I’m expecting price activity to get much more interesting once we get into December…and we’ll find out just how interesting in another day or so.

Gold didn’t do much in the Far East on Tuesday, but it did get sold off a hair until 9:00 a.m. local time in London.  From there, a bit of rally ensued that came to an abrupt end at the London morning gold fix at 10:30 a.m.

Then the price wandered lower until about 9:10 a.m. in New York…and from there rose in fits and starts into the close of electronic trading at 5:15 p.m. Eastern time.

The gold price closed at $1,715.40 spot…up $5.50 on the day.  Net volume, for the last trading day in November, was a pretty decent 166,000 contracts…more or less.

Silver’s price pattern during the Tuesday trading day was generally similar, but was more ‘volatile’.  Silver’s high tick of the day, came at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time…and then silver got sold off about a percent or so going into the close of trading in the New York Access Market.  The silver price made many attempts to break [and then close] above the $32.00 price market…but every attempt got turned back.

Silver closed at $31.92 spot, down 14 cents on the day.  Net volume, if the numbers from the CME are to be believed, was around 37,000 contracts.

The dollar’s high tick of the day [79.35] came shortly after trading began in the Far East yesterday morning…and the absolute dollar low [about 78.57] came at 10:30 a.m. in London trading…the precise moment of the London a.m. gold fix.  Coincidence?  Not bloody likely.  The subsequent rally lasted three and a half hours…and the dollar hit its New York high at precisely 9:00 a.m…and mostly traded sideways from there into the close.

The gold stocks pretty much followed the gold price…and the HUI finished up 0.94% on the day.  I thank reader Scott Pluschau for providing the chart.  It looks like the good folks over at ino.com have finally got their HUI chart up and running again, so I’ll be back to using that starting with Thursday’s column.

(Click on image to enlarge)

With the silver price in the red for virtually the entire day, the silver stocks did not fare particularly well…and Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed down 0.33%.

(Click on image to enlarge)

The CME Daily Delivery Report for the last day of the November delivery month showed nothing outstanding to be delivered.  For the month of November the CME reported that 572 gold contracts and 320 silver contracts were delivered.  None of this metal left the exchange, as physical ownership was just transferred from one financial entity to another.

The delivery report for First Day Notice for the December delivery month is as follows…and it was a big delivery day for gold.  Two bullion banks were responsible for all 11,429 contracts that were posted for delivery today.  HSBC was a big short/issuer with 3,500 contracts…but JPMorgan issued 4,533 contracts out of it’s proprietary [house] trading account…and another 3,393 contracts for its client accounts.  The biggest long/stoppers were the Bank of Nova Scotia, Deutsche Bank, RBS Securities…and Goldman Sachs.  There were about twenty other receiver/stoppers on the list as well.

In silver, JPMorgan was the only short/issuer…and it all came out of their in-house trading account.  They issued 484 contracts…a surprisingly small amount for First Day Notice for such a big delivery month.  The biggest receiver/stopper was the Bank of Nova Scotia…and there were seventeen other small trading firms that were on the receiving end of JPMorgan’s deliveries as well.  We should see more delivery action in both metals as the week progresses.

The entire Issuers and Stoppers Report is well worth spending time on…and the link is here.

There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV yesterday…and the U.S Mint didn’t have a sales report either.

But over at the Comex-approved depositories on Monday they reported receiving 869,115 troy ounces of silver…and didn’t ship any out.  The link to that action is here.

Here’s an interesting chart that Washington state reader S.A. sent me yesterday.  It shows the relative performance of gold and silver for the last twelve calendar months.  I’m expecting these percentage increases to be much larger by the time we close the books on 2011 at the end of December.

I’ve managed to cut the stories down to a manageable number…at least what I consider manageable.

Neither silver nor gold did much price-wise yesterday…and I must admit that I was not overly surprised considering that it was the last day of trading to roll out of the December contract into more distant delivery months.  The CME’s volume figures certainly showed that to be the case.

The preliminary open interest numbers for the Tuesday trading day showed a slight decline in open interest in both metals, but because of the roll-overs and spreads, it’s just not possible to read anything into them.  Nor will the final open interest numbers be of much use either, when they’re posted on the CME’s website later this a.m.

I’m hopeful that all of yesterday’s trading activity will be in Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report, as we’ll certainly get a clear pictures of how both gold and silver are washed out to the downside.  As I’ve said on many occasions, the Commercial traders can be very tardy about reporting their trading activity if it suits them, but I don’t think they’ll be withholding much for this report.

It will be interesting to see how JPMorgan et al proceed from here now that December is almost upon us.  Things started off in a positive manner in Far East trading earlier this morning…but by 10:00 a.m. Hong Kong time, the top was in for both gold and silver…and the selling pressure had begun anew…and all of gold’s early gains had disappeared.  Now that London has been open for a couple of hours, gold is down about nine bucks, after a spike down close to the $1,700 spot price level…and silver is down 60 cents.  All of this price pressure has been accompanied by about a 50 basis point rally in the dollar that started about 9:00 p.m. Eastern time last night…which has since rolled over.  The declines in the prices of both gold and silver are out of all proportion to the dollar rally, so it’s obvious that the bullion banks are stomping about in the precious metal markets at the moment.

Gold volume, as of 5:10 a.m. Eastern time was very chunky, with virtually all the trading volume showing up in the next delivery month, which is February.  Silver volume is still M.I.A…but I’d guess it’s getting up there as well.

While on the subject of the U.S. dollar, here’s the 3-year chart.  Will the dollar continue climbing from here…or is the top of this rally already in?  I don’t know, but I suspect that we won’t have to wait too long to find out.

I’m expecting price activity to get much more interesting once we get into December…and we’ll find out just how interesting in another day or so.

See you on Thursday.

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