Gold didn't do much of anything price-wise anywhere on Planet Earth on Thursday...trading between $1,640 and $1,650 spot right up until minutes after 12:30 p.m. in New York.
Then in the space of ninety minutes, the gold price popped about twenty bucks. That smallish rally ran into a willing seller about 1:50 p.m. in the New York Access Market...and by the close of electronic trading at 5:15 p.m. had given up half of that gain.
The gold price closed at $1,657.30 spot...up $13.50 on the day. Net volume was much reduced from Wednesday, but still a chunky 142,000 contracts...give or take a few thousand.
The silver price pattern had a little more definition to it...trading basically flat until about 3:30 p.m. Hong Kong time. The smallish rally that developed from there peaked about 12:30 a.m. in London...and then got sold down to its New York low about 9:50 a.m. Eastern time.
Silver then rallied until shortly before 2:00 p.m. in electronic trading...and then quietly sold off about 30 cents of those gains going into the close of trading in New York.
Silver closed at $32.54 spot...up 39 cents on the day. Net volume was pretty high at 45,000 contracts.
The dollar index topped out at about 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday night...and then declined in fits and starts until its nadir about 1:15 p.m. in New York on Thursday. From peak to trough, the dollar index declined about 65 basis points...and from that low gained back about 15 basis points going into the 5:15 p.m. Eastern close.
Good luck finding any kind of co-relation between the dollar index and the precious metal prices yesterday, as there wasn't any.
Despite gold's decent performance yesterday, the stocks struggled to stay in positive territory...and basically finished unchanged, with the HUI down an insignificant 0.04%.
Although most of the juniors did relatively OK yesterday...virtually all of the stocks that make up Nick Laird's Silver Sentiment Index finished down on the day...and the SSI finished lower by 0.48%.
(Click on image to enlarge)
The CME's Daily Delivery Report showed that 178 gold and 2 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Monday. In gold the biggest short/issuer was Goldman Sachs with 149 contracts...and the largest long/stopper was the Bank of Nova Scotia with 161 contracts. The link to that action is here.
There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV once again.
The U.S. Mint had another sales report. They sold 5,000 ounces of gold eagles...2,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes...and 80,000 silver eagles.
Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday, they reported receiving 1,494,520 troy ounces of silver...and shipped a miniscule 61,362 ounces out the door. The link to that activity is here.
Here are a couple of charts courtesy of Washington state reader S.A. This chart is titled "S&P 500 vs. US Data Trend Index" and, with a few seconds of study, is self-evident.
The second chart he sent shows the 40+ years of decreasing gold production from South Africa vs. the rest of the world. It's worth studying for a minute.
Reader Scott Pluschau has another blog for us...this one from early yesterday morning before the Comex opened. In his covering e-mail, Scott had this to say..."The bears may be weak... but no follow through yet on the neckline break. However let's see what the Comex open has in store for us..." The link to the blog is here.
I have just about the usual number of stories today and, as always, the final edit is in your hands.
Foreclosure filings fell 8 percent year-over-year in February, with 206,900 U.S. properties receiving some form of filing, according to RealtyTrac's U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.
But don't be fooled by these numbers. Foreclosure activity is expected to increase 15 percent this year compared to 2011, according to RealtyTrac's Daren Blomquist.
Blomquist also said that foreclosure activity fell to artificially low levels last year because of the fall-out from the robo-signing scandal where banks were accused of shoddy mortgage paperwork and when judges prevented banks from foreclosing on homes.
This short item was posted over at the businessinsider.com website yesterday...and I thank Roy Stephens for his first offering of the day. The link is here.
China, the largest foreign U.S. creditor, increased its holdings of U.S. government securities in January for the first time in six months as European leaders struggled to contain the region’s sovereign-debt crisis.
Holdings rose by 0.7 percent to $1.16 trillion, the first growth in China’s stake since July, Treasury data released yesterday show. The report also showed that net foreign purchases of Treasuries totaled almost $83 billion in January, compared with net selling of $14.9 billion the month before.
This Bloomberg story was posted on their website yesterday afternoon...and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for sending it along. The link is here.
For a change, everything has been going according to plan in the fight to save the euro in recent weeks. On Wednesday, euro-zone finance ministers gave the green light to the €130 billion ($170 billion) second rescue package for Greece. It's a pure formality after a satisfyingly large proportion of creditors agreed to a debt cut for Greece. Perhaps the most significant success of recent days is that even though the debt cut was deemed a so-called credit event, triggering the payment of the financial contracts known as credit default swaps, hardly anyone seemed to care.
For more than two years, the international financial lobby had been warning the public and governments that these credit default swaps must under no circumstances be triggered, because that would cause a disaster similar to the meltdown that followed the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers. Their message, effectively, was that taxpayers should cover all the losses, rather than private-sector creditors. But the CDS horror scenario has failed to become reality.
So has Greece been rescued and financial markets been tamed? Is the euro crisis a thing of the past? Unfortunately not. With their successes in the last few days, euro-zone politicians have done little more than bought themselves time. They must use this window to brace themselves for the next wave of the euro crisis which is about to crash down on Europe.
This story was posted over at the German website spiegel.de yesterday...and is well worth the read. I thank Roy Stephens once again for sending it along...and the link is here.
Nigel Farage is at the top of his game in this tirade against the European Parliament the other day. It's a 3:19 video posted over at youtube.com...and I thank reader U.D. for sharing it with us. It's a must watch for sure...and the link is here.
Swift, the body that handles global banking transactions, says it will cut Iran's banks out of the system on Saturday to enforce sanctions.
The move will isolate Iran financially by making it almost impossible for money to flow in and out of the country via official banking channels.
It will hit its oil industry, but may also have a heavy impact on Iranians who live abroad and send money home.
This bbc.co.uk story was posted on their website early yesterday afternoon their time. It's certainly worth skimming...and I thank Australian reader John Ilmenstein for bringing it to our attention. The link is here.
Time is growing short to solve Iran's nuclear-program crisis non-militarily, President Barack Obama said, as a poll showed Americans favor sanctions over bombs.
"Because the international community has applied so many sanctions, because we have employed so many of the options that are available to us to persuade Iran to take a different course, the window for solving this issue diplomatically is shrinking," Obama said Wednesday in a White House Rose Garden news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
"I hope that the Iranian regime understands that this is their best bet for resolving this in a way that allows Iran to rejoin the community of nations and to prosper and feel secure themselves," Obama said.
The war drums grow ever louder in this UPI story that was filed from Washington in the wee hours of Thursday morning. It's another Roy Stephens offering...and the link is here.
When it comes to America's security, President Barack Obama has turned out to be just as ruthlessly determined as his predecessor -- particularly when it comes to using drones to wage the war on terror. But the target of his recent legal repositioning might have much less to do with terrorists than with Iran.
Obama had actually come into office promising to end the "imperial presidency" of his predecessor, George W. Bush, whose administration had claimed absolute power unlike anything seen since the Watergate scandal of former President Richard Nixon. Obama had promised to shut down the Guantanamo detention camp and put an end to torture methods that violate human rights. He had declared war on the secretiveness and the controversial wiretapping program of the Bush administration. His own administration was supposed to be more transparent, more open and more honest -- and less belligerent. Obama, the former professor of constitutional law, wanted to reintroduce America to the limits of the constitutional state.
Now that Obama has been in office for three years, it is abundantly clear that he has not made good on most of these pledges.
This short essay was posted over at the spiegel.de website yesterday...and is another offering from Roy Stephens. The link is here.
As tensions escalate, eerie echoes of the run-up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are in the air. Feverish U.S. primary campaign rhetoric adds to the drumbeat.
Concerns about “the imminent threat” of Iran are often attributed to the “international community” – code language for U.S. allies. The people of the world, however, tend to see matters rather differently.
The nonaligned countries, a movement with 120 member nations, has vigorously supported Iran’s right to enrich uranium – an opinion shared by the majority of Americans (as surveyed by WorldPublicOpinion.org) before the massive propaganda onslaught of the past two years.
China and Russia oppose U.S. policy on Iran, as does India, which announced that it would disregard U.S. sanctions and increase trade with Iran. Turkey has followed a similar course.
This essay was posted over at the alternet.org website on Tuesday...and is a must read in my opinion. My thanks to Roy once again for sharing this with us...and the link is here.
United States Secretary of State Hillary "We came, we saw, he died" Clinton's message to Pakistan was stark; try to go ahead with the IP (Iran-Pakistan) gas pipeline, and we're going to take you out financially.
Islamabad, its economy in tatters, living in power-cut land, and desperate for energy, tried to argue. Pakistan's top official in the Petroleum and Natural Resources Ministry, Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhry, stressed that the 2,775-km, $1.5 billion IP was absolutely crucial for Pakistan's energy security.
That fell on deaf ears. Clinton evoked "particularly damaging" sanctions - tied to Washington's push to isolate Iran by all means available and the no-holds-barred campaign to force particularly India, China and Turkey to cut off their imports of Iranian oil and gas.
So as Washington has been impotent to disrupt Pipelineistan moves in Central Asia - by isolating Iran and bypassing Russia - it's now going ballistic to prevent by all means the crucial integration of Southwest Asia and South Asia, from Iran's giant South Pars gas field to Pakistan's Balochistan and Sindh provinces.
For any student of the 21st century version of The Great Game, this short essay posted over at the Asia Times website is an absolute must read from one end to the other. It's Roy Stephens final offering in today's column...and the link is here.
This story was all over the Internet yesterday, although I did hear about it very late on Wednesday night. But after reading it, I decided that because the author was unknown, it could only be classified as hearsay at best...and that's what I told every kind reader that sent me the story. Tyler Durden over at Zero Hedge echoes my sentiment with more eloquence than I can muster.
"The metals space is abuzz with a CFTC "comment letter" posted on its website by an alleged "current JPM employee." There is only one problem - this letter is either a complete fraud or simply a total mockery, as it provides absolutely nothing new, and merely regurgitates existing manipulation claims already out in the public domain, and backed by precisely zero evidence."
"Needless to say, anyone can submit such an alleged insider letter, and since there is no name associated to it, we would advise everyone to merely enjoy this a prank attempt."
There may, in fact, be more to this than meets the eye...but the fact that I was born right smack dab in the middle of Missouri, made me question it immediately...and for the same reason stated above.
But, as I told one of my readers in an e-mail last evening..."when someone with all the numbers on JPMorgan et al's silver and gold rigging operation steps up to the plate with the last 12 months of trading data, then I'll be a believer." The link to the zerohedge.com story is here.
Trader and mining entrepreneur Jim Sinclair today told King World News yesterday that while central banks would want the gold price to be "soft" during Greece's "credit event," European countries are beginning to worry that their gold might have been misappropriated by the Federal Reserve for such an operation.
Sinclair also says that interventions against gold have been going on for a long time and are having diminishing effect, and the recent one won't be any different.
I thank Chris Powell for providing the headline...and the introduction. The link to this KWN blog is here.
Interviewed today by King World News, mining entrepreneur Pierre Lassonde shrugs off the recent smash-down of the gold price. Lassonde sees China's government, other central banks, and the Chinese and Indian people continuing to boost the price, with "fireworks" ahead.
I thank Chris once again for providing the preamble and the headline. The link to the KWN blog, which is headlined "Why Gold Could Spike 20% in a Day or Two" is here. With a headline like that, it's certainly worth reading.
Nobody was more surprised than myself when this GATA release popped into my in-box yesterday...as I hadn't been interviewed recently.
But what it turned out to be was my 30-minute presentation at the Casey Research pavilion at the Cambridge House Resource Conference in Vancouver back in late January. I had no idea that it was being recorded.
James Turk's audio interview...and your humble scribe's video presentation...are both contained in this GATA release from yesterday...and the link is here.
Tosca Mining Corporation's goal is to acquire advanced stage projects that can be placed into production quickly. The company's primary asset is the Red Hills Molybdenum/Copper project located in Presidio County, Texas. A program to confirm, and expand the considerable size and potential of the project and evaluate various economic scenarios was completed in 2011.
Tosca recently received results from the 13 remaining holes from its phase two, 16,000 M (4,873 m) diamond drill program. Per Tosca’s Chairman, Dr. Sadek El-Alfy, “the drill program has successfully verified historic drill results of the shallow Copper-Molybdenum cap and confirmed the presence of a deeper, well mineralized Molybdenum Porphyry deposit.” The results of 21 holes drilled through the copper/moly cap in Tosca's 2011 drill program give a weighted average grade of 0.39 % Cu over a core length of 113 feet (34.5 m). Since the copper cap is subhorizontal, the average core length can be interpreted as being approximately equivalent to true width. The copper/moly cap is crescent shaped, approximately 4,000 feet (1220 metres) long and 400 feet (122 m) to 1000 feet (305 m) wide.
The 2011 program encountered numerous thick Molybdenum mineralized intervals including Hole TMC-25 wich intersected 1,189 feet (362.4 m) averaging 0.089 per cent Mo including 830 feet (253 m) of 0.1 per cent Mo from 359 feet (109.8 m) to the bottom of the hole. Hole TMC-29 cut 989 feet (301.4 m) averaging 0.09 per cent Mo including 139 feet (42.4 m) of 0.16 per cent Mo. The molybdenum grades are similar and in some cases higher than those of projects currently considered of potential economic interest."
Aggressive plans are in place for 2012 to conduct metallurgical tests, produce an updated resource estimate and Pre Economic Assesment. Tosca is operated by an experienced mine development team, operates in Texas, a mine-friendly jurisdiction and its property iseasily accessible with infrastructure in place to advance operations. Please visit our website to learn more about the company and request information.
For those who would joyously march in rank and file, they have already earned my contempt, for they were given a large brain by accident...when a spinal cord would have sufficed. ~ Albert Einstein
I wouldn't read too much into yesterday's price rallies in New York. All four precious metals experienced the same thing. It's possible it could have been short covering, but there's no real way of telling.
And it's too soon to breath a sigh of relief expecting that the worst might be over. I sure hope it is, but I wouldn't bet the ranch on it myself. We still have the April delivery month [for gold] coming up in two weeks time...and nothing would surprise me between now and then.
Gold and silver are not even at extreme levels of being oversold...at least not according the RSI [Relative Strength Indicator] on both metals. Adding to that is the fact that neither platinum or palladium have seriously tested their respective 200-day moving averages to the downside yet. So it might be a few weeks before the coast becomes clear again.
Today we get the weekly Commitment of Traders Report...and I don't expect that it will tell us much, unless the smack-down in gold and silver after the Comex close on Tuesday afternoon is included in this report. Of course Wednesday and Thursday's price action won't be known until next Friday. 'Da Boyz' sure love to play their games around the COT cut-off date.
Not a lot happened in Far East trading on their Friday...but since London opened, both metals are trending gently lower...probably because the dollar index has rallied about 20 basis points in the last hour or so. High-frequency trading has produced elevated volume levels once again...and there are virtually no roll-overs associated with this volume, so it's not really legitimate trading activity.
And as I hit the 'send' button at 5:18 a.m. Eastern time, gold is down about four dollars...and silver is down 15 cents.
That's all I have for today. I hope you have a terrific weekend...and I'll see you on Saturday.