Despite the happy surprise in the COT for gold yes

first_imgDespite the happy surprise in the COT for gold yesterday, I am getting concerned about the Commercial short position in silver.The gold price did approximately nothing during the Friday trading day…at least not until shortly before the equity markets opened in New York at 9:30 a.m.  At that point, not-for-profit sellers took it upon themselves to knock $15 off the price going into the London p.m. gold fix at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time.From there, the gold price recovered a bit, only to get sold down again, with the low of the day [$1,716.40 spot] coming shortly after 11:00 a.m. in New York.  Then the gold price rallied a few dollars until the Comex trading session closed at 1:30 p.m…and from that point on, gold flat-lined during the electronic trading session that followed.  From it’s New York high to its New York low, gold got sold off about twenty-one dollars.Gold closed at $1,723.80 spot…down five bucks on the day.  Net volume was very light…around 104,000 contracts.Silver’s price path was virtually identical.  Like gold, silver had a brief spike to its high of the day…$33.80 spot…at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time, but got hit immediately…and then, at the same time as gold, the silver price got sold off, with the low of the day [$32.97 spot] coming sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in New York.The subsequent…and very tiny rally…ended at the Comex close…and silver, too, traded sideways for the rest of the session.  From its New York high to its New York low, silver got sold off about 83 cents, or 2.46%.  Silver closed at $33.28 spot…down 24 cents on the day.  Net volume was also pretty light…around 29,000 contracts.Here’s the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart on its own.  Note the 8:30 a.m. price spike to $33.80 spot…which got smacked in a heartbeat.  Gold had a similar spike at the very same moment, but not as big.  It’s hard to pick out the exact bottom tick…but it looks like a few minutes past high noon in New York to me.If you examine Kitco’s 24-hour chart above against this New York chart below, you can see just how much fine detail gets lost when looking at the big picture chart on its own.The dollar index didn’t do much…although it did decline 25 basis points right up until 9:30 a.m. Eastern time…and then in the space of forty minutes gained it all back…and closed unchanged from Thursday.The sell-off in both gold and silver started about ten minutes before the dollars index’s little 25 basis points rally began at 9:30 a.m…and the sell-off in both metals continued long after the 30-minute dollar index rally ended, which was just minutes after 10:00 a.m. Eastern.It all looked a little too contrived for my liking…but as I’ve said on several occasions, maybe I’m looking for black bears in dark rooms that aren’t there.  I’ll leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions…and I have more to say about this in ‘The Wrap’ further down.The gold stocks opened in positive territory, but that didn’t last long, as the sell off in gold that had begun just ten minutes before the equity markets opened, soon turned the metal price and their associated shares into negative territory…and that was it for the day.  The stocks pretty much followed the lead of the gold price itself…and the HUI closed down 1.24%…giving up half of its Thursday gains.The silver stocks finished mixed…and Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment index closed down 1.05%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that only 1 gold and 57 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Wednesday.  It was the same threesome in silver as usual…Jefferies as the short/issuer…and the Bank of Nova Scotia and JPMorgan as the long/stoppers.  The link to this action is here.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV on Friday…and no sales report from the U.S. Mint, either.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday, they reported receiving only 7,491 ounces of silver…and shipped 329,691 troy ounces out the door.The Commitment of Traders Report, for positions held at the close of trading on Valentine’s Day, was a bit of a surprise…and both Ted Butler and myself were trying to sort out what it really meant during our daily phone conversation yesterday.Despite the fact that there was virtually no price movement in silver during the reporting week, the Commercial net short position rose by another 2,660 contracts, which translates into 13.3 million ounces of silver.  The total Commercial net short position now sits at 186.6 million ounces of silver…up over 105 million ounces from its late December low.  I was not happy to see this…and neither was Ted.  He said that the small commercial traders sold another 1,600 of their long positions…and JPMorgan went short another 1,400 contracts.JPMorgan, all by itself, now appears to hold a short position of more than 25% of the entire Comex futures market in silver.If silver’s COT numbers were a surprise…the gold numbers were a surprise in the other direction.  The Commercial net short position in gold declined by a very chunky 11,664 contracts, or 1.16 million ounces.  Like silver, the gold price did very little during the reporting week.Why the dichotomy between the metals?  Beats me.  Off the top of his head, Ted couldn’t make any sense out of it either…but maybe he’ll have an answer in his weekend report, which he’ll be sending out to his paying subscribers later today.  If he does, I’ll steal it…and post it in my next column.Here’s a chart that some kind reader sent me about a week ago. It’s been posted on my desktop for so long, I’ve forgotten who sent it to me.  The graph is self-explanatory.I have the usual number of stories…and quite a number of them I’ve been saving for Saturday’s column because of content or length.  They’re definitely worth the read, so I hope you have time to spend on them over the weekend.I think that the current financial system, as we know it, will be totally destroyed, probably sooner rather than later. The next system will require gold backing to have any legitimacy. This has happened many times in history. – John Embry, Sprott Asset ManagementI have a couple of ‘blasts from the past’ for you today.  The first one popped into my head earlier this week.  If any song is instantly identifiable with Paris in particular…and France in general…it’s this one.  Written in 1951 by French composer and lyricist, Hubert Giraud, it’s instantly recognizable by anyone pushing 60…or older.  I have two versions for you.  Listen to both and then decide which one you like the best.  Arrangement #1 is here…and #2 is here.My second’blast from the past’ was written by the same French composer in 1970.  He conceived the song in his car waiting out a Parisian traffic jam…and completed its demo within a few days.  It went on to be a world-wide hit in 1971/72.  My jaw hit the floor when I made this discovery, because I used to play the 45 rpm recording of this on AM radio station CHAR in Alert, N.W.T. back in 1972/73!  I hope you’ll be amazed as well…and the link to the group that made it a hit is here.I must admit that I wasn’t overly surprised atFriday’s price action.  The 8:30 a.m. Eastern time pop in both gold and silver was indicative of how gold and silver prices want to behave if given a free market to roam in…and that certainly wasn’t the case yesterday.  Shortly before the equity markets opened, the selling pressure was on…and ‘da boyz’ took both metals lower on the day.Here’s Nick Laird’s “IntradayAverage Gold Price Movements” chart that he made up at my request a couple of years back.  Note that the absolute high price tick of the day on this chart occurs at precisely 9:30 a.m. Eastern time…the time when the equity markets open in New York.  The four years worth of data in this chart lays bare the primary trend for all to see.  This ain’t rocket science, dear reader…it’s price management.(Click on image to enlarge)So the 9:20 a.m. price take-down in gold and silver yesterdaywas just ‘da boyz’ doing what they have always done.Despite the happy surprise in the COT for gold yesterday, I am getting concerned about the Commercial short position in silver. True, we are nowhere near the extreme short positions of the past, but that doesn’t negate the possibility that JPMorgan et al will pull the lever and ring the cash register sometime during the days or weeks ahead.Silver analyst Ted Butler pointed out last weekendthat we could still have major rallies in both metals based on the current COT structure…and he’s absolutely right about that as well.But which scenario is going to play outin the short, medium, or long term?  Beats me.  However, any pull-back in prices is just going to be another buying opportunity in my eyes.Before signing off on today’s column, I continue to point out that there’s still timeto either re-adjust your portfolio, or get fully invested in the continuing major up-leg of this bull market in both silver and gold…and I respectfully suggest that you take a trial subscription to either Casey Research’s International Speculator [junior gold and silver exploration companies], or BIG GOLD [large producers], with all our best [and current] recommendations…as well as the archives. A subscription to the International Speculator also includes a free subscription to BIG GOLD as well.  And don’t forget that our 90-day guarantee of satisfaction is in effect for both publications.That’s it for the day and the week. Monday is President’s Day in the U.S.A.  I’m not sure if the precious metals markets will be open or not…and IF I do have a column on Tuesday, it won’t be in your mail-box early in the morning, as I see no reason to get sweet, young, tender Juli out of bed early on a holiday…so she can post it whenever she gets up.  And if nothing shows up on Tuesday, then you’ll know the reason. Sponsor Advertisement Tosca Mining Corporation’s goal is to acquire advanced stage projects that can be placed into production quickly. The company’s primary asset is the Red Hills Molybdenum/Copper project located in Presidio County, Texas. A program to confirm, and expand the considerable size and potential of the project and evaluate various economic scenarios was completed in 2011. Tosca recently received results from the 13 remaining holes from its phase two, 16,000 M (4,873 m) diamond drill program. Per Tosca’s Chairman, Dr. Sadek El-Alfy, “the drill program has successfully verified historic drill results of the shallow Copper-Molybdenum cap and confirmed the presence of a deeper, well mineralized Molybdenum Porphyry deposit.” The results of 21 holes drilled through the copper/moly cap in Tosca’s 2011 drill program give a weighted average grade of 0.39 % Cu over a core length of 113 feet (34.5 m). Since the copper cap is subhorizontal, the average core length can be interpreted as being approximately equivalent to true width. The copper/moly cap is crescent shaped, approximately 4,000 feet (1220 metres) long and 400 feet (122 m) to 1000 feet (305 m) wide.The 2011 program encountered numerous thick  Molybdenum mineralized intervals including Hole TMC-25 wich  intersected 1,189 feet (362.4 m) averaging 0.089 per cent Mo including 830 feet (253 m) of 0.1 per cent Mo from 359 feet (109.8 m) to the bottom of the hole. Hole TMC-29 cut 989 feet (301.4 m) averaging 0.09 per cent Mo including 139 feet (42.4 m) of 0.16 per cent Mo. The molybdenum grades are similar and in some cases higher than those of projects currently considered of potential economic interest.”Aggressive plans are in place for 2012 to conduct metallurgical tests, produce an updated resource estimate and  Pre Economic Assesment. Tosca is operated by an experienced mine development team, operates in Texas, a  mine-friendly jurisdiction and its property iseasily accessible with infrastructure in place to advance operations. 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