Gold & Silver Daily

¤ Yesterday In Gold & Silver

The gold price wasn't doing much of anything until the dollar index launched skyward at 7:45 a.m. in London on their Tuesday morning.  Gold, along with the other three precious metals, fought that headwind all day long---and did pretty well all things considered.

The gold price traded within an eight dollar price range yesterday, so the high and low ticks are not relevant.

Gold closed in New York yesterday afternoon at $1,207.70 spot, down $6.30 from Monday's close.  Net volume was extremely light at only 80,000 contracts.

Silver was under selling pressure on several occasions during Far East and early London trading, with the low tick[s] coming in mid-morning trading in London.  It rallied off its lows by a bit before chopping sideways for the remainder of the day.

The high and low tick were reported by the CME Group as $16.975 and $16.73 in the May contract.

Silver finished the Tuesday session at $16.825 spot, down 14 cents from Monday.  Net volume was very light at only 21,500 contracts.

Platinum also got sold down a bit in response the dollar index rally---and it finished the Tuesday session at $1,171 spot, down four bucks.

Palladium attempted to rally in afternoon trading in Hong Kong, but got capped and then sold down shortly after Zurich opened, but manged to close up a few dollars at $768 spot.

The dollar index closed late on Monday afternoon in New York at 97.05---and then chopped sideways until 7:45 a.m. BST.  After rallying 60-odd basis points, the rally ran out of gas just after 9:30 a.m. in London---and chopped quietly lower until the London p.m. gold fix was done for the day.  From there it rallied quietly higher, closing at 97.91---up 86 basis points from Monday.

The gold stocks opened down---and then rallied back to almost unchanged at the same time as gold hit its high, which was at, or shortly after the London p.m. gold fix.  It was also the exact time that the dollar index went from a negative bias to a positive bias as per the above U.S. dollar index chart.  It was all down hill from there, with the low coming around 3 p.m. EDT---and the stocks traded sideways from there into the close.  The HUI finished down 2.12 percent, giving up over half of Monday's gains.

The silver equities followed a very similar chart pattern---and Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 2.65 percent.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that zero gold and 200 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Thursday.  HSBC USA was the only short/issuer---and Canada's Scotiabank stopped 170 of them---and JPMorgan stopped 24 in its client account.  The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Tuesday trading session showed that gold open interest in the April delivery month declined by 184 contracts---and currently sits at 2,806 contracts remaining.  Where are the short/issuers is still the question de jour.  In silver, open interest for April jumped an even 200 contracts, so it's a given that these contracts are the ones out for delivery tomorrow that I wrote about in the previous paragraph.  The current silver o.i. in April is now up to 385, but minus the 200 just mentioned.

There was another withdrawal from GLD yesterday.  This time it was 76,763 troy ounces.  And as of 9:28 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.

Just as a point of interest, despite the fact that gold is up a bit over 65 bucks from its March 17 low tick, there have been six consecutive withdrawals from GLD totalling 479,823 troy ounces---and not one troy ounce has been added.  One wonders why that is the case?

In silver, the price has rallied $1.50 during the same period---and 5.5 million troy ounces have been withdrawn from SLV in five consecutive withdrawals, with no deposits there either.

More question with no answers.

There was another sales report from the U.S. Mint.  They sold 1,000 troy ounces of gold eagles---and 149,500 silver eagles.

For the second day in a row there was no in/out movement in gold at the COMEX-approved depositories.  But there was a decent amount of silver movement, as 600,499 troy ounces were reported received---and 200,620 troy ounces were shipped out the door on Monday.  The link to that activity is here.

Also for the second day in a row there was no in/out activity at the COMEX-approved Gold Kilo Stocks depositories based in Hong Kong.

Nick Laird passed around these Turkish import charts yesterday evening---and I thought they were worth posting.  They're pretty much self-explanatory.  There's also a story about Turkish silver imports in the Critical Reads section as well, so Nick's timing with these charts was perfect.

At the moment, I don't have all that many stories for you today---and I hope that situation doesn't change as the evening goes along.


¤ Critical Reads

Consumer borrowing climbs to record high in February

Consumers increased their borrowing in February, driven by a large jump in auto and student loans that offset a second monthly decline in credit card borrowing.

The Federal Reserve reports that consumer borrowing expanded $15.5 billion in February following a $10.8 billion gain in January. The February increase pushed borrowing to a fresh record of $3.34 trillion.

Borrowing in the category that covers credit cards actually declined by $3.7 billion following a $1 billion drop in January. But borrowing in the category that covers auto loans and student loans increased by $19.2 billion, the biggest monthly gain since July 2011.

Economists expect credit card use to rebound in coming months and help support solid gains in consumer spending this year.

This AP news item was picked up by the Internet site yesterday afternoon EDT---and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for today's first story.


Jim Grant Warns: Cost of "The Unmasking of the [Fed-Driven] Mis-allocation of Capital" is Dire

"The Fed is 'ever-interested' in doing something later," Jim Grant notes, explaining why he believes the timetable for rate hikes will be pushed back further as fear of allowing a free market in the "most critical" of prices - that of interest rates - would lead to the "unmasking of the misallocations of capital that will have come about through the levitation of asset prices." Grant further unleashes his verbal attack of truthiness when he points out that the central bank's persistent easy money policies is on display currently in the form of stifling American enterprise and sending millions of people from the workforce "more or less permanently."

Jim Grant 'unedited'...

"If companies can't fail that means somebody else can't start. You're looking at a petrified forest rather than dynamic capitalism,"

Behold "The fruit of heavy-handed government manipulation... no matter what 'famous-blogger' Ben Bernanke says"

This 3:26 minute CNBC video clip was embedded in this Zero Hedge story that appeared on their Internet site at 1:45 p.m. EDT yesterday---and it's courtesy of Dan Lazicki.  It's definitely worth your time.


Mohamed El-Erian Explains Why He is Now "Mostly in Cash"

"I am mostly concentrated in cash... because I think most asset prices have been pushed by central banks to very elevated levels. Central banks look at growth, at employment, at wages. They are too low. They don’t have the instruments they need, but they feel obliged to do something; so they artificially lift asset prices... Because they hope that they will trigger what’s called the wealth effect, but there is a massive gap right now between asset prices and fundamentals."

Reflecting Julian Robertson's warnings from yesterday that, unless The Fed acts to end this bubble, there will be a "complete explosion," El-Erian points out the difference between what The Fed will do and what The Fed should do...

There are two video clips.  One runs for 51 seconds---and the other for 48 seconds.  They were embedded in another story from the Zero Hedge website---and it was posted there at 11:59 a.m. EDT on Tuesday morning.  It's also courtesy of Dan Lazicki.


Rand Paul Announces Presidential Run

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky officially declared himself a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday, promising a crowd of cheering supporters that he is ready to shake up Washington and disprove those in his own party who doubt that a fiercely libertarian conservative can be a serious contender.

“The Washington machine that gobbles up our freedoms and invades every nook and cranny of our lives must be stopped,” Mr. Paul told a jubilant audience at the Galt House hotel. “I want to be part of a return to prosperity.”

In a speech outlining his small-government vision for the country, Mr. Paul leaned heavily on his biography, describing his experience as an eye surgeon, a career that inspired him after his grandmother’s vision failed. Recalling his own story of living the American dream, Mr. Paul scolded both Republicans and Democrats for failing Americans.

This story, filed from Louisville, Kentucky, put in an appearance on The New York Times website yesterday sometime---and it's the first contribution of the day from Roy Stephens.


OMG! Sen. John McCain will run for re-election, seeks 6th term

Amid speculation he might retire, U.S. Sen. John McCain instead announced he will seek a sixth term in 2016.

McCain, a 2008 Republican presidential nominee and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said he's eager to continue his longtime Senate career.

"The reason why I want to seek re-election is that there's a lot more to do, both for Arizona and the country," McCain told The Arizona Republic.

McCain has long been the target of conservatives who see him as too liberal and will likely face stiff competition in the upcoming election. Republican state Sen. Kelli Ward is being considered the most likely opposition to McCain for the seat. Already McCain has raised $3.5 million for the campaign, which he said is a "good start."

This guy should have done the U.S. [and the world] a favour and taken early retirement a couple of terms back---at least that's this Canadian's opinion.  This UPI article, filed from Washington, appeared on their website at 6:17 a.m. EDT yesterday morning---and it's the second story in a row from Roy Stephens.


Big Brother Takes Over Toronto Symphony Orchestra -- Paul Craig Roberts

A very popular pianist, Valentina Lisitsa, was dropped from the upcoming program by the Toronto Symphony because she criticized the behavior of the puppet government that Washington has set up in her native Ukraine.

In view of their consistent tyrannical behavior, how Western governments and institutions can continue to claim that they represent “freedom and democracy” is a mystery. Even the Toronto Symphony directors think music should serve Washington’s propaganda.

I spent eleven years on the board of directors of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra---and I was appalled when I read this news item.  It appeared on his website yesterday---and Rob Bentley was the first one through the door with it.  There are two more stories on this issue linked here and here.  The first is courtesy of Rob Bentley as well---and the second from reader U.D.  Then there was this editorial in The Toronto Star yesterday.


Exhausted world stuck in permanent stagnation warns IMF

The global economy is caught in a low-growth trap as innovation withers and the population ages across the Northern Hemisphere. It will not regain its lost dynamism in the foreseeable future, the International Monetary Fund has warned.

The IMF said the world as a whole has seen a “persistent reduction” in its growth rate since the Great Recession and shows no sign of returning to normal, marking a fundamental break in historical patterns.

This exposes the global economic system to a host of pathologies that may be hard to combat, and leaves it acutely vulnerable to a fresh recession. It is unclear what the authorities could do next to fight off a slump given that debt ratios are already at record highs and central banks are running out of ammunition.

“Lower potential growth will make it more difficult to reduce high public and private debt ratios,” the IMF said in an advance chapter from next week’s World Economic Outlook. "It is also likely to be associated with low equilibrium real interest rates, meaning that monetary policy in advanced economies may again be confronted with the problem of the zero lower bound if adverse growth shocks materialise."

These IMF folks have a keen grasp of the obvious.  As Jim Rickards said, we're in a depression that's structural in nature---and until that changes, nothing changes. This Ambrose Evans-Pritchard offering appeared on the Internet site at 5:09 p.m. BST yesterday afternoon---and I thank Roy Stephens for sending it along.


Greece demands €278bn WWII reparations from Germany - more than its debt to E.U.

Germany owes Greece no less than €278.7 billion in World War II reparations, Athens said, referring to the destruction wrought upon the nation during the Nazi occupation. The sum exceeds Greece’s total debt of €240 billion to the EU.

"According to our calculations, the debt linked to German reparations is €278.7 billion euros, including €10.3 billion for the so-called forced loan. All the other amounts are related to allowances for individuals or infrastructure,” said the country’s deputy finance minister, Dimitris Mardas.

The figure was calculated by a parliamentary committee and the Greek supreme court. The numbers have previously varied between €269 billion and €332 billion.

This article showed up on the Russia Today website at 10:18 a.m. Moscow time on their Tuesday morning, which was 2:18 a.m. in Washington.  It's courtesy of Roy Stephens.


President Zeman Tells Washington That the Czech Republic is Not an American Protectorate — Paul Craig Roberts

As readers know, I have emphasized for years that European governments are regarded by Washington as vassals who behave according to Washington’s wishes. It has been 70 years–two or three generations–since former world powers, such as Great Britain and Germany had an independent foreign policy.

In addition to this ignobility, European governments are also vassals to the EU, so on the sovereignty front European countries are twice damned. They simply have no sovereignty.

This is why it is so easy for Washington to spin a web of lies and drive its vassals into a “crisis” with Russia that does not serve the interests of Europeans. Washington’s European puppets don’t count. Only Washington counts.

Next month is Russia’s Victory Day celebration over Nazi Germany. Washington has told its puppets not to attend, and many including German chancellor Merkel have complied with their overlord’s demand. But not the President of the Czech Republic.

This short, but very interesting commentary showed up on Paul's website on Monday---and it's courtesy of reader M.A.  It's worth your while.


Kiev Threatens to Blacklist World Leaders Heading to Moscow for Victory Day

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Evgeni Perebiynis told reporters on Tuesday that Ukraine will not be sending any representatives to Moscow in May to celebrate victory, noting that "under conditions of Russian aggression against Ukraine, there can be no participation of Ukrainian representatives in events in Moscow."

The Ministry spokesman noted that "in view of Russian aggression against Ukraine," the participation of representatives of other countries "will be considered by Ukraine as a demonstration of solidarity with the aggressor." Ultimately, Perebiynis notes, this solidarity with the aggressor may affect our bilateral relations with the relevant countries."

Absurdly, Perebiynis noted that Russia is a "country that, despite its anti-Nazi rhetoric, encourages the Nazi movement at home and is a center of pilgrimage for Neo-Nazis from all over the world. We believe that the celebration of Victory Day in such a country can hardly be called anything other than blasphemy."

This is getting more absurd by the day.  This article showed up on the website at 7:18 p.m. Moscow time on their Tuesday evening---and it's another offering from Roy Stephens.


Russia Nervously Eyes the U.S.-Iran Deal

When a group of weary diplomats announced a framework for an Iranian nuclear accord last week in Lausanne, there was one diplomat in the mix whose feigned enthusiasm was hard to miss. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov left the talks at their most critical point March 30, much to the annoyance of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who apparently had to call him personally to persuade him to return. Even as Lavrov spoke positively to journalists about the negotiations throughout the week, he still seemed to have better things to do than pull all-nighters for a deal that effectively gives the United States one less problem to worry about in the Middle East and a greater capacity to focus on the Russian periphery.

Russia has no interest in seeing a nuclear-armed Iran in the neighborhood, but the mere threat of an unshackled Iranian nuclear program and a hostile relationship between Washington and Tehran provided just the level of distraction Moscow needed to keep the United States from committing serious attention to Russia's former Soviet sphere.

Russia tried its best to keep the Americans and Iranians apart. Offers to sell Iran advanced air defense systems were designed to poke holes in U.S. threats to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities. Teams of Russian nuclear experts whetted Iran's appetite for civilian nuclear power with offers to build additional power reactors. Russian banks did their part to help Iran circumvent financial sanctions. The Russian plan all along was not to help Iran get the bomb but to use its leverage with a thorny player in the Middle East to get the United States into a negotiation on issues vital to Russia's national security interests. So if Washington wanted to resolve its Iran problem, it would have to pull back on issues like ballistic missile defense in Central Europe, which Moscow saw early on as the first of several U.S. steps to encircle Russia.

This longish commentary was posted on the Internet site at 7:55 a.m. BST yesterday morning---and it falls into the absolute must read category for any serious student of the New Great Game.  It's the third contribution of the day from reader M.A., for which I thank him.


Saudi Arabia and Iran Fighting Proxy War in Yemen

On recent evenings, as Western foreign ministers negotiated fervently with the Iranian leadership in Lausanne, Switzerland, two young women in the Yemeni capital of Saana spent their time gazing fearfully into the darkening night sky. Nina Aqlan, a well-known civil rights activist, and her friend Ranim were on the lookout for Saudi Arabian fighter jets. Ranim was staying with Aqlan because her own apartment stands next to the headquarters of the Political Security Organization, Yemen's domestic intelligence agency. The building is considered a potential target for the Saudis and their allies.

"In the beginning, we thought they might bomb us for one or two nights. But it keeps getting worse!" says Ranim. In the background, the thump of the anti-aircraft batteries can be heard, occasionally interrupted by the thundering explosions of bomb detonations. Sometimes, the attacks last from early evening to midnight, they say over a Skype connection that repeatedly crashes. At other times, the bombing begins later and only ends at dawn.

The nightly strikes come as a Saudi Arabia-led, largely Sunni coalition consisting of nine countries seeks to push back Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen. Coalition jets have struck military bases and intelligence agency headquarters, but also a cement factory, a dairy and a refugee camp. By Thursday, the death toll from the bombings, which began one week ago, had risen to over 90. "What kind of war is this?" Aqlan asks angrily. "Why is it being fought?"

There isn't a direct connection between the hostilities and the surprisingly comprehensive deal reached between the West and Iran on the country's nuclear program on Thursday night. But aside from Israel, no country views the pact with as much skepticism as Saudi Arabia. Indeed, following similar developments in Syria and Iraq, the conflict in Yemen is increasingly looking like a proxy war between Riyadh and Tehran. The two capitals are blatantly wrestling over supremacy in the region. Either Saudi Arabia, the traditional Western ally that is watching nervously as the United States slowly pulls back. Or Iran, which has been expanding its power in the region of late and which has just taken an historic step toward rapprochement with the US and its allies.

This essay appeared on the German website on Saturday---and it now sports a new headline which reads "Proxy War in Yemen: Saudi Arabia and Iran Vie for Regional Supremacy"---and I thank Roy Stephens for his final contribution to today's column.


Pepe Escobar: Eurasian emporium or nuclear war?

A high-level European diplomatic source has confirmed to Asia Times that German chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has vigorously approached Beijing in an effort to disrupt its multi-front strategic partnership with Russia.

Beijing won’t necessarily listen to this political gesture from Berlin, as China is tuning the strings on its pan-Eurasian New Silk Road project, which implies close trade/commerce/business ties with both Germany and Russia.

The German gambit reveals yet more pressure by hawkish sectors of the U.S. government who are intent on targeting and encircling Russia. For all the talk about Merkel’s outrage over the U.S. National Security Agency’s tapping shenanigans, the chancellor walks Washington’s walk.  Real “outrage” means nothing unless she unilaterally ends sanctions on Russia. In the absence of such a response by Merkel, we’re in the realm of good guy-bad guy negotiating tactics.

The bottom line is that Washington cannot possibly tolerate a close Germany-Russia trade/political relationship, as it directly threatens its hegemony in the Empire of Chaos.

This short [for Pepe] essay appeared on the Asia Times website on Monday sometime---and I thank Brad Robertson for bringing it to our attention.


World Bank chief endorses rival Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

The World Bank's U.S.-appointed president has vowed to find "innovative" ways to work with a new Chinese-led Asian infrastructure bank, welcoming it as a "major new player" in the world of development.

The overture by Jim Yong Kim comes ahead of next week's World Bank and International Monetary Fund spring meetings in Washington. It also marks a split with the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama which nominated the medical doctor and former university president to head the World Bank in 2012.

With geopolitical imperatives and its competition with China for influence in the Pacific Rim firmly in mind the U.S. unsuccessfully lobbied allies such as Australia, Japan, and the U.K. not to join the nascent Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Behind that push by Washington has also been a desire to protect the Bretton Woods institutions over which the U.S. and Europe now wield veto power. So the move by one of those institutions' heads to break from the U.S. and set out a vision for co-operation with the new institution marks another blow to Washington's diplomatic efforts.

Dr Kim has said he was willing to work with the AIIB before. But in a speech on Tuesday in Washington he went further, offering his strongest endorsement yet of the AIIB and putting it high on the agenda for next week's meetings.

This interesting Financial Times news item showed up in part in this GATA release yesterday---and you'll need a subscription to read the rest.


Should We Really Put Gold in an IRA? -- Jeff Clark, Casey Research

“Gold is one of the dumbest things to put in your IRA,” said the slick TV commentator, with his $200 haircut, perfect white teeth, and superior attitude. “Everyone knows income-producing vehicles are best for an IRA.”

It was a prepackaged message from someone that sounded like he hadn’t given any more thought to the topic than what he’d read somewhere. His advice was misleading and incomplete, and I wondered how many viewers might weaken their portfolios by acting on his sound bite.

To be clear, he’s partially correct: the tax-advantaged nature of an IRA makes income-generating assets ideal, especially when you factor in compounding. Gold generates no income.

And there’s another drawback to putting gold in an IRA, one the slick TV journalist probably never even thought of: you lose confidentiality. Gold is one of the last assets in modern society that still offers anonymity—and you’d have to give it up if you stick it in an IRA.

This must read article appeared on the Casey Research website yesterday.


Turkish silver imports in March jump to highest on record

Turkish imports of silver jumped to the highest on record at 54.6 tonnes in March, according to data from the Borsa Istanbul.

The figure is up 67 percent on the previous month’s figure of 32.6 tonnes, and well-above the previous record of 41.6 tonnes in December.  The country imported 227 tonnes of silver in 2014.

The metal’s price is currently up around seven percent for the year at $16.82 per ounce, after hitting a three-month low in March at $15.29, and is one of the best performing metals in the precious metals complex.

Turkey did not import any platinum or palladium in March, while the gold number is still to be released.

The above four paragraphs are all there is to this brief story that also found a home over at the Internet site yesterday afternoon London time.


Norilsk sees South Africa cutting platinum output

OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel sees South African output of platinum-group metals declining in the next several years as the Russian mining company leads investors in creating a $2 billion palladium fund.

“Investments in a vast amount of projects in South Africa were delayed and it’s hard to expect an increase in output in the region,” Anton Berlin, head of strategic marketing at Norilsk, said in an interview on Monday. “Most likely, it will even fall.”

This year, South African output will recover to match its 2013 level of 4.4 million ounces of platinum and 2.4 million ounces of palladium, following a sharp decline caused by five months of strikes in 2014, he said.

The platinum market had a deficit of almost 1 million ounces last year, which should narrow to 500,000 ounces this year, according to Norilsk’s estimates.

This very interesting Bloomberg article also found a home on the Internet site at 11:01 a.m. BST yesterday morning.


Ted Butler: An Unavoidable Comparison

A rare event occurred this past week; the CFTC charged a major food company, Kraft, Inc., with price manipulation in the wheat market. You can count on one or two hands the number of times the federal commodities regulator has charged anyone with price manipulation in its 40 year history. 

For what it’s worth, the agency’s case looks convincingly laid out and seems to contain all the elements of proving price manipulation, including intent and the ability to control prices. That said, the Commission has a very poor record of prevailing in the manipulation cases it has brought.

One thing telling about the case was that a large commercial trading entity who was supposedly using the futures market for strictly hedging purposes was accused of engaging in a variety of market schemes for strictly speculative gains. So much for the widespread argument that commercial traders are always “only hedging” and how I should cut them a break. As you know, I have long held that the commercials, at least on the COMEX, are just speculators gaming other speculators and little legitimate hedging occurs. Certainly, that’s what the CFTC alleged in its complaint against Kraft.

Quoting from the CFTC’s press release – Aitan Goelman, the CFTC’s Director of Enforcement, stated: “This case goes to the core of the CFTC’s mission: protecting market participants and the public from manipulation and abusive practices that undermine the integrity of the derivatives markets. A market participant who is not happy with cash prices available to it may not resort to manipulative trading strategies in an attempt to artificially lower that price.”

This absolute must read commentary by Ted was part of his weekly commentary to his paying subscribers on Saturday---and I knew from the separate subtitle, and the way he presented it in his column, that it was about to become a stand-alone article in the public domain---and here it is.  It showed up on the Internet site yesterday morning.



¤ The Funnies

Here's one last photo from Mark O'Brien.  I saved it for today, because I already had four of his photos in yesterday's column.  It's an osprey with dinner in hand.

Freegold Ventures Limited is a North American gold exploration company with three gold projects in Alaska. Current projects include Golden Summit, Vinasale and Rob. Both Vinasale and Golden Summit host NI 43-101 Compliant Resource Calculations.

An updated NI 43-101 resource was calculated on Golden Summit in October 2012 and using 0.3 g/t cutoff  the current resource is 73,580,000 tonnes grading 0.67 g/t Au for total of 1,576,000 contained ounces in the indicated category, and 223,300,000 tonnes grading 0.62 g/t Au for a total of 4,437,000 contained ounces in the inferred category. In addition to the Golden Summit Project the Vinasale also hosts a NI 43-101 resource calculation which was updated in March 2013. Indicated resources are 3.41 million tonnes averaging 1.48 g/t Au for 162,000 ounces, and Inferred resources are 53.25 million tonnes averaging 1.05 g/t Au for 1,799,000 ounces of gold utilizing a cutoff value of 0.5 grams/tonne (g/t) as a possible open pit cutoff. Please send us an email for more information,


¤ The Wrap

The turnover or movement of metal into and out from the COMEX-approved silver warehouse cooled off to just 1.2 million ounces last week. This is the lowest movement that I can remember in quite some time. Total COMEX silver inventories remained unchanged at 176.5 million oz.

There does seem to be a developing cooling off in movement this year---and at this point I don’t know if that will continue, or even what that might mean. I am sensitive to any changes in the patterns for silver for the main reason such changes may indicate an end to the ongoing manipulation. For instance, perhaps a sharp fall-off in turnover may mean JPMorgan has taken as much physical silver as it can after heavily buying over the past four years when the turnover jumped sharply. Time will tell. - Silver analyst Ted Butler: 04 April 2015

With the U.S. dollar on fire yesterday, I guess we should be grateful that the damage in the precious metals wasn't worse that it was, although the shares---both silver and gold---gave up over half their Monday gains.

Here are the 6-month charts for both gold and silver.

Gold closed just below its 50-day moving average yesterday, but not by a material amount.  Silver is still above its, but still under the $17 price ceiling that the powers-that-be have set for it at the moment---and where we go from here is up for debate.  I can make a solid case for either up or down, but we'll see what JPMorgan et al have in store for us in the days ahead.

And as I type this paragraph, the London open is about 10 minutes away---and I see that not much is going on from a price perspective.  All four precious metals are up a hair from Tuesday's close in New York, but drifting sideways.  Gold volume is barely fogging the mirror at just under 11,000 contracts---and silver's net volume is barely over 2,400 contracts.

The dollar index has been drifting lower ever since its 98.02 high tick that came around 4:35 p.m. EDT yesterday afternoon---and it's currently down 27 basis points from Tuesday's close.

Yesterday, at the close of COMEX trading, was the cut-off for Friday's COT and Bank Participation Reports---and I'm hoping that everything up to that time will be in those numbers.  After the fiasco of the last two week's COT Reports, I'm ready for anything when the numbers finally do make an appearance.

And as I hit the send button on today's column at 5:28 a.m. EDT, I see that the precious metal attempts to rally a bit at the London open weren't allowed to amount to much---and despite the fact that the dollar index is currently down 43 basis points---and down 50 plus basis points from its high yesterday afternoon in New York, gold and silver et al are either trading flat, or are down on the day.

I would guess if the dollar index was up this amount, all four precious metals would already be trading considerably below yesterday's closes in New York.  If the powers-that-be want the precious metals to go lower---that's what will happen---regardless of what the currencies are doing.  Precious metal prices are set in the COMEX futures market irrespective of what's going on with the currencies.

Gold volume is sitting at 17,500 contracts---and silver's net volume is around 4,300 contracts.  Nothing to see here.  It's very quiet out there.

And unless something comes out of left field, I'm not expecting much in the way of price action today.

I'm off to bed---and I'll see you here tomorrow.

Ed Steer