Gold & Silver Daily
 

¤ Yesterday In Gold & Silver

Looking at the gold price over the full 24-hour Thursday trading session, almost all the losses were in by the London open---and the low price tick came at precisely 8:30 a.m. EDT.  After a few bumps it traded sideways at the London open price for most of the remainder of the day, but it did crawl a couple of bucks higher into the close of electronic trading at 5:15 p.m. EDT.

The high and low ticks are barely worth the effort to look up.  The CME Group reported them as $1,192.00 and $1,177.90 in the July contract.

Gold finished the Thursday session at $1,184.20 spot, down $7.00 on the day.  Net volume was pretty light at 99,000 contracts.

Silver also got sold off in Far East trading, with the low tick of the day coming a minute or so before 9 a.m. in London.  There was a rally of sorts between 9 and 9:30 a.m. EDT, but that got handled in the usual way by all the usual suspects.  From 10:30 a.m. it traded pretty flat into the close.

The high and low ticks in this precious metal were reported as $16.55 and $16.16 spot in the July contract.

Silver closed on Thursday in New York at $16.295 spot, down another 19 cents from Wednesday's close.  Net volume was pretty decent at 33,000 contracts.

Platinum got sold down in a stair-step manner starting about two hours after Hong Kong trading began on their Thursday---and kept chopping lower until its low tick, which came around 11:30 a.m. in New York.  After that, it didn't do much---closing at $1,130 spot, down $14 bucks on the day.

Palladium was chopping sideways minding its own business until the 8:20 a.m. EDT COMEX open, with most of the selling/spoofing downside price pressure after that occurring during the final hour of COMEX trading, with the metal closing virtually on its low of the day.  Platinum closed yesterday at $778 spot, down 12 dollars.

The dollar index closed late on Wednesday afternoon in New York at 94.16.  It rallied for a bit, before chopping lower.  The 93.90 low tick came minutes before 11 a.m. in London---and away it went to the upside.  The 94.78 high tick came about ten minutes after the London p.m. gold fix---and it gave back some of those gains by noon EDT before chopping sideways into the close.  The index finished the Thursday session at 94.62---up 46 basis points from Wednesday's close.

The gold stocks gapped down at the open, hitting their lows at 10:45 a.m. EDT. before beginning the slow march back towards unchanged.  The rally really developed some legs starting just before 3 p.m.---and they popped into the green in the last few minutes of trading as the HUI closed up 0.34 percent.

It was more or less the same chart pattern in the silver equities, except they hit their lows an hour earlier---and Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 0.50 percent.

And, for what it's worth, for the second day in a row the day-ending rally in silver equities began at 3 p.m. EDT.  I suspect a buy program of sorts.

If you want a reason at to why precious metal equities closed up on Thursday, but down on Wednesday in the same falling price environment, you won't get any answers from me, because I simply don't know.  All I can say is the counterintuitive price action in these stocks is one of their hallmarks---and as John Embry said over a decade ago, he thinks the precious metal shares are as rigged as the metal themselves.  I agree totally.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold and 70 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Monday.  R.J. O'Brien issued 40---and Credit Suisse issued 30.  The stoppers were JPMorgan with 24 for its clients and 23 contracts for itself.  HSBC USA stopped 20 contracts.  The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Thursday trading session showed that May gold o.i. dropped by 3 contracts down 193 left---and silver's open interest declined by 30 contracts to 746 remaining.

There was a withdrawal from GLD yesterday, as an authorized participant took out 86,330 troy ounces.  And must to my absolute amazement, there was another huge withdrawal from SLV.  This time it was an eye-watering 2,867,874 troy ounces!  That's 8.0 million troy ounces that have vanished from SLV since April 27---with 5.0 million of that coming in the last forty-eight hours.  I would bet that JPMorgan owns all of it.

Since yesterday was Thursday, Joshua Gibbons, the Guru of the SLV Bar List updated his website with the internal goings-on at the iShares.com Internet site at the close of trading on Wednesday.  Here's his report.

Analysis of the 06 May 2015 bar list, and comparison to the previous week's list: 4,150,956.0 troy ounces were removed (all from Brinks London), no bars were added or had serial number changes.

The bars removed were from: Noranda (1.2M oz), Degussa (0.9M oz), Handy Harman (0.7M oz), Australian Gold Refineries (0.6M oz), and 19 others.  Overallocation cannot be determined this week, as only about half of Wednesday's withdrawal has been accounted for---and the rest should be on next week's list.

 As of the time that the bar list was produced, it was overallocated 361.3 oz.

There was a smallish sales report from the U.S. Mint.  They sold 1,000 gold eagles---and 50,000 silver eagles.

There was huge activity in gold at the COMEX-approved depositories on Wednesday.  They reported receiving 116,568 troy ounces---and shipped out 123,939 troy ounces.  The link to that action is here.

The only activity in silver was a withdrawal of 437,259 troy ounces and, for a change, it was shipped out of JPMorgan's vault.  The link to that activity is here.

Over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong, there were 1,730 received---and 6,350 kilobars were shipped out.  It was all at the Brink's Inc. depository as usual.  The link to that action in troy ounces is here.

Thankfully for both us, I don't have all that many stories for you today---and I hope there are a few that strike your fancy.

 

¤ Critical Reads

Violent bond moves signal tectonic shifts in global markets

A wave of turmoil is sweeping through sovereign bond markets, setting off the most dramatic gyrations seen in recent years and threatening to spill over into over-heated equity markets.

Yields on German 10-year Bunds spiked violently by almost 20 basis points to 0.78pc in early trading on Thursday as funds scrambled to unwind the so-called “QE trade” in Europe, with powerful ripple effects reaching Japan, Australia, Brazil and even U.s. Treasuries.

“It is absolute pandemonium in the fixed income markets,” said Andrew Roberts, head of European credit at RBS. “Everybody has been trying to get out of long-duration positions at the same time but the door is getting smaller.”

German yields fell back just as fast to 0.58pc later, as bargain-hunters came back into the European debt markets, but are still unrecognisable from the historic lows of 0.07pc two weeks ago.

This must read commentary by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard was posted on the telegraph.co.uk Internet site at 8:35 p.m. BST on Wednesday evening, which was 3:35 p.m. GMT.  I thank South African reader B.V. for today's first story.  There was brief Zero Hedge piece about this that's also worth reading.  It's headlined "Did the World's Central Banks Hit the Panic Button This Morning?"---and I thank reader U.D. for passing it around yesterday.

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U.S. Consumer Borrowing Expanded $20.5 Billion in March

Consumers increased their borrowing in March by the largest amount in nearly a year as borrowing on credit cards rebounded following two months of declines.

Consumer borrowing expanded by $20.5 billion in March to a fresh record of $3.36 trillion, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday. It was the largest increase since April 2014.

Borrowing in the category that covers credit cards shot up $4.4 billion to $889.4 billion in March after having fallen in both January and February. It was the biggest gain for consumer credit since last July.

Borrowing in the category that covers auto and student loans rose $16.2 billion to $2.47 trillion.

The jump in borrowing on credit cards could be evidence that consumers are beginning to feel more confident about taking on debt to finance retail purchases, a development that should bolster consumer demand in the months ahead. Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

It most likely means that more and more Americans are using their credit cards just to survive.  This AP article, filed from Washington, appeared on the abcnews.go.com Internet site at 3:49 p.m. EDT yesterday afternoon---and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for sharing it with us.

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Tim Geithner: U.S. Will Ultimately Face Another Financial Crisis

The United States will ultimately face yet another financial crisis in the future, Former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner warned Thursday.

However, since the 2008 financial fiasco, the United States has at least taken measures and implemented structural reforms that will minimize any damage, he told CNBC.

"People thought [in 2008] that we were going to have a Great Depression. People thought we might have hyperinflation. We thought we might turn into Greece," he said. "The American economy is doing relatively well, making steady progress."

He said the U.S. is “still a very tough economy for lots of people. But if you look at the rest of the world, look at how countries view us. They view what we did with a huge amount of admiration and I think even with all of our challenges, we're a lucky country.

Another sociopathic personality type trying to rewrite his legacy, just before he goes whistling past the proverbial graveyard.  This article put in an appearance on the newsmax.com Internet site at 11:35 a.m. EDT on Thursday morning---and it's the second offering in a row from Elliot Simon.

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NSA’s Bulk Collection of Phone Records Is Illegal, Appeals Court Says

A federal appeals court panel ruled on Thursday that the NSA’s bulk collection of metadata of phone calls to and from Americans is not authorized by Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, throwing out the government’s legal justification for the surveillance program exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden nearly two years ago.

Judge Gerard E. Lynch, writing the opinion for the unanimous three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, described as “unprecedented and unwarranted” the government’s argument that the all-encompassing collection of phone records was allowed because it was “relevant” to an authorized investigation.

The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, and ACLU attorney Alex Abdo told The Intercept, “This ruling should make clear, once and for all, that the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records is unlawful. And it should cast into doubt the unknown number of other mass surveillance operations of the NSA that rely on a similarly flawed interpretation of the law.”

This commentary appeared on the firstlook.org Internet site yesterday---and it's certainly worth reading if you have the interest.  I thank Roy Stephens for finding it for us.  The second article on this is a NYTimes piece headlined "N.S.A. Collection of Bulk Call Data Is Ruled Illegal"---and it's courtesy of Roy as well.

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Brexit threat looms over Britain's election and Europe's fate

Chanceries, political elites and business federations across Europe, regardless of whether they are on the Left or the Right, are hoping the Conservative Party loses this week's general election.

All the better if a motley Labour government is strapped to a bloc of triumphant Scottish Nationalists, guaranteeing a double-lock against any further flirtations with Brexit. Or so goes the argument.

They should be careful what they wish for. David Cameron is perhaps the only man who can ultimately prevent Britain breaking away from the E.U., and therefore prevent a fatal body blow to an ailing project that lost its emotional hold over Europe's people long ago and no longer has a plausible claim to economic legitimacy.

Lest we forget - carried away by a short-term cyclical rebound - the eurozone is only just beginning to recover from an economic slump that has proved deeper and more intractable over the past six years than the Great Depression, with four sovereign insolvencies and mass unemployment to match. Nor should we forget either that the second leg of this episode was entirely caused by policy blunders and the unworkable structure of EMU governance.

Ambrose doesn't take any prisoners in this commentary that showed up on The Telegraph's website at 9:37 p.m. BST yesterday evening---and it's another contribution from Roy Stephens.  It's a must read as well.

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Who won the Election 2015? David Cameron 'to win majority' for Conservatives

David Cameron was this morning celebrating a triumph in the general election as Labour was virtually wiped out in Scotland and the Liberal Democrat vote collapsed.

There was an electoral earthquake in Scotland, with Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP seeing unprecedented swings and decimating Labour north of the border.

Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor was the biggest scalp of the night, losing his Leeds seat to the Tories.

"Any personal disappointment I have at this result is as nothing as compared to the sense of sorrow I have at the result Labour has achieved across the U.K. tonight," he said in a sombre speech moments afterwards.

Conservative Party Press Office were quick to announce the news, mimicking the former Shadow Chancellor's first ever tweet.

Here's the U.K. election story hot off the press from The Telegraph's website.  It was posted there at 8:50 a.m. London time this morning, which was 3:50 a.m. EDT.

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Spain faces fine over false statistics

Spain became the first casualty of beefed up E.U. rules on statistics after the European Commission Thursday (7 April) recommended the country be fined €19 million for misreporting of deficit data by the region of Valencia.

"Sound fiscal policy is a fundamental precondition for economic growth and stability. We have learned this lesson the hard way in the last years," said E.U. commissioner Marianne Thyssen, in charge of statistical agency Eurostat.

The E.U. investigation found that Valenican authorities had "systematically sent incorrect information to the national statistical authorities over many years."

This news item, filed from Brussels, showed up on the euobserver.com Internet site yesterday at 1:50 p.m. Europe time, which was 7:50 a.m. in Washington.  The stories from Roy just keep on coming.

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Norwegian daily calls PM’s decision to stay away from VE-Day trip to Moscow cowardly

Norwegian daily Dagbladet has dismissed as erroneous and cowardly the decision by Prime Minister Erna Solberg to renounce a trip to Moscow where she was expected to join the festivities on the occasion of the 70th anniversary since the end of World War II on May 9.

Dagbladet said in a commentary the decision signaled an error and an act of cowardice and was primitive because the Norwegian government was blindly walking in the footsteps of the E.U. and ignoring a special type of relationship that had taken shape between the countries in the Barents region.

The newspaper also saw the signs of unimaginativeness in it, since Norwegian representatives could have chosen any other form of presence in Moscow if they did not want to attend a major military parade on Red Square.

This TASS article, filed from Oslo, was posted on their Internet site at 7:25 p.m. Moscow time on their Thursday evening, which was 12:25 p.m. EDT in Washington.  I thank Roy Stephens for sending it our way.

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Gorbachev accuses western leaders of disrespect toward victors over Nazism

Mikhail Gorbachev has said that western government officials who refused to attend the Victory Day celebrations in Moscow were showing disrespect to nations that had defeated Nazism and to all the people who perished in this fight.

Ignoring the opportunity to demonstrate one’s attitude towards the war against Nazism is also disrespectful to the boundless courage shown by all people who fought against the “brown plague,” the former Soviet president said in an interview with Interfax.

I am convinced that without Russia it would be impossible to achieve victory,” Gorbachev said. He added that if it was not for the Soviet Army, Nazism could have spread to unimaginable boundaries, and maybe even have kept spreading to this day.

Some politicians might fail to understand this, but people of the world do understand,” he said.

You'll get no disagreement from me on this issue, dear reader.  This story appeared on the Russia Today website at 10:20 a.m. Moscow time on their Thursday morning---and once gain it's courtesy of Roy Stephens.

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Obama's outrageous snub to the Russian people

Barack Obama's decision to play political games with the 70th anniversary of Victory Day was probably intended as a snub to Vladimir Putin. However, it's actually an outrageous insult to the Russian people.

I remember my first Russian May 9th very well. For the simple reason that following a rather raucous Saturday night, I plain forgot about it. Waking up slightly the worst for wear, I took Kris Kristofferson’s advice and flung on my “cleanest, dirty shirt” before heading to downtown Khabarovsk on that Sunday morning sidewalk. The problem was that the otherwise innocent garment was something I’d picked up at World Cup 2006 in Berlin. Emblazoned across the front were the words, “Deutschland” and on the rear “Germany” for those who had initially missed the point.

Dozily trotting down the Far Eastern capital’s wide central thoroughfare, Karl Marx Street, I noticed a few strange looks alright. By the time I passed the viewing platform at Lenin Square, my paranoia levels had peaked as people kept smiling at me, a very un-Russian trait. Eventually, I reached the Steakhouse where I’d arranged to meet my friend Vova and his buddy Max. Seeing my attire, they both laughed so hard that they doubled over.

This longish Op-Edge piece by columnist Bryan MacDonald, showed up on the Russia Today website on Wednesday afternoon Moscow time---and it's definitely worth reading for any serious student of the New Great Game.  Not surprisingly, it's courtesy of Roy Stephens.

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'U.S. will try to set roadblocks on yuan’s path to get reserve currency status’

The U.S. is unhappy with Beijing challenging it in regard to the reserve status of the dollar as China’s economy is growing and the yuan is becoming more attractive for other nations to hold, Robert Wenzel publisher of EconomicPolicyJournal.com told RT.

The IMF is debating whether to make China's yuan a new reserve currency, according to the Financial Times. If Beijing is included in the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket it will have better access to capital, it will be easier to take out loans, and China's political influence will be expended.

RT: The head of the IMF Christine Lagarde said recently that it's only a matter of time before the yuan becomes a reserve currency. Will this happen in the near future?

Robert Wenzel: It makes sense for China or the IMF to do that. China is growing up, it is becoming a major economic force, the currency is becoming more and more attractive for other counties to hold. The only stumbling block is the U.S. They are not going to be happy with somebody else challenging them again with regard to the reserve status of the dollar, and the yuan moving into their position with regard to SDR status that just shows more strength with regard to the yuan in China. The U.S. will probably throw some roadblocks in the air, but it is a close call whether China will be able to get in this time or not.

RT: What kind of roadblocks can the U.S. set up to prevent this from happening?

This very interesting interview put in an appearance on the Russia Today website at 1:35 p.m. Moscow time yesterday---and my thanks go out to Roy once again.  It's definitely worth reading if you have the interest.

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BitGold announces a bitcoin-like system for gold storage and payments

BitGold Inc. has announced the launch of the BitGold platform, a software service that connects gold storage with payment networks, resulting in a banking-like platform for gold.

The announcement refers to the BitGold platform as a "new global operating system for gold." In fact BitGold is a digital payments platform that connects gold stored in real-world vaults with online payments.

Though the BitGold press release emphasizes that BitGold is not a cryptocurrency like bitcoin, there are similarities. In particular, the BitGold platform allows for the quick settlement of gold trades so that a user's gold is easily acquired and accessible across various payment networks such as SWIFT, Visa, MasterCard, Interac, SEPA, UnionPay, Discover, American Express, and others -- including bitcoin.

This very interesting article appeared on the bitcoinmagazine.com Internet site on Wednesday---and I found it embedded in a GATA release yesterday.

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Spot gold trading shrinks as interbank deals dry up

Volumes in the global spot gold market have fallen to their lowest in a year, with shrinking liquidity and a slowdown in interbank trade making customers reluctant to transact on a large scale.

Tighter regulation and credit constraints resulting from the 2008-2009 financial crisis saw several banks withdraw from the commodity sector to ease cost pressures and boost efficiency against a background of lower raw material prices.

Price-setting was also transformed last year, in an attempt to address accusations of market manipulation. London bullion "fixes" morphed into electronically derived prices.

Dealers have noted a sharp decline in bank-to-bank activity - a mainstay of OTC (over the counter) gold trade.

Ted Butler said that gold and silver were illiquid markets---and this pretty much stamps 'paid' on his opinion.  This Reuters article, filed from London, appeared on their website on Tuesday evening---and it's definitely worth reading.  I found it on the Sharps Pixley Internet site yesterday.

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Ex-MF Global trader to settle platinum and palladium manipulation claims by U.S. regulator

A former trader at the broker-dealer unit of MF Global Holdings Ltd's has agreed in principle to settle a U.S. regulator's claims that he tried to manipulate palladium and platinum futures prices, according to a court filing.

In a letter filed on Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan, Joseph Welsh's lawyer said the two sides expect to finalize the agreement within 30 days, ending a 2012 lawsuit filed by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The letter did not include the terms of Welsh's settlement, which would resolve the case ahead of a trial that had been tentatively scheduled for June 15.

Of course the tallest hog at the price manipulation trough in these two metals is JPMorgan, which today's Bank Participation Report will reconfirm in spades.  This is another Reuters piece that I found on the Sharps Pixley website---and it showed up on the Reuters website on Wednesday afternoon EDT.  It's worth reading as well.

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The Economist does its part to mislead about gold

Disinformation and information suppression about gold have intensified in recent weeks, and as might be expected, The Economist is doing its part, this time with commentary in its May 2 edition headlined "Gold Prices: Buried -- Russia Is Buying Gold But Few Others Are."

The commentary ignores that vast increase in gold imports by China and India, along with the purchases by central banks apart from Russia's that have turned central banks from net sellers to net buyers.

While gold's counterintuitive price performance is mentioned, The Economist attributes this only to a supposed proliferation of investment options, as if investors haven't always had alternatives to government currencies and the monetary metals.

The Great Unmentionable, of course, is surreptitious central bank selling of gold and gold derivatives, which, while fully documented by GATA, must be ignored, as The Economist upholds the first rule of mainstream financial journalism: Never put a critical question to a central bank, especially a critical question about gold.

This most excellent commentary by Chris, along with the link to the article in The Economist, was posted on the gata.org Internet site yesterday.  It's worth your while.

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Netherlands' largest newspaper interviews gold researcher Koos Jansen

The biggest newspaper in the Netherlands, De Telegraaf, recently published a long interview with gold market analyst and GATA consultant Koos Jansen.

The interview was headlined (as translated into English) "China Conquers the World with Gold"---and it was posted on the bullionstar.com Internet site yesterday.  Koos sent it our way yesterday---and Chris Powell provided the first two introductory paragraphs.  It's a must read for sure.

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Macquarie revives talks with Jefferies on precious metals business - sources

Australia's Macquarie Group Ltd is looking to recruit the precious metals trading team of Jefferies Group LLC's commodities brokerage, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Jefferies, which is owned by Leucadia National Corp, said last month that it would sell most of its Bache unit's commodities and financial derivatives accounts to Société Générale.

The deal did not include its precious metals business, which was largely built around Prudential Bache, one of the world's oldest commodities futures brokers, for which Jefferies paid $430 million in 2011.

When the original Bloomberg article on the Jefferies sale to Société Générale was made back on April 9, the first paragraph read "Société Générale SA, France’s second-biggest bank, agreed to take over most of the clients of Jefferies Group LLC’s Bache futures unit amid a push into derivatives."  I commented at the time that it's precious metal division was most likely excluded---and it was.  Now Australia's Macquarie Group is negotiating to buy it.  What the means for silver prices going forward remains unclear, as Jefferies was one of the biggest short/issuers in silver in the COMEX futures market.  Needless to say I'll be keeping my eye on this situation.  The Reuters story posted above is from May 1.

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Turkey's Gold imports halve to 2.09 tonnes in April

Turkey's gold imports halved to 2.09 tons in April as against 4.16 tons a year earlier, according to latest data released by Borsa Istanbul, the exchange operator in Turkey.

Although, imports registered a 11.38% rise when compared to the purchase of 1.87 tons a month earlier.

Year to date, the country imported 8.33 tons of gold, down 38.1% as compared to the import of 13.45 tons in the corresponding period last year.

Silver imports into the country advanced sharply from 6.6 tons a year earlier to 31.6 tons in April but down 42.13% as against the purchase of 54.61 tons a month earlier.

Silver imports from January to April totalled 151.44 tons, well above the level of 50.1 tons in the corresponding period last year. The country imported 227 tons of silver in 2014.

These five short paragraphs are all there is to this brief gold-relate article that was posted on the bullionstreet.com Internet site---and it's the third story I've lifted from the Sharps Pixley website.

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Silver’s top 10s: Countries, companies and mines -- Lawrence Williams

But, global industrial demand continues to grow, while low silver prices will continue to restrain scrap supply, so there could be some light at the end of the tunnel as far as silver fundamentals are concerned. We should then bear in mind that the silver price fell back very heavily in 2013 when there was a quite substantial supply deficit. There are too many other factors at play here.

There are an increasing number of observers out there who reckon that silver pricing activity is all about COMEX and buying, or mostly selling, of silver futures keeping the price far lower than it might manage in a truly open market. This is not something that GFMS, or any of the other mainstream analysts, will speculate on, and they get criticised heavily for it, but they will tell you they prefer to deal with facts (although admittedly they sometimes get these wrong too!).

But, as we said in commenting on the CPM report linked at the start of this article, that although the overall tone of this latest GFMS report could be seen as somewhat negative for the silver investor, there are elements within it that could be deemed positive on the silver fundamentals front which, should some of the strange activities seen in the past two to three years on COMEX fall away, could bode well for the silver price going forward.

Good for you Lawrie, but the cold hard cast-in-stone physical evidence is already in front of their faces, as today's weekly Commitment of Traders Report---and the monthly companion Bank Participation Report will reconfirm, as they contain the prima facie evidence of price management.  This 1,000 pound gorilla of physical evidence has been laying there for at least 30 years---and Ted Butler has been screaming about at the top of his voice for just about the same length of time.  The problem is they won't go there.

As I've said on countless occasions, the World Gold Council, The Silver Institute, CPM Group, GFMS---and the rest, have been cheek-to-jowl stonewalling this issue for decades.  When it all finally does blow up, it will make the Bernie Madoff affair look like a stick-up at your local 7-11 by comparison.

Keith Neumeyer, the CEO over at First Majestic Silver, had the balls to actually say something about it in public late last year, but has not followed through with a letter to the CFTC.  Such a document would elevate him to rock star status---not only with his shareholders, but with the shareholders of every other silver company on Planet Earth.  I've never kissed a man before, but he could be the first if such a document were forthcoming.

By the way, the story is worth reading---and it was posted on the mineweb.com Internet site at 11:26 a.m. BST yesterday morning.

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¤ The Funnies

Cypress Development Corp. is a Canadian gold, silver and base metals exploration company developing projects in Red Lake, Ontario, Canada, and in Nevada, U.S.A.

Cypress holds a 100% interest in the approximately 1140 acre Gunman Zinc-Silver Project located in White Pine County, northeast of Eureka, Nevada. Three RC drill programs totaling approx. 38,000 feet have been completed by Cypress on the Gunman project with significant grades between 5% to 33% per ton zinc and 0.5 to 15.0 oz per ton silver over considerable widths encountered. Zinc could represent the next big base metal play due to ongoing demand growth and the closures of 3 major mines in Canada, Australia and Ireland and not enough supply coming on stream from new projects. Sentiment could shift towards zinc, with prices potentially rallying in anticipation of tightening supplies.

 

¤ The Wrap

Let me present a specific data point that indicates that JPMorgan has been the big acquirer of Silver Eagles from the U.S. Mint over the past four years. In Saturday’s review, I commented that sales of Silver Eagles, while super strong relative to sales of Gold Eagles, had trailed off in the last few days of April. I attributed the fall off in Silver Eagle sales over the last few days of the month to be nothing more than JPMorgan refraining from buying the usual amount it has purchased over the past four years. It’s not plausible, either from normal retail buying behavior or from well-placed reports from the dealer front, that the erratic, but very strong sales of Silver Eagles to be anything but a big buyer at work.

After days of no reported sales of Silver Eagles, but with reported sales of Gold Eagles, the Mint reported yesterday that for the first two days of this week, 783,500 Silver Eagles were sold, along with just 4,500 oz of Gold Eagles. I am not implying that Silver Eagles will continue to be sold at a rate 174 times greater than Gold Eagles, as that would seem impossible. What I am saying is that there is no way the broad swath of the retail buying public could possible turn off and on their buying of Silver Eagles in such a dramatic stop/start manner. This pattern of sales almost guarantees there is a big buyer at play here.

Analysis is nothing more than recording the documented facts and interpreting those facts in the most plausible manner, but considering all possibilities. It’s not about anything else. Because the retail public does not normally buy investment assets when those assets are declining broadly and consistently in price and because reports from the retail front confirm that the public is not buying Silver Eagles, it is not plausible to conclude the extraordinary amount of Silver Eagles sold over the past four years and over the past two days has been bought by the retail public. Since it is a documented fact that the Mint has sold this amount of Silver Eagles, then we know someone else must have purchased these coins. I say all the other evidence of JPMorgan buying other forms of silver (1,000 oz bars) points to the bank as the big buyer of Silver Eagles. - Silver analyst Ted Butler: 06 May 2015

All four precious metals hit new intraday lows yesterday.  I discovered why silver's volume was so high, as it spent part of the trading day below its 50-day moving average---and it closed just at it.  So the technical funds in the Managed Money category were puking longs and buying short---and since JPMorgan et al  engineered that particular decline, they were standing at the ready, happily taking the other side of those trades.  It's the same old, same old.  As usual, here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals, so you can see yesterday's low ticks for yourself.

And as I write this paragraph, the London open is fifteen minutes away.  There was virtually no price activity in any of the four precious metal up until 2 p.m. Hong Kong time, which is an hour before the 8:00 a.m. BST open in London.  At that very moment, all four of them began to edge higher---and all are up a bit from their respective closes in New York on Thursday.

Not surprisingly, net gold volume is extremely light, about 8,800 contracts at the moment---and silver's net volume is barely fogging the proverbial mirror at just under 2,200 contracts.  At the moment, all is calm as the precious metal world awaits its fate at the 1-week-delayed jobs report due out at 8:30 a.m. EDT this morning.  The dollar index has been rallying in fits and starts all through Far East trading on their Friday---and is currently up 26 basis points.

As I mentioned in today's last story, we get the latest Commitment of Traders Report, plus the monthly Bank Participation Report later this afternoon EDT.  That will give Ted the opportunity to recalibrate JPMorgan's short-side silver corner in the COMEX futures market---and we'll both be interested in the changes in the commercial net short positions in both metals, along with the equally important changes in the Managed Money category.

Of course not to be overlooked are what the world's bullion banks have been up to in all four precious metals during the last month---as of the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday.  As you already know, dear reader, they're usually up to quite a bit.

And as I fire today's column out the door at 5:30 a.m. EDT, I note that the smallish rallies in three of the four precious metals ended about forty-five minutes after London opened---and palladium was dealt with about fifteen minutes after that.  At the moment, both gold and silver are back to about unchanged, but platinum and palladium are still up decent amounts.

Gold's net volume has risen to just over 18,000 contracts, up 10,000 from when I reported on this about three hours ago---and silver's volume is a hair under 5,000 contracts.  These volume amounts are still very much on the lighter side---and although I really don't want to read too much into the current price patterns based on that volume, it certain does appear that a willing seller is out there somewhere.

The dollar index has now fallen back to about unchanged---and is currently up 2 whole basis points.

Well, dear reader, you can place your bets on what JPMorgan et al---along with the HFT buddies and their algorithms---are going to do seconds before or at 8:30 a.m.  My bet is down, but it won't stay there for long if that's the way it unfolds.  We'll soon see.

That's all I have for you today which, once again, is more than enough.

Enjoy your weekend, or what's left of it if you live west of the International Date Line---and I'll see you here tomorrow.

Ed Steer