Today is the final day for the big traders to be out of the May futures contract in silver. The gold price didn’t do much of anything in Far East trading—and was back to Friday’s close in New York by the London open on Monday morning. It popped for a couple of bucks at that point before trading virtually rule flat into the noon London silver fix. Then it rose another couple of bucks before inching higher into the London p.m. gold fix. The price blasted higher, but it was obvious that JPMorgan et al were at battle stations, as volume exploded—and the price wasn’t allowed to get far. The rally finally petered out around 12:45 p.m. EDT. From there it inched lower for the remainder of the New York trading session, both COMEX and electronic. The low and high ticks were recorded as $1,177.60 and $1,206.70 in the June contract. Gold finished the Monday session in New York at $1,201.70 spot, up $21.30 from Friday’s close. Net volume was monstrous at 185,000 contracts, as “da boyz” threw everything but the kitchen sink at the rally once the price broke above its 50-day moving average. The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 403 gold and 72 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Wednesday. In gold, the largest short/issuer was JPMorgan out of its client account with 372 contracts. HSBC USA was in very distant second with 31 contracts. Not surprisingly, the tallest hog at the trough as a long/stopper was JPMorgan out of its in-house [proprietary] trading account with 211 contracts—and Canada’s Scotiabank was on the receiving end of 186 contracts. In silver, all 72 contracts were issued by JPMorgan out of its client account—and Canada’s Scotiabank stopped 70 of them. The CME Group stopped one contract, so it could deliver five contracts into it’s 1,000 troy ounce mini-silver contract. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. The CME Preliminary Report for the Monday trading session showed that the remaining gold open interest for April fell by 26 contracts, down to 415 contracts. With 403 contracts already posted for delivery tomorrow, it will be interesting to see if the 12 contracts remaining will get delivered on Thursday, or will they simply disappear. In silver, the April open interest jumped by 50 contracts to 72 contracts and, obviously, they are all out for delivery tomorrow. I can hardly wait to see who the big short/issuers and long/stoppers are in the May delivery month—and we’ll find some of that out on Thursday evening, as it’s First Notice Day. There was a big gold withdrawal from GLD by an authorized participant on Monday. This time it was 105,527 troy ounces. And as of 8:50 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. But when I checked the iShares.com Internet site about 3:45 a.m. EDT, I saw that an authorized participant had added 1,434,162 troy ounces. Based on the price action, it’s a reasonable assumption that this was used to cover an existing short position, just like the 1 million ounce add to SLV on Friday. There was a small amount of gold sold at the U.S. Mint on Monday—4,000 troy ounces of gold eagles—and 500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes. The in/out activity in gold at the COMEX-approved depositories on Friday are barely worth mentioning, as 700 troy ounces were shipped in—and 132 troy ounces were shipped out. Nothing to see here. There was decent in/out activity in silver, as 259,426 troy ounces were shipped in—and 259,426 ounces were shipped out the door. None of it involved JPMorgan. The link to that activity is here. For a change, there wasn’t any in/out activity at all in the gold kilobar warehouses in Hong Kong on Friday. Despite my best efforts, I have a large number of stories today—and I’ll happily leave the final edit up to you. Not one ounce of the 59 million equivalent ounces sold by the speculators in the managed money category this [past reporting] week was remotely connected to legitimate hedging; yet the sale was the indisputable sole price influence. That silver prices only declined by around 30 cents in the reporting week proves that the commercial buyers were more interested in buying the 59 million ounces from the managed money traders than they were in driving prices even lower. What this proves is that silver prices are being set on the COMEX with no regard to the actual world of silver production or consumption. The managed money long side is down to less than 42,500 contracts and is undoubtedly less than that since the cut-off and near the 40,000 contract non-technical fund core long position I have long postulated. Unless I’m off by a country mile (always possible), significant additional managed money long liquidation is not likely. The short position of the technical funds, at 32,283 contracts in the current report is already larger than the peak in January and higher, admittedly, than I thought it would be at this point. And it must be higher still since the cutoff. Simply put, the rocket fuel tanks appear to have been topped off in silver. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 25 April 2015 There was no precious metal news to speak of on Monday—and the fact that prices blew up at the London p.m. gold fix [just like they melted down on Friday at that time] should be proof positive that this was all paper trading on the COMEX/GLOBEX between the brain-dead technical funds in the Managed Money category on one side—and the Commercial traders on the other. I was surprised that silver’s net volume was as low as it was, but I’m sure that a certain portion of it was used to put out the fire in silver—and that was very noticeable in gold, with a huge blow-out in volume when gold broke above its 50-day moving average. Silver just broke above its by only a few pennies. Here are the 6-month charts for all four precious metals courtesy of stockcharts.com. Silver traded quietly either side of $15.80 spot all through Far East and London trading, but starting shortly after 9 a.m. EDT things changed. The first bump up in price took it up to $16 spot—and then it had two more quick rallies, one at the gold fix—and the other at 10:45 EDT just before London closed. The high tick of the day came a minute before the London close—and the price didn’t do much after that. The low and high ticks were recorded by the CME Group as $15.68 and $16.445 in the May contract. Silver finished the Monday session at $16.40 spot, up 64.5 cents cents from Friday’s close. Net volume was well in excess of 100,000 contracts, but it all netted out to only 28,000 contracts, so it didn’t appear that there was much interference in the silver rallies—and had all the hallmarks of short covering. Platinum chopped around unchanged until it hit its spike low shortly before 11 a.m. in Zurich. Then it rallied a bit into the London p.m. gold fix—and away it went to the upside as well. The high came at 1 p.m. EDT in New York—and from there it got sold off a bit into the close. Platinum finished the day at $1,146 spot, up 23 dollars from Friday. The dollar index closed late on Friday afternoon in New York at 96.90—and rallied unsteadily in Far East and morning trading in London, hitting its 97.27 high tick shortly before the COMEX open in New York. From there it got sold down to its 96.48 low tick about 12:45 p.m. EDT. The index rallied back to 96.80 by 2 p.m.—and then chopped sideways in a tight range into the close. The index finished the day at 96.86—down only 4 basis points from Friday. Once again the price activity in the currencies—and in the precious metal market—weren’t even close to being related. 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, firstname.lastname@example.org I was out with my camera again on Sunday. It’s spring, but this far north in continental North America, it arrives slowly. A lot of the waterfowl and a few other species of birds have returned from the south, but the rest are weeks away from showing up. The first photo is of a jackrabbit—and it’s not quite in focus as the auto focus couldn’t keep up with him. They’re very common around here—and this one looks a little shaggy, as it’s in the final throes of losing its inner and outer winter coat. This is not your cute little bunny, this is a big animal—and there are only a few dogs it can’t outrun. The silver equities turned in a better performance—and their highs came about the same time as gold’s, but they didn’t sell off as much after that, as Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 4.18 percent. Here’s your typical drake mallard in its breeding plumage. I was using a 1.4x teleconverter with my 400mm telephoto lens when I took this shot, so the image quality is not quite what it could be. The photo below it is of a drake mallard as well, as it flew overhead. It’s a view very few get to see for any length of time—but at 1/3,200 of a second, the wing action gets stopped cold—and you can view the wing pattern at your leisure. The gold stocks gapped up a bit at the open—and barely reacted to the big jump in price at the London p.m. fix. However they did continue to rally steadily from there, hitting their zenith minutes before 1 p.m. EDT, which was gold’s high tick on the day. From there they slid lower for the remainder of the Monday trading session, giving back over half their gains, as the HUI only closed up 1.90 percent. I was underwhelmed. Here’s the 5-minute tick gold chart courtesy of Brad Robertson. All the volume that mattered on Monday came between the London pm. gold fix and the COMEX close, which was 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. EDT—08:00 till 11:30 on this chart, which is scaled for Denver time. Add two hours for EDT—and don’t forget the ‘click to enlarge’ feature. Palladium rallied as well, but on a slightly different time schedule from the other three precious metals. The low came about the same time as platinum, but the high came shortly after it’s rally at the London p.m. gold fix. From there, like platinum, it got sold down into the the close of electronic trading. Palladium only finished up 8 bucks on the day. And as I write this paragraph, the London open is fifteen minutes away. All four precious metals got sold down a bit during the first couple of hours of Far East trading on their Tuesday morning—and have all traded pretty much ruler flat since then. Gold is hanging onto the $1,200 spot mark by its proverbial fingernails at the moment. Gold volume is a bit over 16,500 contracts, with virtually all of it in the current front month, which is June, so it’s all of the HFT variety. Silver volume is very decent, but once you remove the roll-overs, net volume is barely moving the needle at 1,500 contracts. It’s like yesterday’s price action never happened. The dollar index has been chopping sideways as well—and is currently down 8 basis points. Today is the final day for the big traders to be out of the May futures contract in silver, so I expect Tuesday’s volume to be pretty chunky as well, with a tiny net volume. Of course that may all go out the window if we have another price surprise in COMEX trading this morning, but I don’t ever remember big price moments on this particular day of the trading month—but after yesterday, I guess one shouldn’t rule it out entirely. But if I had to bet money, it would be on the former scenario. Today, at the close of COMEX trading, is also the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report—and it will be interesting to see if all of the reporting week’s price/volume action makes it into that report, particularly Monday’s action. We’ll see. And as I send today’s column off to Stowe, Vermont at 5:15 a.m. EDT, I see that all four precious metals are still down a hair from Monday’s close—and with the exception of palladium, all are trading absolutely flat. Gold’s net volume is way up there at 27,000 contracts, with 99 percent of that in current front month. As expected, there’s still heavy roll-over volume in silver, but net volume is still extremely light at barely over 2,100 contracts—and the dollar index is virtually unchanged from two and half hours ago, down 5 basis points. I haven’t the foggiest notion as to how the precious metals will trade for the remainder of the Tuesday session, but I will be surprised if we do see a lot of price action either today or tomorrow, as the May silver contract goes off the board. That’s all I have for today—and I’ll see you here tomorrow.