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I’m hoping that the price action we saw yesterday was the beginning of the end of the ‘summer doldrums’.Once again the gold price didn’t do much of anything during the Far East trading session on Monday…and the Far East ‘high’ came just before 4:00 p.m. Hong Kong time…which was shortly before London opened for trading at 8:00 a.m. BST yesterday morning.From there, gold got sold off all through the early London trading session…and then got hit for a few more dollars about ten minutes after the Comex open in New York.That proved to be the low of the day…$1,609.00 spot…and gold rallied from there, but developed a few more legs starting at 11:00 a.m. Eastern, which also happened to be the close of London trading.  Most of the significant gains were in by 11:30 a.m….and from there, gold mostly traded sideways into the close.The high tick…$1,623.70 spot…came shortly after 2:00 p.m. Eastern in electronic trading…but got sold off immediately after that.Gold closed at $1,621.20 spot…up $5.40 from Friday’s close.  Net volume was a very anemic 72,000 contracts…and the three hour rally during the morning Comex trading session was on very light volume.  It had all the hallmarks of a short-covering rally, but I wouldn’t bet the ranch on that.The other thing that made yesterday’s rally in gold look impression on the Kitco chart, was the scale of the graph…and the fact that the gold price started in a big hole compared to Friday’s close…and from that low, the subsequent rally looked really impressive on the screen, but wasn’t.Silver’s price path was virtually identical to gold’s…the sell-off starting just before the London open…the low tick [$27.86 spot] at 8:30 a.m. Eastern…the subsequent rally…and the big run-up that started about 11:10 a.m. Eastern.Like gold, most of the really big gains were in by 11:30 a.m. in New York…but the silver price continued to work its way slowly higher from there.  The high tick of the day…$27.96 spot…came around 3:30 p.m. Eastern…and from there got sold off a hair into the 5:15 p.m. electronic close.Volume was pretty light up until the start of the 8:30 a.m. rally…and then picked up a bit from there.  Silver closed at $28.81 spot…up 72 cents from Friday’s close.  Net volume was around 24,000 contracts.  I’d like to believe that there was some short covering going on, but we’ll have to wait until Friday’s COT Report to find out for sure.The goings-on in the currency markets on Monday [such as they were] were unrelated to the goings-on in the precious metal markets…and the dollar index closed down less than 10 basis points from Friday.The gold stocks opened flat…and then sold off a bit.  But once the 11:00 a.m. rally in gold began, the stocks finally made it back above the unchanged mark shortly before noon in New York.  The HUI finished up a rather unenthusiastic 0.50%.With the odd exception, the silver stocks more than made up for it, as most had decent gains on the day…especially some of the small cap producers.  Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed up a respectable 2.07%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report for Monday wasn’t particularly exciting, as only 40 gold contracts were posted for delivery tomorrow. JPMorgan was the short/issuer on all of them…and three of the other ‘usual suspects’ were the long/stoppers…the Bank of Nova Scotia, HSBC USA…and Deutsche Bank.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV.There was a decent sales report from the U.S. Mint.  They sold 6,000 ounces of gold eagles…2,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 437,500 silver eagles.The Comex-approved depositories did not receive any silver on Friday…but shipped 215,235 troy ounces of the stuff out the door.  The link to that action is here.I note that Bron Suchecki ‘down under’ at The Perth Mint had a thing or two to say about First Majestic’s foray into Comex futures market in silver.   It was posted in a blog at his website yesterday afternoon Perth time…and it’s worth the read.  It’s headlined “First Majestic and Silver Speculation“…and the link is here.Since yesterday was the 20th of August, The Central Bank of the Russian Federation updated its website with their July numbers yesterday.  They reported adding another 600,000 troy ounces of gold to their reserves, which now sit at 30.1 million ounces.I thank Nick Laird for his wonderful graph which you see before you now.  It’s obvious that Russia has been actively adding to its gold reserves since mid-2007.(Click on image to enlarge)As is typical for a Tuesday, I have a lot of stories for you today…too many, in fact.Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it. – Mark TwainWith such light volume yesterday, I’m not entirely sure what to read into yesterday’s price action…especially silver.  Was it new speculative buying by the Non-Commercial traders, or was it short covering by JPMorgan et al?  I don’t know…and nobody else does, either.  As I said at the top of this column, I’m hoping that Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report will shine some light on it.Of course the cut-off for that report is at the close of Comex trading at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time today…and after yesterday’s surprise rallies, I wouldn’t know what way to bet today’s New York price action…or even the remainder of the London trading day.I’m hoping that the price action we saw yesterday was the beginning of the end of the ‘summer doldrums’…as big gains on Mondays have been pretty rare birds this last little while.As John Hathaway and John Embry put it, we’re at the end of the line for this current experiment in paper money…and it’s only the timing of the end that is unknown.  Of course we’ll all be interested in knowing what will replace it when the time comes, but if it isn’t a gold-backed currency of some type, or at least a major re-pricing of gold to balance the books at the world’s central banks, it will be D.O.A. no matter what it is.Neither gold nor silver did much of anything during the Far East trading session on their Tuesday, but things are looking somewhat more interesting now that London has begun to trade.  Gold volumes are reasonbly light [but significantly higher than they were this time yesterday].  Silver volumes are far more substantial…almost heavy.The dollar index is a different matter, as it began to head south [albeit slowly] right from the 6:00 p.m. open in New York last night…and then headed further south with a vengeance shortly after London began to trade, so I would assume that that’s the reason both gold and silver popped about that time.  As of 5:20 a.m. Eastern time, the index is down about 31 basis points.  Based on the size of the drop in the dollar index, I would guess that both gold and silver ran into some selling pressure the moment that they appeared to got too frisky to the upside.As I just said, I haven’t the foggiest idea of what may, or may not, happen in New York today…but I’ll be anxious to see what it is once I get up later this morning.That’s more than enough for one day…too much, actually…and I’ll see you here tomorrow.last_img

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