
This businessinsider.com story from yesterday is a must read from top to bottom...and confirms what I, and many others, already know...peak oil is here. The original title of this piece was "The Real Reason to Worry About Oil". I thank Roy Stephens for this first offering of the day...and the link is here.
Back in November we penned "The Complete And Annotated Guide To The European Bank Run (Or The Final Phase Of Goldman's World Domination Plan)" in which we described what the long-term reality of Europe, not that interrupted by the occasional transitory LTRO cash injection and other stop-gap central bank measure, would look like.
And yet there was one piece missing: after Goldman unceremoniously set up its critical plants in Italy via Mario Monti and the ECB via Mario Draghi, one key target of Goldman domination was still missing. The place? Why the center of the entire modern infinitely rehypothecatable financial system of course: England, which may have 1,000x consolidated debt/GDP, but at least it can re-pledge any asset in perpetuity thus giving the world the impression it is solvent (no wonder AIG, MF Global, and now the CME are scrambling to operate out of there). Which is why we read with little surprise that none other than former Goldmanite, and current head of the Bank of Canada, is on his way to the final frontier: the Bank of England.
This story was posted over at the zerohedge.com website yesterday evening...and it's well worth reading. I thank Australian reader Wesley Legrand for bringing it to my attention in the wee hours of this morning...and the link is here.
I recently wrote an article that addresses the subject of sociopaths and how they insinuate themselves into society. Although the subject doesn't speak directly to what stock you should buy or sell to increase your wealth, I think it's critical to success in the markets. It goes a long way towards explaining what goes on in the heads of people like Bernie Madoff and therefore how you can avoid being hurt by them.
But there's a lot more to the story. At this point, it seems as if society at large has been captured by Madoff clones. If that's true, the consequences can't be good. So what I want to do here is probe a little deeper into the realm of abnormal psychology and see how it relates to economics and where the world is heading.
If I'm correct in my assessment, it would imply that the prospects are dim for conventional investments – most stocks, bonds and real estate. Those things tend to do well when society is growing in prosperity. And prosperity is fostered by peace, low taxes, minimal regulation and a sound currency. It's also fostered by a cultural atmosphere where sociopaths are precluded from positions of power and intellectual and moral ideas promoting free minds and free markets rule. Unfortunately, it seems that doesn't describe the trend that the world at large and the US in particular are embarked upon.
In essence, we're headed towards economic and financial bankruptcy. But that's mostly because society has been largely intellectually and morally bankrupt for some time. I don't believe a society can rise to real prosperity without a sound intellectual and moral foundation – that's why the US was so uniquely prosperous for so long, because it had such a foundation. And it's also why societies like Saudi Arabia will collapse as soon as the exogenous things that support them are pulled away. It's why the USSR collapsed. It's the reason why countries everywhere across time reach a peak (if they ever do), then stagnate and decline.
This long essay by Doug Casey was posted on the Casey Research website yesterday...and is a must read from start to finish. I thank reader U.D. for bringing it to my attention...and the link is here.
Foreign direct investment in China dropped for a fifth straight month in March on a slowing economy, limited prospects for gains in the yuan and renewed concerns that Europe’s debt crisis will worsen.
Inbound investment fell 6.1 percent from a year earlier to $11.76 billion, the Ministry of Commerce said today in Beijing, after a 0.9 percent drop the previous month. That’s the longest run of declines since the global financial crisis.
China’s economy expanded the least in almost three years in the first quarter and a widening of the yuan’s trading band this week signals that the government may tolerate more two-way moves in the currency against the dollar. The outlook for investment is still “grim” as Europe’s crisis persists and competition increases from other developing countries vying for foreign money, ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said today.
This businessweek.com story from Monday was something I dug out of yesterday's edition of the King Report. The link is here.
India's central bank cut key lending rates for the first time in three years on Tuesday in an aggressive effort to stimulate growth and boost investment at a time when the gloss is rapidly coming off Asia's third largest economy.
The Reserve Bank of India cut the repo rate -- the rate at which the central bank lends to commercial banks -- by 50 basis points to 8 per cent. The more-than-expected reduction was widely welcomed by business.
After having increased interest rates 13 times since March 2010, the RBI's move reflects a shift in the bank's policy from focusing exclusively on reining in inflation -- which at 6.89 per cent remains high -- to reviving the country's slowing economy, which has been choked by its aggressive monetary tightening strategy.
This Financial Times story showed up on the CNN website yesterday...and I thank reader Andrew Holland for sending it our way. The link is here.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner seized control of YPF SA, the nation’s largest crude producer, ousting Spanish owner Repsol YPF SA after a dispute over slumping oil output and investments.
Argentina took over management of YPF with immediate effect, replacing Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Eskenazi with Planning Minister Julio De Vido, Fernandez said yesterday in a speech in Buenos Aires. The government will also send a bill to Congress to take a 51 percent stake in YPF, she said.
“They are going to be closing the country as an investment destination,” Anish Kapadia, an analyst at Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. in London, said yesterday in a telephone interview from the city. “What’s surprising is that they are expropriating assets rather than going through a fair market means to get hold of a stake in the company. That sets a terrible precedent.”
This story was posted over at the businessweek.com website on Monday...and I just didn't have room for it in my Tuesday column. I borrowed this story from yesterday's King Report...and the link is here.
The Spanish government pledged to take “decisive” action against Argentina within days, after President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner seized YPF SA, the Argentine oil company majority-owned by Repsol YPF SA.
“The Spanish government is working on measures that will be announced in the coming days,” Industry Minister Jose Manuel Soria said at a press conference in Madrid last night. “They will be clear and decisive.”
This Bloomberg story from yesterday was sent to me by reader Richard Craggs...and the link is here.
It would appear that the recent renewed excitement down in the Falklands was indeed the writing on the wall for a nation that is now desperate enough to nationalize foreign entities. Argentina, still unable to access capital markets years after its restructuring appears to be hitting an irrational wall again as its CDS has exploded wider recently, and even more so today with the YPF news, to near 1,000 bps - its widest in 4 months.
This zerohedge.com story from Monday was also sent to me by reader Richard Craggs...and the link is here.
Officials said Madrid was ready to intervene if the regions continued to bust their budgets and hamper the central government's austerity drive.
Almost all Spain's regions, which control large parts of their budgets including education and health, have exceeded their budget deficit targets. The southern region of Analucia, has been openly critical of Mr Rajoy's plans.
The officials, who remained anonymous, told reporters that Madrid could use both existing and new legislation to intervene in the region governments to force them to comply with the budget cuts.
This story appeared in The Telegraph on Monday...and I borrowed it from the King Report as well. The link is here.
Mired in ongoing crisis, several countries in southern Europe are seeking to rapidly push through German-style labor market reforms to breathe life into their struggling economies. Yet they may not be enough to save the region's lost generation.
Assunta Linza, a petite 33-year-old, and her father Giovanni, 60, graying and with the build of a bulldozer, are sitting on the family sofa in a northern suburb of Rome. Assunta is an old Catholic name that her father picked out. It represents the ascent into heaven of the Virgin Mary, and it translates as the Accepted One, or, as the case may be, the Employed One. "My name is a joke," Assunta says with a weary smile.
She is holding a letter in her hands. It's been official since this morning: She is unemployed and, beginning in June, will no longer receive government support.
It's Wednesday evening of last week, the news is on television and the traders at the Milan Stock Exchange are staring at their screens in disbelief. The risk premium on Italian government bonds has risen to 5.6 percent, the highest it's been since Christmas. The father and daughter sitting on their living-room sofa in a Rome suburb; they are the faces of the crisis. It is a society split into two classes, the one outfitted with open-ended contracts and fat pensions, the other with no future prospects despite a better education.
This spiegel.de story from yesterday is Roy Stephens second offering today...and the link is here.
The first story is headlined "Oil minister: Sanctions have not affected oil projects". The second is bears the headline "Iran's gas exports exceeded 8bcm last year". And the last story is titled "Iran foreign trade rises 45% in a month to hit new record: Report". I thank Roy Stephens for providing all of these stories.
To say the junior resource market has been “acting like a pig” is an understatement. To say simply I’ve been wrong about them being undervalued only irritates those already wishing they hadn’t purchased… (just ask my wife—I would, but she stopped speaking to me after looking at our last brokerage statement).
It’s about 25 years since I first started speculating (gambling) in the junior resource market, and I can’t recall a stronger sense of dislike, disgust and hopelessness (maybe some Canucks fans feel close to this) in this sector than I am seeing and feeling now.
While I didn’t need a metal detector at the door, I just had many readers at a local seminar and from them sensed a high level of frustration and a wanting to throw in the towel. (It was my wife who was giving me the really dirty looks). The common theme among their questions and comments was, “Why are the mining and exploration stocks doing so poorly despite metal prices still much closer to their decade highs versus lows?
This Peter Grandich offering was posted over at the goldseek.com yesterday...and is a must read in my opinion. I thank reader U.D. for his second offering in today's column...and the link is here.
The first is from Richard Russell...and it's headlined "Wealthy Continue to Panic into Hard Assets". The second is with Peter Schiff...and it's entitled "Gold Bears to Get Pummeled, No Crash in Stocks". And lastly is this Rick Rule blog that bears the headline "I'm Too Old for Chaos, But it's Coming".
Gold sales from the Perth Mint, which processes all of the country's bullion, fell 9.6 per cent last month as signs of an accelerating economic recovery in the US curbed demand for haven investments.
Sales of gold coins and bars dropped to 38,123 ounces from 42,161 ounces a year earlier, the mint said. Silver sales slumped 39 per cent to 698,559 ounces.
Sales from the mint may rebound later this year following a pattern seen last year, the mint's wholesale manager, Neil Vance, said.
This story appeared in this morning's edition of the Sydney Morning Herald...and I thank Andrew Holland for his third offering in today's column. The link is here.
Something that's not widely know about Sprott's last PSLV offering was that Keith Neuymeyer of First Majestic Silver was out pounding the table to get other silver producers to participate. First Majestic laid $10 million of shareholder money on the table [for which we thank them] and bought into the offering themselves.
Let's hope that the next time Sprott does another offering that more silver miners will be receptive to the idea when Keith comes calling. Along with his considerable efforts on our behalf, one can safely assume that he will never be considered for the job of president of The Silver Institute...and he's probably no longer on their Christmas card list as well.
Neumeyer talks about it in this interview that was done back on February 15, 2012...and was posted over at the silverdoctors.com website. The pertinent part of the interview that deals with this runs from the 7:20 to the 9:22 mark. The audio quality is not particularly good, so you have to pay attention. But it's definitely worth listening to...and the link is here.
Matthew Bishop, New York bureau chief for The Economist magazine, has just given a video interview to The Wall Street Journal advocating gold ownership as a defense against currency devaluation. Bishop has even written a book favorable to gold, "In Gold We Trust? The Future of Money in an Age of Uncertainty".
It's very strange for anyone associated with a mainstream financial news organization finding any virtue in gold.
I borrowed the headlined and the above introduction from a GATA release yesterday evening. The video interview runs a bit more than seven minutes...and it's posted over at the ustream.tv website. The link is here.
Uranium Energy Corp. (NYSE AMEX: UEC, the “Company” or “UEC”) is pleased to announce that it has acquired the rights to explore for uranium on the Burke Hollow Project, a 17,510-acre property located in eastern Bee County, Texas (the “Project”). The previously explored project is situated on the Goliad trend within the prolific South Texas Uranium Belt, and is located approximately 50 miles from the Company’s Hobson uranium processing facility.
Total Minerals, a division of the Total Group, conducted exploration work and drilling on this Project in 1993 as part of its South Texas Goliad exploration program. Following geophysical and geochemical results, Total drilled 12 holes along a northwest to southeast-oriented line. Eleven of the twelve holes intersected mineralization with drill-hole placement that exceeded several thousand feet in length.
Company geologists are currently planning an aggressive exploration program to include a drilling campaign that will be initiated upon receipt of exploration permits from the Railroad Commission of Texas. It is anticipated that the drill program will commence in the next 60 days and will consist of a statistical grid covering the entire 17,510-acre property. Please visit our website for more information.
While the government struggles to save one crumbling enterprise at the expense of the crumbling of another, it accelerates the process of juggling debts, switching losses, piling loans on loans, mortgaging the future and the future’s future. As things grow worse, the government protects itself not by contracting this process, but by expanding it. - Ayn Rand, 1974
I really don't know what to make of what happened during the New York trading session in all four precious metals yesterday. But one thing that I can be absolutely certain about, is that there was nothing free market about it. The timing of the beginning, the middle...and the end of those price movements, was a deliberate and planned act around the London p.m. gold fix. If someone has another explanation, I'd love to hear it.
Yesterday, at the close of Comex trading yesterday, was the cut-off for Friday's Commitment of Traders Report...and whatever happened yesterday, will certainly be in it.
After yesterday's price action, I thought it would be a good time to revisit this graph that Nick Laird made up a couple of years ago. It's titled "Intraday Average Gold Price Movements"...and I've posted it in this column on numerous occasions.
Note the high tick of the day comes just a few minutes after 9:30 a.m. Eastern time...and the drop to the London p.m. gold fix, which comes [on average] a few minutes after 10:00 a.m. Eastern time...which is 3:00 p.m. local time in London. Yesterday's price action in New York in both gold and silver looked suspiciously like this chart. So did the charts for platinum and palladium.
(Click on image to enlarge)
Not much happened in Far East trading in either gold or silver during their Wednesday...and prices were basically back to unchanged by the time that London opened at 8:00 a.m. British Summer Time, which is 3:00 a.m. Eastern. Gold volume, which I thought was very light on Monday at this time, has fallen even further...and is down a third from this time yesterday. As of 4:05 a.m. Eastern time, net volume in gold is just a bit over 12,000 contracts. Silver's volume is equally as light...and the dollar index is up a hair.
More than two hours have past since I wrote the above paragraph...and as I hit the 'send' button on today's column at 5:20 a.m. Eastern time, I note that gold is down about two bucks...and silver is down about a nickel. Volumes are still very light in both metals...and the dollar index is now up about 25 basis points.
After yesterday's price action, I haven't the foggiest idea what to expect when the Comex opens this morning. We are at very bullish readings in both gold and silver as far as the COT is concerned...but what happens price-wise from day to day is always determined by JPMorgan et al...and we'll have see what further surprises [if any] they have in store for us today.
I hope your Wednesday goes well...and I'll see you here tomorrow.