Gold & Silver Daily
"Platinum, palladium---along with copper---all had their prices engineered to new lows"
 

¤ Yesterday In Gold & Silver

The gold price sold off a few dollars in early Far East trading on their Wednesday---and then proceeded to bounce off the $1,205 spot price market until the London a.m. gold fix was in around 10:20 a.m. BST.  At that point the gold price popped back to around unchanged.  It rallied anew at the Comex open---and obviously got capped at the London p.m. gold fix at 3 p.m BST---10 a.m. EDT.  Although gold hit its high tick about 11:40 a.m. in New York, the price basically did nothing from the London afternoon gold fix, until the 5:15 p.m. close of electronic trading.  Gold was closed well of its high of the day.

The low and high ticks were reported by the CME Group as $1,205.00 and $1,220.00 in the December contract.

Silver finished the Wednesday trading session at $1,213.00 spot, up only $4.30 on the day.  Net volume was decent at around 141,000 contracts.

Silver also headed lower in early Far East trading---and a new low for this move down was printed shortly after 9 a.m. Hong Kong time.  After that it rallied quietly back to unchanged---and it stayed at that price until the noon London silver fix was in.  The subsequent rally lasted until 11:50 a.m. EDT, the exact point at which gold got capped---and the not-for-profit sellers capped silver at that point as well, closing it well off its high tick.

The low and high in silver were recorded as $16.865 and $17.44 in the December contract.

Silver finished the Wednesday trading session at $17.175 spot, up 20.5 cents from Tuesday.  Net volume was pretty decent at 47,500 contracts.

Although platinum tried to rally short after trading began in New York on Tuesday evening, the HFT boyz and their algorithms made short work of that, before engineering a new low price, which also appeared to occur at, or just before, the London morning gold fix.  That shiny new low tick didn't last long, as platinum rallied about 30 bucks by shortly before the 1:30 p.m. Comex close---then it, too, got sold down into the close of electronic trading in New York.  Platinum finished the Wednesday session down 18 bucks, but as I mentioned in The Wrap section of yesterday's column, it was down, almost 40 dollars on the day at its low tick.

Palladium's fate was the same as platinum's---except it was the Reader's Digest version of it, as the chart patterns look the same.  Not only was a new low tick engineered at the same time as platinum's, but palladium actually finished up 6 bucks on the day.

The dollar index closed at 85.926 late on Tuesday afternoon in New York---and from there chopped unsteadily higher, to its 86.15 high tick.  That was printed shortly after 12 o'clock noon in London---and less than twenty minutes before the Comex open in New York.  From there it chopped unsteadily lower, closing the Wednesday trading session at 851.91, which was basically unchanged.

The gold stocks gapped up about a percent at the open---and then traded sideways until 11:30 a.m.  From they rallied to their high of the day just under the 200 mark on the HUI---and that came shortly after 1 p.m. in New York.  From there they got sold down---and the HUI only closed up 0.37% and very close to its low tick of the day.

It was a very similar chart pattern for the silver equities as well, but once they broke from their 1:15 p.m. high ticks, they gave up 2 percentage points of gains within a two hour period---as Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment Index close up only 0.63%.

The CME Daily Delivery Report for Day 3 of the October delivery month showed that no gold or silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Friday.

The Preliminary Report for the Wednesday trading session showed that there are 2,310 gold and 213 silver contracts still open in the October contract.  Of course with no changes reported in the previous paragraph, these numbers accurately reflect the open Comex contracts as of the close of trading yesterday.

There was another withdrawal from GLD yesterday.  This time an authorized participant took out 38,461 troy ounces---and as of 9:57 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV.

The good folks over at Switzerland's Zürcher Kantonalbank updated their gold and silver ETFs for the period ending September 29---and this is what they had to report.  Their gold ETF registered another decline.  This time it was 35,349 troy ounces.  But their silver ETF went in the other direction, as it actually increased by 31,990 troy ounces.

The U.S. Mint started the new month off with a big sales report, as they sold 3,000 troy ounces of gold eagles---2,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes---a very chunky 1,150,000 silver eagles---and 400 platinum eagles.

In the last two business days, Tuesday and Wednesday, the mint has sold 1,915,000 silver eagles, which was obviously sold from stock, as the mint's run rate in eagles is only about 110,000 a day.  It very much appears that Ted Butler 'mystery buyer' is back in town.  Ted has more to say about the return of JPMorgan to the buy side in silver eagles in today's quote, which is definitely worth reading.

There was a decent amount of gold shipped into the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday, as there was 20,254 troy ounces received by Canada's Scotiabank---and only 160 troy ounces were shipped out.  The link to that activity is here.

It was another monster day in silver, as 719,478 troy ounces were reported received---and a chunky 1,362,714 troy ounces were shipped out the door.  The lion's share of the activity was at the CNT Depository and Brink's, Inc.  The link to that action is here.

Here's a chart that Nick Laird sent our way yesterday.  It shows the dollar amounts of gold eagles and buffaloes vs. the dollar amount of silver eagles sold during the previous month---and it goes all the way back to the beginning of 2009.  Once again the dollar value of silver sales came close to the dollar value of gold sales.  This has become the new norm, especially when you look at the earlier years on this chart---and I hope you're getting your share, dear reader.

Here's another chart that Nick slid into my in-box very late yesterday evening.  It's the "Global Indices" index---and you can tell from the sawtooth rallies, that these market want to roll over and die---and this is what da boyz are desperate to prevent.  Any time that they break below the key moving average, there's always a buyer of last resort in place to catch the proverbial falling knife.  But they can't keep it up forever.

I don't have all that many stories today---and I hope there are a few in here that catch your attention.

 

¤ Critical Reads

The Russell 2000 Has Deteriorated From 'Death Cross' to Full-Blown Correction

It was ugly out there on Wednesday, as the Dow fell more than 230 points, the S&P 500 lost 26 and the NASDAQ fell 1.6%. 

But there is another index, the Russell 2000, that has had an even rougher go of it. Last month, the 50-day moving average price crossed below the 200-day moving average in a technical phenomenon known as the "death cross."

On Wednesday, the Russell 2000, which houses small- and mid-cap stocks, was down 1.2%. From its most recent highs it's down 10%, meaning the index is in a correction. 

The S&P 500, meanwhile, is still more than 6% away from a correction and has gone more than twice its historical average number of days since its previous 10% slide, which came all the way back in spring 2012.

Today's first story was posted on the businessinsider.com Internet site at 1:59 p.m. EDT on Wednesday afternoon---and I thank Roy Stephens for his first offering in today's column.

Read more...

U.S. dollar rally 'has years to go'

The U.S. dollar continued its rally on Wednesday, hovering near a four-year high against major currencies.

In early trading, it rose over 110 yen for the first time in six years and was close to a two-year high against the euro at $1.25.

"We think the dollar rally has another two years to go at least," said Chris Turner, global head of strategy at ING.

"It's come a long way, pretty quickly. I think a 5% advance over the next six months is very achievable," Mr Turner added, referring to the US dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of major currencies.

I, for one, certainly wouldn't bet the ranch on this outcome---because if I had to bet ten bucks on that, I'd be shorting the dollar index at this juncture.  This news item put in an appearance on the bbc.com Internet site at 10:29 a.m. EDT yesterday---and it's courtesy of South African reader B.V.

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5 reasons bonds may be less safe than you think

Burned by the stock-market crash during the financial crisis, investors have poured a trillion dollars into bond funds in the past six years. They like the interest payments that bonds throw off, and that their prices barely move day to day.

But some experts say danger signs are flashing, and prices could fall fast.

Here are five reasons bonds may be less safe than you think.

This brief article was posted on the AP website at 12:06 p.m. EDT yesterday---and I thank West Virginia reader Elliot Simon for sharing it with us.

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Fannie And Freddie Shares Are Collapsing---and That's Bad News For Some Big Hedge Funds

Shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac opened down about 40% respectively after investors lost a suit to change who collected the profits from the two mortgage insurers' dividends.

Since the financial crisis, the U.S. Treasury has been collecting almost all of Fannie's and Freddie's profits as part of the government's bailout deal with the companies. 

A bunch of top investors — like Pershing Square's Bill Ackman, Fairholme's Bruce Berkowitz, and Perry Capital's Richard Perry — then sued the government for breach of contract and illegally taking profits that they argued should have been theirs.

About 20 related cases are still making their way around the courts, with $33 billion worth of Fannie and Freddie profits at stake

This article showed up on the businessinsider.com website at 10:15 a.m. EDT yesterday---and it's the second contribution of the day from Roy Stephens.

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U.S. Consumer Debt Hits an All-Time High

For many American households, the recession was a time to pay off debt and get their finances in order—whether they wanted to or not. But according to the latest data from the Federal Reserve’s Flow of Funds, Americans are taking on debt once again. The difference is that this time we’re borrowing to finance new cars, college tuition, and other consumer goods.

As the figures show, American household debt peaked in 2007 and has since fallen 15 percent. Home mortgage debt accounted for much of the decline—it’s dropped 22 percent since 2007. Consumer debt, on the other hand, has continued to increase and just reached an all-time high of $3.2 trillion.

This is another article from the businessweek.com Internet site.  This one was posted there on Tuesday sometime---and I thank Ken Hurt for sharing it with us.  It's worth skimming.

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U.S. consumer confidence, home prices show weakness

U.S. consumer confidence fell in September for the first time in five months and home prices in July rose less than expected from a year earlier, underscoring the unsteady nature of U.S. growth.

Another report on Tuesday showed business activity growth in the U.S. Midwest decelerated slightly in September.

"We're continuing to effectively struggle," said Mike Englund, chief economist at Action Economics in Boulder, Colorado. "Some of the optimism that we got in the updraft in consumer confidence in the third quarter was probably a bit overstated."

A bit overstated? No!  Really?  This Reuters piece, filed from New York, appeared on their Internet site at 11:28 a.m. EDT on Tuesday---and it's the second offering in a row from reader Ken Hurt.

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Faber Says U.S. Stocks `Pricey,' Favors Emerging Markets

Marc Faber, publisher of The Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, talks about the outlook for global stocks and investment strategy. Faber speaks with Betty Liu on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop."

This 7:43 minute video clip showed up on the businessweek.com Internet site yesterday---and this makes it three in a row from Ken Hurt.

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Tory donor defects to UKIP, handing Farage £1million

Prime Minister David Cameron suffered yet another embarrassing defection on Wednesday, as former Tory donor and millionaire Arron Banks vowed to donate £1million to UKIP. The news follows a spate of Tory defections.

Banks, a U.K. insurance mogul who has channeled hundreds of thousands of pounds into Conservative Party coffers since 2005, has announced he will present UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, with a £1million donation.

He previously stated on Wednesday morning he would donate £100,000, but later upped is pledge.

Speaking to Sky News that morning, the former Tory donor acknowledged he was a long-time supporter of the Conservatives, but emphasized that Farage’s euroskeptic party was more attuned to his political views.

This story appeared on the Russia Today Internet site at 11:47 a.m. Moscow time on their Wednesday morning, which was 3:47 a.m. in New York.

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Strikers threaten to blow up French factory, stalling Hollande’s bid for economic reforms

Striking factory workers in France have threatened to blow up their place of employment in the latest round of hostile industrial action stalling President Francois Hollande’s economic reforms.

Employees at the Electrolux vacuum cleaner factory near the Belgian border in Revin lit a trail of wooden pallets on Tuesday that was intended to act as a fuse leading to a propane gas tank near the main building of the factory.

The stunt, which drew French police and fire crews to the scene, was the latest in a wave of strike action that has threatened to derail President Hollande’s government.
It came just days before Manuel Valls, France’s prime minister, was to travel to London in an attempt to convince British business that the country’s economy is on the road to recovery. He is due to arrive in the City next week.

This story from The Telegraph yesterday showed up as a re-print over at Canada's nationalpost.com Internet site---and it's worth reading.  I thank 'Roger in La La Land' for sliding it into my in-box just as I was about to hit the send button this morning.

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Banks pull out of dozens of benchmarks after rate-rigging scandals

Some of the world's largest banks have stopped contributing to dozens of financial benchmarks to avoid further litigation risk in the wake of the Libor and foreign exchange rate rigging scandals.

Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, JPMorgan, and UBS, among others, have set up task forces to scrutinise submission processes for hundreds of benchmarks in everything from commodities to interbank lending as they seek to cut their litigation and regulatory risk, several people close to the situation said.

The withdrawals have already helped speed up revamps of the silver and gold fixes and reforms to some interbank lending benchmarks so that they are based on actual transactions rather than bank submissions.

But investors warned the crackdown could leave less liquid markets without any benchmark at all and make it impossible to determine whether they are getting fair prices on their derivatives and good returns on their investments.

These four paragraphs from a Financial Times story is all that's posted in the clear in this GATA release from yesterday---and you need a subscription to read the rest.

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'Frozen conflict' looming in east Ukraine, E.U. diplomats say

E.U. countries have decided to uphold Russia sanctions for now, despite a “weakening appetite” for the measures.

The E.U. foreign service on Tuesday (30 September) said that “while encouraging developments have been registered in the political process and in the implementation of some aspects of the Minsk protocol, relevant parts of the same protocol will need to be properly implemented” before sanctions are lifted.

It added that if things go well, the E.U. will in future consider proposals “to amend, suspend or repeal the set of sanctions in force, in all or in part”.

The communiqué was published after a debate by E.U. countries’ ambassadors in Brussels.

This news item, filed from Brussels, appeared on the euobserver.com Internet site at 9:49 a.m. Europe time yesterday---and I thank Roy Stephens for sending it.

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9 killed, 30 injured in shelling in Donetsk, East Ukraine, school hit

At least nine people were killed and 30 others injured in Donetsk after a school and a bus stop came under fire, reportedly from Ukrainian army positions.

Three people died at the school and six others were killed at the bus stop, Donetsk City Council said in a statement on its website.

No children were killed in the shelling of school №57 on Wednesday, but the debris from the blast left two parents and a biology teacher dead.

The city council earlier stated that all 70 children studying at the school were in the building at the moment of the strike. They were hastily evacuated. The school building was damaged in the attack.

This story appeared on the Russia Today website at 8:26 a.m. Moscow time on their Wednesday morning---and it's also courtesy of Roy Stephens.

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Putin: Russia won’t limit access to Internet

At a meeting with Russia's Security Council, President Vladimir Putin has said the problem of the country’s 'informational space' security is of top priority, but assured the state has no intentions of limiting access to the web.

"We do not intend to limit access to the web, put it under total control, make the internet more governmentalized. We will not limit legal interests and possibilities of people, non-governmental organizations and businesses in the informational sphere," Putin said at the meeting on Wednesday.

He added that such "unreasonable" and "total" restrictions contradict the basic principles of democracy, including the freedom of press and civil rights of access to and distribution of information. He said the state was "not even considering" such measures.

This is another news item from the Russia Today website---and it, too, is courtesy of Roy Stephens.

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Russia’s second biggest lender reduces dollar loans

Russia’s second biggest bank VTB has reduced its U.S. dollar lending, Andrey Kostin the bank’s head said on the sidelines of the Russia Calling! forum on Wednesday.

In general, we are trying to avoid extending dollar loans in order to de-dollarize the economy. This is right. Many businesses prefer to borrow dollars not because they need them, but because the currency looks less expensive. But in doing so, they assume currency risks without having dollar incomes. And this is wrong,” TASS quotes Kostin as saying.

According to the VTB head, currency loans should be limited to importers or those who really need them.

Kostin has been advocating moving away from the dollar for a long time. In an interview published Tuesday in Russia’s Izvestia newspaper he envisioned the country being able to completely switch to the ruble in international settlements with two to three years.

It's obvious that Roy didn't bother leaving the Russia Today website for long after he got on it yesterday.  Here's another article from there---and it was posted at 2:06 p.m. yesterday afternoon Moscow time.

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Turkey vows to fight Islamic State, coalition strikes near border

Turkey signalled it may send troops into Syria or Iraq and let allies use Turkish bases to fight Islamic State, as coalition jets launched air strikes on Wednesday on insurgents besieging a town on its southern border with Syria.

The government sent a proposal to parliament late on Tuesday which would broaden existing powers and allow Ankara to order military action to "defeat attacks directed towards our country from all terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria".

The proposal would also mean Turkey, until now reluctant to take a frontline role against Islamic State, could allow foreign forces to use its territory for cross-border incursions.

But President Tayyip Erdogan said the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remained a Turkish priority and stressed Ankara's fears that U.S.-led air strikes without a broader political strategy would only prolong the instability.

This Reuters news item, co-filed from Mursitpinar, Turkey---and Beirut, showed on their website at 3:38 p.m. EDT on Wednesday afternoon---and it's another contribution from Roy Stephens.

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Hong Kong erupts even as China tightens screws on civil society

Chinese leaders unnerved by protests elsewhere this year have been steadily tightening controls over civic organizations on the mainland suspected of carrying out the work of foreign powers.

The campaign aims to insulate China from subversive Western ideas such as democracy and freedom of expression, and from the influence, specifically, of U.S. groups that may be trying to promote those values here, experts say. That campaign is long-standing, but it has been prosecuted with renewed vigor under President Xi Jinping, especially after the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych following months of street demonstrations in Kiev that were viewed here as explicitly backed by the West.

The tensions have been heightened by pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong, and on Monday, Beijing warned other nations not to intervene in protests there. Chinese news media suggested that Western civil society organizations have had a hand in promoting unrest there.

In its tightening of control, China appears to be taking a page from the playbook of Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, who oversaw a crackdown on Russian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) two years ago that has sapped their ability to effect change.

This article, filed from Beijing, appeared on The Washington Post's website on Tuesday sometime---and it certainly falls into the must read category, especially for all serious students of the New Great Game.  It's also courtesy of Roy Stephens, for which I thank him.

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Jim Rickards: Wealthy Elites Want Their Money Out of China

The nearly $10 billion in fake business deals Chinese regulators Thursday announced they have discovered is just the “tip of the iceberg” of the money flowing out of China, says one leading U.S. financial expert.

Jim Rickards, author of the book Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis, says: “Wealthy elites are getting their money out of China before the [financial] collapse comes.”

Rickards said it's been happening for a long time, but Chinese authorities seem less willing to look the other way.

Some people in China have managed to circumvented currency controls by disguising their personal financial transactions with the ordinary course of international business, which appears to be what the Chinese were talking about in their announcement this week.

This short article put in an appearance on the Voice of American website back on September 25---and I thank reader Harold Jacobsen for digging it up for us.  It's worth reading.

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U.S. Mint bullion coin sales double in September

Sales of gold coins more than doubled in September as futures fell the most since June 2013.

Last month, sales rose to 58,000 ounces, the highest since January, data from the mint’s website showed yesterday. That compared with 25,000 ounces in August and 13,000 ounces a year earlier. In September, gold on the Comex in New York lost 5.9 percent. Prices extended losses today, falling 0.5 percent to $1,205.90 an ounce, trimming this year’s advance to 0.3 percent.

“Due to the price drop, it’s a great opportunity for the individual investor to jump into the gold market,” Scott Carter, the chief executive officer of Los Angeles-based Lear Capital, said in a telephone interview. “There’s a strong argument for having physical assets” as a haven, partly because of Europe’s struggling economy, he said.

Sales of silver coins in September doubled to 4.14 million ounces from August, mint data showed. The gain was the biggest since January and the amount was the highest since March.

The rest of this Bloomberg article is the usual main stream bulls hit about the precious metals, so unless you have some sadomasochistic streak that has to be satisfied, I suggest you give the rest of this article a miss.  It was posted on the mineweb.com Internet site yesterday---and is the only precious metal story that I could find worth posting.

Read more...

 

¤ The Funnies

Here's two more 'critter' photos from San Antonio.  These are White-winged Doves---and at a distance they don't look like much, but a decent telephoto lens, along with some judicious cropping, proves otherwise.











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¤ The Wrap

On Tuesday, the U.S. Mint reported that Silver Eagle sales exploded on the last day of the month with more than 750,000 coins sold on one day. Aside from big reported sales when new coins are sold in January of each year, I don’t recall such a large sale of coins occurring on one day. What made it interesting was that the Mint had reported sales on September 29, so it was easy to conclude that it was a sale of more than 750,000 Silver Eagles on one day.

The mint had obviously built up an inventory of Silver Eagles as a result of the softening in sales starting in May; otherwise it wouldn’t have the quantity of coins to sell that it reported sold. The problem as I see it, is that the coins previously produced were manufactured with silver bought at much higher prices (around $3 higher) than the price of the coins sold yesterday and through the month of September. If someone (say JPMorgan) was the big buyer, that means not only is the price of silver being manipulated with tens of thousands of investors and producers being cheated, now the U.S. Government and its taxpayers are being played like a fiddle and cheated in its sales of Silver Eagles at prices manipulated lower than the Mint secured the silver. Do you think JPMorgan would do such a dastardly thing? Count on it. - Silver analyst Ted Butler: 01 October 2014

Ted posted his mid-week column on his Internet site on Wednesday, just before the U.S. Mint put up its October 1 sales figures where they reported selling another 1,150,000 silver eagles on top of the 750,000 they reported on September 30.  One can only imagine how pithy his comments might have been if he had to revisit them knowing that.  He might have more to say about this in his weekly review on Saturday.

Both gold and silver had double bottoms set yesterday---and it remains to be seen whether these will hold or not, as they didn't happen by accident.  Platinum, palladium---along with copper---all had their prices engineered to new lows for this move down.  Crude oil [WTI] set a triple bottom.  It's too bad that Wednesday's price action won't be in tomorrow's Commitment of Traders Report.

Here are the 6-month charts for all five metals mention in today's column.

I continue to be amazed by how the powers-that-be continue to kick the crap out of platinum and palladium.  Of course '3 or less' U.S. bullion banks [read JPMorgan] are massively short these two metals as well---and next week's Bank Participation Report should tell us a lot about how much of their short-side corners in these two metals they've managed to cover during these engineered price declines during September.  Yesterday's price action won't be included.

Here's what the Bank Participation Report charts looked like for these two metals at the end of August.  Click on the charts to enlarge them---and its Chart 4 and 5 in each metal that contains 'the juice'.  Note that the '3 or less' U.S. banks hold virtually no Comex long futures positions in either metal, so their short positions are for price management purposes only.

As I type this paragraph, the London open is less than twenty minutes away.  All the metals rallied in morning trading in the Far East, but once gold popped shortly after 11 a.m. Hong Kong time, it was obvious that da boyz were there to make sure that the price didn't get far.  Pretty much the same thing can be said for the other three precious metals, as they all topped out about then---and have been sliding slowly lower ever since.

But, having said that, gold and silver volumes have been pretty light, so it didn't take much of an effort to turn these rallies into declines.

The dollar index, which had been slowly sinking since shortly after 12 o'clock noon in London on their Wednesday, began to head south with a vengeance starting half an hour after New York opened last night.  The index bottomed out at 85.52 about 11:15 a.m. Hong Kong time on their Thursday morning, which is when the precious metal rallies ended.

The dollar index is now 20 basis points off its low tick, so it's possible that JPMorgan et al---in order to catch a falling dollar index knife, and prevent a spike in the precious metal prices---hit the "Buy the dollar index/Sell the precious metals" button to prevent both occurrences.  So far it has worked.  But as I mentioned in my comments under the story headlined "U.S. dollar rally 'has years to go'", if I had to bet ten bucks, I'd be short the dollar at this point in time.

And as I send this out the door at 5:20 a.m. EDT, I see that the declines in all four precious metals are continuing, with only gold and palladium still up on the day---and those two only by a couple of bucks.  Gold volume is now north of 37,000 contracts---and silver's net volume is over 8,700 contracts---so it took a fair amount of Comex paper for da boyz to get these rallies under control.  The dollar index, which had rallied back to almost unchanged shortly after the London open, has now rolled over---and is down 24 basis points as of this writing.

JPMorgan et al are still firmly in control of the precious metal prices---and whatever happens from a price perspective going forward, either up or down, is still in their iron grip.

That's all I have for today, which is more than enough---and I'll see here tomorrow.