Gold & Silver Daily

¤ Yesterday In Gold & Silver

Once again the gold price got sold down in the morning trading session in the Far East on their Wednesday.  The gold price stayed down until it rallied back to unchanged about ten minutes after the Comex open.  The tiny rally that began after the London close got chopped off at the knees about 1 minute before lunchtime in New York---and then gold traded quietly lower going into the 5:15 p.m. EDT close of electronic trading.

The low and high ticks were recorded as $1,305.40 and $1,325.60 in the August contract.

Gold finished the Wednesday session at $1,318.40 spot, down 60 cents from yesterday.  Because of the two rallies in New York, the volume was higher than normal, as JPMorgan et al had to use some paper to put out these rally fires on the Comex once again.  Volume, net of June and July, was 136,000 contracts.  There was also 11,000 contracts traded in futures months, which could have been roll-overs or spreads, so if that was the case, that can be lopped off yesterday's volume numbers.  What's left is still a pretty big number, though.

And just as an aside, I'm wondering if some bored trader got a prize for closing the gold price on Wednesday in the tiny price gap between the Monday and Tuesday closes.  Just thinking out loud, dear reader.

It was more or less the same chart pattern in silver, except the price action was more 'volatile'.  The lows were set in Hong Kong.  The rally at the Comex open wasn't allowed to get far---and the final price cap at its high tick came 1 minute before noon in New York, just like the gold price.

The low and high were reported by the CME Group as $20.705 and $21.165 in the July contract.

Silver actually closed above the $21 price mark at $21.015 spot---and up 9 cents from Tuesday's close.  Gross volume was over 100,000 contracts, but netted out at 30,000 contracts, some of which were used to put out the rally fires in New York as well.

It was the same for platinum and palladium, with rallies in both ending at 11:59 a.m. EDT---the same as silver and gold.  Both metals closed up precisely four bucks.  Here are the charts.

So what are the chances that the 11:59 a.m. EDT tops in the rallies in all four precious metals on Wednesday were free market events?  The answer is 'no chance'.

The dollar index closed at 80.32 late on Tuesday afternoon---and then didn't do much of anything until noon in London.  At that point the index headed south in a hurry, hitting its 80.10 low tick a few minutes before 9 a.m. in New York.  Was someone catching the proverbial falling knife?  The index gained back about half that amount by the close---and it finished the Wednesday trading session at 80.20---down 12 basis points on the day.

The gold stocks traded mostly above the zero mark---and hit their highs of the day a few minutes before noon in New York.  From there they chopped lower, but managed to finish up 0.49%.

The silver equities put in a very similar chart pattern, but after the 11:59 high tick in the metal itself, they traded flat for a couple of hours before rallying a bit more into the close.  Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 1.39%.

The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 239 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Friday.  I knew there was a short/issuer of some size hiding in the bushes, as there was still a decent number of gold contracts open in the June delivery month---and they stepped into the limelight yesterday.

The two big short/issuers of note were Morgan Stanley with 174 contracts in its in-house [proprietary] trading account---and Barclays with 62 contracts in its client account.  The two largest long/stoppers were JPMorgan in its client account with 148 contracts---and Deutsche Bank in its in-house [proprietary] trading account with 69 contracts.  The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

There was no reported change in GLD---and as of 10:09 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either.

There was a decent sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday.  They sold 6,000 gold eagles---500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes---and 380,000 silver eagles.

It was a pretty quiet day in both gold and silver at the Comex approved depositories on Tuesday.  In gold, nothing was reported received---and only 5,517 troy ounces were reported shipped out.  In silver, there was 63,996 troy ounces received---and 156,226 troy ounces shipped out the door.  The link to the silver activity is here.

For the last month, both Ted Butler and I have been talking about the fact that in lieu of depositing physical silver in the SLV ETF, the authorized participants were going to have to short the shares if they couldn't come up with the metal to deposit.

Reader Harvey Lewis asked the following---and very obvious question---"When you have time, please explain in detail how "authorized participants are shorting SLV shares in lieu of depositing the metal."  I do not understand how selling something you do not have makes up for silver that is supposed to be deposited."

Since silver analyst Ted Butler is the authority on this, I put the question to him---and told him that whatever answer was forthcoming, would be in today's column---and here it is.

"SLV and GLD are exceptionally unique securities in that they are open-ended trusts that promise to be backed by set amounts of silver and gold metal for each share created or outstanding. Further, they are unique in that shares can be converted into metal for redemption when done in basket amounts and by authorized participants (APs).

"When there is net new buying in either, new shares are created and actual metal must be deposited in amounts equal to the new shares created. That is the clear intent and language in the prospectus of each. The only way to circumvent the necessity of depositing metal when new shares are created by net new buying is if the shares sold have been sold short.

"By selling shares short into net new buying, the short seller can circumvent the requirement to deposit metal and, instead, simply hold  a short share position and avoid depositing metal. But this cheats all the holders of SLV and GLD because shorted shares are not backed by metal when the prospectus guarantees there must be metal backing.

"When I confronted BlackRock (SLV's sponsor) about this sometime back, they said there was nothing they could do about it because publicly traded securities could be shorted, but they avoided the matter of insufficient metal backing in the trust.

"The problem is that the temptation to short shares in lieu of depositing metal is greatest when physical metal is most unavailable, which is when buyers are most interested that the trust having full metal backing. A large and increasing short position in shares of SLV, in particular, indicate a developing shortage of metal."

[The other thing that I want to point out on this "short the shares vs. buying and depositing the physical metal" is this.  I'm quite sure that the physical metal itself is available in good delivery form somewhere on Planet Earth from a willing seller.  The only question is of price.  If the APs actually had to go out there and bid the price up to find these willing sellers, you can imagine what the price of silver would be at the Comex close today if they were really forced to go out in the free market and get it.  And it's for that very reason that they don't. - Ed]

Super-chartist Nick Laird over at sent me an e-mail last night---and I thought the contents and the link worth sharing.

Hi Ed:  I put this selection out in the public space---and it shows the largest movers of the era. I could only use approximate prices for the lows and highs---eyeballing them off the charts."  The chart is entitled "Canadian Gold Stocks: 1978-1980"---and the link to this incredible chart is here.

I was hoping that the number of stories would decrease as the week progressed.  This hasn't happened so, once again, the final edit is all yours.


¤ Critical Reads

Economy in free fall? 1Q revision shows shrinkage of 2.9%

America's economy shrank at a drastic 2.9 percent annual rate in the first quarter, a far more alarming picture than ones painted in two previous government estimates -- including one that actually claimed modest growth.

The new figure released Wednesday by the Commerce Department is nearly three times lower than last month's preliminary estimate of 1 percent shrinkage -- at the time the worst three-month performance since 2009 -- and far greater than the 0.1 percent growth estimate in April. The sluggish economy's woes have been widely attributed to an unusually cold winter, but the latest figure -- the biggest difference between second and third estimates since 1976 -- could indicate far greater problems.

While economists attributed those bad numbers to weather and other factors, the jarring number, dubbed "an absolute disaster" by Wall Street blog -  is more difficult to dismiss. 

Fox New contributor and economist Peter Morici said there were several factors that can help explain away the lousy performance. But he said there are reasons for concern.

This news item appeared on the Internet site early yesterday morning.  Today's first story is courtesy of Casey Research's own Louis James---and I thank him for passing it around yesterday.  There was also a story on this issue over at the website.  It was headlined "Economy Collapses in First Quarter, But Growing Again"---don't worry, be happy.  I thank Elliot Simon for that one.


A New Recession and a New World Devoid of Washington’s Arrogance? — Paul Craig Roberts

A final number for real US GDP growth in the first quarter of 2014 was released today. The number is not the 2.6% growth rate predicted by the know-nothing economists in January of this year. The number is a decline in GDP of -2.9 percent.

The negative growth rate of -2.9 percent is itself an understatement. This number was achieved by deflating nominal GDP with an understated measure of inflation. During the Clinton regime, the Boskin Commission rigged the inflation measure in order to cheat Social Security recipients out of their cost-of-living adjustments. Anyone who purchases food, fuel, or anything knows that inflation is much higher than the officially reported number.

It is possible that the drop in first quarter real GDP is three times the official number.

Regardless, the difference is large between the January forecast of +2.6 percent growth and the decline as of the end of March of -2.9 percent.

This right-on-the-money commentary by Paul was posted on this Internet site yesterday sometime---and it's an absolute must read.  I thank South African reader B.V. for sliding it into my in-box in the wee hours of this morning.


For most families, wealth has vanished

If you’re a typical family, you’re considerably poorer than you used to be. No wonder the “recovery” feels like a recession.

A new study published by the Russell Sage foundation helps explain why many families feel like they’re falling behind: They actually are. The study, which measures the average wealth of U.S. households by income level, reveals a startling decline in wealth nationwide. The median household in 2013 had a net worth of just $56,335 -- 43% lower than the median wealth level right before the recession began in 2007, and 36% lower than a decade ago. “There are very few signs of significant recovery from the losses in wealth suffered by American families during the Great Recession,” the study concludes.

Not surprisingly, lower-income households have lost a larger portion of their wealth than those with higher incomes.

This article from the Daily Ticker was picked up by the Internet site at 3:16 p.m. EDT on Tuesday---and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for sharing it with us.


Dark Pool Greed Drove Barclays to Lie to Clients, N.Y. Attorney General Says

Barclays Plc was so bent on lifting its private trading venue to the upper ranks of Wall Street dark pools that it lied to customers and masked the role of high-frequency traders, according to New York’s attorney general.

Barclays falsified marketing materials to hide how much high-frequency traders were buying and selling, according to a complaint filed today by Eric Schneiderman. Barclays runs one of Wall Street’s largest dark pools, a private trading venue where investors can trade stocks mostly anonymously.

Schneiderman has taken a leading role in seeking to reform how equities trade in the $23 trillion U.S. stock market, examining whether exchanges and dark pools give unfair perks to high-frequency traders. His suit against Barclays says clients such as institutional investors were the losers, led to believe they were safe from predators on a trading venue where aggressive trading strategies were in fact encouraged.

This Bloomberg story put in an appearance at 4:19 p.m. Denver time yesterday afternoon---and it's the first offering of the day from Manitoba reader Ulrike Marx.


How are Obama and the IRS getting away with a blatant coverup?

To understand the latest outrage in the IRS scandal, mull over what might happen if regulators found significant evidence to implicate Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein in an insider trading scheme.

Let’s say Blankfein asserted his Fifth Amendment right not to answer any questions. Say Goldman was subpoenaed to provide all of Blankfein’s emails. Goldman replied that, instead of complying with the subpoena, it was itself reviewing the emails in question and was considering which ones to release.

Now imagine that, nearly a year later, Goldman admitted that it had not, in fact, reviewed the emails in question, because they had been lost in a computer crash two months before it claimed to be reviewing them. Imagine Goldman also said copies of the emails were lost, because while under subpoena, it had destroyed the “backup tapes” (whatever those are) that held them and that it had also thrown away Blankfein’s actual hard drive.

The thing about dogs eating homework is, it could actually happen. This can’t.

This news item appeared on The New York Post website on Saturday---and it's worth reading.  I thank Harry Grant for sending it our way.


Cellphones Can’t Be Searched Without a Warrant, Supreme Court Rules

In a sweeping victory for privacy rights in the digital age, the Supreme Court on Wednesday unanimously ruled that the police need warrants to search the cellphones of people they arrest.

While the decision will offer protection to the 12 million people arrested every year, many for minor crimes, its impact will most likely be much broader. The ruling almost certainly also applies to searches of tablet and laptop computers, and its reasoning may apply to searches of homes and businesses and of information held by third parties like phone companies.

“This is a bold opinion,” said Orin S. Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University. “It is the first computer-search case, and it says we are in a new digital age. You can’t apply the old rules anymore.”

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for the court, was keenly alert to the central role that cellphones play in contemporary life. They are, he said, “such a pervasive and insistent part of daily life that the proverbial visitor from Mars might conclude they were an important feature of human anatomy.”

This news item showed up on The New York Times website yesterday---and I thank Roy Stephens for his first contribution to today's column.


Revealed: How governments can take control of smartphones

‘Legal malware’ produced by the Italian firm Hacking Team can take total control of your mobile phone. That’s according to Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab and University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab(which also obtained a user manual).

Operating since 2001, the Milan-based Hacking Team employs over 50 people and offers clients the ability to “take control of your targets and monitor them regardless of encryption and mobility," while “keeping an eye on all your targets and manage them remotely, all from a single screen.”

It’s the first time Remote Control Systems (RCS) malware has been positively linked with mobile phones and it opens up a new privacy threat potential to mobile phone users.

This article put in an appearance on the Russia Today website at 1:32 a.m. Moscow time Wednesday morning---and it's the second story in a row from Roy Stephens.


74% of Germans oppose permanent NATO bases in Poland and Baltics

Nearly three-quarters of Germans oppose having permanent NATO military bases in Poland and the Baltic states as a buffer against Russia, a new poll reveals. The opinion reflects a growing trend within Europe opposing further NATO eastern expansion.

In the Forsa poll for the Internationale Politik magazine's latest edition slated for Friday, 74 percent of those surveyed were against the idea, while only 18 percent supported it, Reuters reports. Opposition to NATO expansion in Eastern Europe remains highest in former Communist eastern Germany, Forsa said.

Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia - all former members of the Soviet bloc – fear that Russia poses a military threat following recent events in Ukraine, and have asked for further security guarantees from their NATO partners.

This news item showed up on the Russia Today website at 3:56 p.m. Moscow time yesterday afternoon---and it's also courtesy of Roy Stephens.


Putin, Hollande, Merkel, Poroshenko discuss Ukraine crisis, urge extending ceasefire - Kremlin

The leaders of Russia, France, Germany and Ukraine in a conference call on Wednesday urge extending a current ceasefire between government forces and militias in eastern Ukraine that expires on Thursday, the Kremlin said. The presidents of Russia, France and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin, Francois Hollande and Petr Poroshenko, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had "detailed exchanges of opinions on the crisis situation in Ukraine," the Russian president's office said.

"The need was stressed to extend the truce and create conditions for proper control of the ceasefire regime," Interfax reports.

"The importance was pointed out of the release of prisoners by the parties to the conflict," the office said.

Putin "advocated extending the ceasefire and organizing a sustained negotiation process," it said.

This article appeared on The Voice of Russia website at 8:11 p.m. Wednesday evening Moscow time---and my thanks go out to Roy Stephens once again.


Russia mulls barring firms from using foreign-owned banks

Russia is considering banning state companies and other strategically important firms from holding accounts at foreign-owned banks, a governmental source familiar with the proposals told Reuters on Tuesday.

"Such an idea is lingering, but there is no decision about it as yet," the source said.

Analysts doubted that the plan would be adopted, saying it would be highly damaging for Russia's investment climate and would face opposition from major companies.

This Reuters piece, filed from Moscow, was posted on their Internet site at 9:12 a.m. on Tuesday morning---and if found it embedded in a Zero Hedge story that Ulrike Marx sent our way.


Can Putin’s Diplomacy Prevail Over Washington’s Coercion? — Paul Craig Roberts

June 24, 2014. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is trying to save the world from war. We should all help him.

Today Putin’s presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov reported that President Putin has asked the Russian legislature to repeal the authorization to use force that was granted in order to protect residents of former Russian territories that are currently part of Ukraine from the rabid Russophobic violence that characterizes Washington’s stooge government in Kiev.

Washington’s neoconservatives are jubilant. They regard Putin’s diplomacy as a sign of weakness and fear, and urge stronger steps that will force Russia to give back Crimea and the Black Sea naval base.

Inside Russia, Washington is encouraging its NGO fifth columns to undercut Putin’s support with propaganda that Putin is afraid to stand up for Russians and has sold out Ukraine’s Russian population. If this propaganda gains traction, Putin will be distracted by street protests. The appearance of Putin’s domestic weakness would embolden Washington. Many members of Russia’s young professional class are swayed by Washington’s propaganda. Essentially, these Russians, brainwashed by US propaganda, are aligned with Washington, not with the Kremlin.

This very short commentary by Paul is definitely worth reading---and I thank reader B.V. for finding it for us.


The New Face of Terror: ISIS' Rise Pushes Iraq to Brink

The jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is relatively new on the scene, but its secretive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has quickly transformed it into one of the most feared terrorist groups around. It threatens to completely transform the Middle East.

Brigadier General Saad Maan trudges through the midday heat to the Iraqi army's Baghdad "operation room" as his aides shove updates into his hand and whisper into his ear. His mobile phone rings constantly. The command center of the Iraqi military is located in the Adnan Palace, a pompous structure built by Saddam Hussein between the crossed-swords monument and the new U.S. Embassy.

General Maan is the public face of the security apparatus. Until recently, his job consisted of explaining to his country what the army and police were doing in response to the repeated terror attacks in Baghdad. But for the last two weeks, Maan is no longer talking about "incidents." Iraq's army is now engaged in war, and Maan has begun speaking about "the front."

This longish 3-page essay appeared on the German website at 6:15 p.m. Europe time yesterday evening---and once again I thank Roy Stephens for another contribution to today's column.


Baghdad May Lose Its Drinking Water as ISIS Approaches Second Largest Dam

Against a background of having lost control of all western border crossings, Iraqi officials are concerned that ISIS fighters are advancing on the Haditha Dam, the second-largest in Iraq. With militants pouring in from the north, the northeast and the northwest, The New York Times reports, army officers told employees to stay inside and to be prepared to open the dam’s floodgates if ordered to do so.

"This will lead to the flooding of the town and villages and will harm you also," warned one worried employee but this would not be the first time that the Iraqi government and ISIS have engaged in dam warfare, as the closure of the Falluja dam earlier in the year starved areas downstream in the provinces of Najaf and Diwaniya of water needed for crops.

The situation is growing more grave as Maliki rejected calls for a caretaker government and has forced Iran's hand to help. Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia noted "the Iranians are playing in a big way in Iraq."

This Zero Hedge article appeared on their website at 6:13 p.m. EDT on Wednesday evening---and my thanks go out to Ulrike Marx for sharing it with us.


With new grip on oil fields, Iraq Kurds unveil plan to ramp up exports

Iraq's self-ruling Kurds outlined plans on Wednesday to swiftly ramp up oil exports now that their forces have taken control of Iraq's main northern oilfields, a move that could tear up the settlement holding Iraq together since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Kurdish Natural Resources Minister Ashti Hawrami told Reuters the Kurds had plans to increase their exports eightfold by the end of 2015, including by pumping oil from the fields taken by Kurdish fighters two weeks ago.

"We expect to be able to export 1 million bpd by the end of next year, including crude from Kirkuk," he said, although he insisted the Kurds would share the proceeds with Baghdad.

"We want to work with Baghdad under the constitution, and they will get their share of the oil they export from Kirkuk."

This Reuters story, filed from Arbil in Iraq, was posted on their Internet site at 7:17 p.m. EDT on Wednesday evening---and I thank Ulrike Marx for sliding it into my in-box just before midnight MDT last night.


Send in the drones: Tom Engelhardt

Imagine the president, speaking on Iraq from the White House Press Briefing Room last Thursday, as the proverbial deer in the headlights - and it's not difficult to guess just what those headlights were. Think of them as Benghazi on steroids. If the killing of an American ambassador, a Foreign Service officer, and two CIA private security contractors could cause almost two years of domestic political uproar, unending Republican criticism, and potential damage to the president's "legacy," consider what an Iraq in shambles and a terrorist state stretching across "the Levant" might do. It's hardly surprising, then, that a president regularly described as "reluctant" nonetheless stepped before the press corps and began the slow march back into Iraq and toward disaster.

It was a moment of remarkable contradictions. Obama managed, for example, to warn against "mission creep" even as he was laying out what could only be described as mission creep. Earlier that week, he had notified Congress that 275 troops would be sent to Iraq, largely to defend the vast US embassy in Baghdad, once an almost three-quarters-of-a-billion-dollar symbol of imperial hubris, now a white elephant of the first order. A hundred more military personnel were to be moved into the region for backup.

Then on Thursday, the president added 300 "military advisers" drawn from Special Operations forces and evidently meant to staff new "joint operation centers in Baghdad and northern Iraq to share intelligence and coordinate planning to confront the terrorist threat." (If you are of a certain age, that word "adviser" will ring an eerie Vietnam-ish bell. You should, in fact, already be hearing a giant sucking sound somewhere in the distance.) He also spoke vaguely of positioning "additional US military assets in the region" into which the aircraft carrier USS George H W Bush, accompanied by a guided-missile cruiser and destroyer, had already sailed. And mind you, this was only the reasonably public part of whatever build-up is underway.

This short commentary by Tom was posted on the Asia Times website yesterday sometime---and I thank reader M.A. for sending it our way.  It's definitely worth reading if you have the time.


China state copper firm chief jumps to his death following corruption allegations

The head of a US$2 billion Chinese copper producer fell to his death from a building, the firm announced on Wednesday, with a state-run newspaper claiming he committed suicide following corruption allegations.

The chairman of state-owned Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group, Wei Jianghong, died on Tuesday after falling off a building, the company said in a statement.

A string of officials have killed themselves in recent months, with speculation linking some to a crackdown on graft launched by President Xi Jinping after he took office last year.

State-run media said Wei jumped from a hotel owned by the company in Tongling, the city in the eastern province of Anhui where it has its headquarters.

Well, dear reader, one has to wonder whether he jumped on his own, or was helped a bit.  This news item showed up on the South China Morning Post website at 8:39 p.m. on Wednesday evening local time---and I thank Ulrike Marx for bringing it to our attention.  This story also got the Zero Hedge spin/treatment.  Over there, the headline reads "Chairman of China's Largest Copper Producer Commits Suicide By Jumping From Hotel".  I thank Harry Grant for sending this version of the story our way.


Four King World News Blogs

1. Art Cashin: "Watch the Risk Trinity - Oil, Gold---and the 10-Year Yield"  2. GATA's Chris Powell: "The Shocking Secret the U.S. Fed is Hiding From the World"  3. KWN: "A Look at the Big Picture For the Gold Market"  4. David P: "Historic Breakout Will Launch the Price of Silver to $100"

[Please direct any questions or comments about what is said in these interviews by either Eric King or his guests to them, and not to me. Thank you. - Ed]


Secretive Swiss vaults may hold missing link in platinum price equation

Underground vaults next to a Swiss farming village may reveal one reason for the platinum market's indifference to its biggest ever supply shock.

Most analysts and market players expected steep price increases for the precious metal as a record five month mining strike in South Africa, which ended on Tuesday, wiped out some 40 percent of global supply.

Yet values have been stuck in a $140 an ounce range gaining just five percent so far this year.

Estimates of total platinum stock value vary by billions of dollars, mainly because of uncertainty over how much metal is stored in off-shore vaults.

If you believe this piece of mainstream wild-ass speculation, I really do have a bridge just for you.  Four U.S. banks are short more than 16% of the entire Comex platinum market on a net basis.  That's part of the reason the price of platinum is not going anywhere.  All you have to do is look at the COT Report to see where the rest of the problems are.  Ted's quote today applies equally to platinum and  palladium as well.  This Reuters story, filed from London, was picked up by the Internet site yesterday---and it's another contribution from Ulrike Marx.  It's not worth reading.


Turkey Sells 200 Tons of Secret Gold to Iran

As the minister in charge of Turkey’s $800 billion economy in 2013, Zafer Caglayan was facing a series of numbers that didn’t bode well for coming elections. Inflation was up, growth was slowing and the lira was weakening.

One key measure of financial health was particularly worrisome: the country was importing far more goods, services and capital than it was sending abroad. By October, when he was interviewed by a local CNBC affiliate, Caglayan described the gap as unsustainable and said the government would take steps to improve it.

What he didn’t mention was a clandestine export-boosting operation started up more than a year before that was helping to solve the trade imbalance.

This very long, but must read Bloomberg story showed up on their Internet site at 3 p.m. MDT yesterday afternoon---and I thank reader 'David in California' for sending it our way.  And as I edit today's column at 5:05 a.m. EDT, I note that the story sports a new headline.  It now reads "Bling for Minister Mastermind Greased Secret Turkey Gold Trade".  Here's the Zero Hedge spin on it headlined "Turkey's "200 Tons of Secret Gold" Trade With Iran: The Biggest, Most Bizarre Money Laundering Scheme Ever?"---also courtesy of David.


Without reform, we'll shut down industry warn Indian jewellers

If push comes to shove, Indian jewellers are ready to shutter their stores if their demands are not met.

With India’s gem and jewellery exports likely to rise 7% this financial year, given rising demand from developed countries and West Asia, a major organisation of gold and gems retailers has said that if the credit cycle is not restored to the earlier 180 days, jewellers could well shut shop until their demands are met.

The organisation did not want to be named.

The threat of drastic action - without precedent in India - comes as the Indian government shows little sign of quickly addressing rules governing India's gold and gems sector, from gold import curbs aimed at reducing the country's current account deficit to a tighter credit cycle.

This gold-related news item, filed from Mumbai, appeared on the Internet site yesterday---and I thank Ulrike Marx for bringing it to our attention.


Koos Jansen: Shanghai exchange chief confirms WGC badly underestimates gold demand

Gold researcher and GATA consultant Koos Jansen reports confirmation from the chairman of the Shanghai Gold Exchange that off-take from the exchange exceeded 2,000 tonnes in 2013, nearly doubling the estimate of Chinese gold demand made by the World Gold Council. Jansen also reports the assertion by the chief of the precious metals department of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world's largest bank, that pricing for gold will shift from the derivatives market to the physical market.

The information comes to Jansen from an associate reporting on the proceedings of the London Bullion Market Association meeting in Singapore.

Together these assertions seem to constitute the best confirmation yet that China's view of the gold market is GATA's view and not the purported view of the bullion bankers in London, New York, and Washington.

Jansen's report is posted at his Internet site  It's worth reading---and I found it embedded in a GATA release yesterday.


China Finds $15B of Loans Backed by Falsified Gold Trades

China’s chief auditor discovered 94.4 billion yuan ($15.2 billion) of loans backed by falsified gold transactions, adding to signs of possible fraud in commodities financing deals.

Twenty-five bullion processors made a combined profit of more than 900 million yuan by using the loans to take advantage of the difference between onshore and offshore interest rates, and the appreciation of Chinese currency, according a report on the National Audit Office’s website. China is the biggest producer and consumer of gold.

Public security authorities are also probing alleged fraud at Qingdao Port where the same stockpiles of copper and aluminum may have been pledged multiple times as collateral for loans. As much as 1,000 tons of gold may be tied up in financing deals in China, in which commodities including metals and agricultural products are used to get credit amid restrictions on lending, according to World Gold Council estimates through 2013.

“This is the first official confirmation of what many people have suspected for a long time -- that gold is widely used in Chinese commodity financing deals,” said Liu Xu, a senior analyst at Capital Futures Co. in Beijing. “Any scaling back by banks of gold-backed financing deals might lead to a short-term reduction in Chinese imports and also spur some sales by companies looking to repay lenders.”

I don't know what to make of this story but, if I were you, I'd take it with a big grain of salt at the moment.  This Bloomberg story appeared on their Internet site 1 minute before midnight Denver time---and it's the final contribution of the day from Ulrike Marx.



¤ The Funnies

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¤ The Wrap

The technical funds are speculators through and through. No one would argue otherwise. In their role as counterparties, the commercials are also speculators; positioning against the technical funds for nearly certain profit. The problem, in a nutshell, is that prices are being determined in a speculator versus speculator contest. By the very definition of the traders involved, no real producers or consumers or investors in the actual commodity are represented in the speculator vs. speculator contest in COMEX futures trading. Please think about that for a moment.

The CME Group spends millions and millions of dollars on lobbying and advertisements proclaiming their exchanges exist to make it possible for actual commodity producers and consumers to hedge their price risks. But instead of encouraging real silver producers and consumers to hedge price risk, the CME has instead devised and encouraged a trading system on the COMEX that facilitates a massive speculator vs. speculator private betting pool. Talk about false advertising. Worse, real silver producers are unfairly punished by the artificially low price that the private betting game has created. - Silver analyst Ted Butler: 25 June 2014

It was another day where all four precious metals got sold down a bit in Far East trading---and then had to dig themselves out of a hole to get back into positive territory on Wednesday.  Gold didn't make it.  Once again the volumes in both gold and silver were higher than normal as "da boyz" had to throw Comex paper at the rallies in New York.

Here are the 6-month charts for both gold and silver once again.  Nothing much has changed---and silver is now a hair more overbought than it was on Tuesday.  These overbought conditions aren't going to last forever---and will get resolved by some sort of engineered price decline.  The only question is when---and by how much---and how long the 'salami slicing' will last.

And as I write this paragraph, London has just opened.  Like what happened on Tuesday and Wednesday, all four precious metals were sold down a bit in Far East trading on their Thursday---and nothing has changed price-wise now that London has begun to trade.  Gold volume is pretty light---and silver volume, net of roll-overs, is very light.  The dollar index is down a handful of basis points.

Ever since the big short covering rally last Friday, we've been in a holding pattern of sorts---basically moving sideways, as a quick glance at the charts above shows immediately.  As I said earlier, there will be some sort of resolution---and it's really hard to put a handle on how bad it might be without knowing what's in Friday Commitment of Traders Report.

The report could be a very pleasant surprise, with JPMorgan covering a large percentage of its short position.  That's my hope, slim though it may be.  Ted figures it will probably be the same old, same old.  If that's the case, then we're back to where we started---and we await the inevitable engineered price decline I spoke of above.

Of course, as Ted Butler has said on numerous occasions over the years, some day what the COT Report says won't matter, as the physical shortage in silver will trump any paper silver contract written.

And as I hit the send button at 5:20 a.m. EDT, I see that all four precious metals are down even more than they were at the London open.  Gold is down nine bucks---and silver is safely back under $21---and down about two bits.  Platinum and palladium are both down about the same percentage as gold.  Gold volume is now a bit over 35,000 contracts---and some of this will be technical funds longs heading for the exits as the gold price gets engineered lower.  Ditto for silver, but today is the last day for roll-overs out of the July contract for the big players, so switch volume will be monstrous.  At the moment, net volume is still pretty light.  The dollar index is back to unchanged.

Well, there are three trading days left in June, which is the end of the month---and the second quarter.  There will be a lot of book-squaring going on---and it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if JPMorgan et al made every attempt to finish the precious metals as low as they can get them between now and the close of Comex trading on Monday.

Has the engineered price decline begun?  It's impossible to tell at the moment, but as I said further up, something's gotta give sooner or later---and I would be the most surprised person in the world if gold and silver prices took off to the moon and the stars from such an overbought condition.

So, we wait.

See you tomorrow.