Silver Plunges On China Slowdown Concerns, Dollar Short Covering

Tyler Durden's picture

In early trading, silver is down nearly 20% from Friday highs, and just under 15% from its Friday closing fixing, hitting just over $42 in a slide of $6 commencing just after 18:25 pm. The reason for the collapse is not immediately clear, although concerns of a Chinese slowdown and overtightening are rumored to have been among the culrpits. The circumstantial evidence is in the OZ pairs, with the AUDUSD which has long been a high beta proxy for China plunging in early trading as well. Oddly enough, gold has been spared most of the carnage in silver, and was down about 1% in early trading. Overall, this appears to be nothing more than a short covering episode in the USd provoked by nothing factual. We will keep an ear open for any incremental data to determine if there is any actual reason for the plunge, such as for example that the BOJ has suddenly decided not to pick up the baton in trillions of monetizations over the next few months, instead of just another bout of technical selling.


And China-Dollar:


Here is Goldman providing some more color on the Chinese slowdown

April PMI readings suggest weaker growth...

Although the official NBS/CFLP and HSBC/Markit PMIs are supposed to be seasonally adjusted already, they both showed seasonality in their historical April readings (the seasonality in the HSBC/Markit PMI is a lot less consistent and significant than the official one). Considering the seasonal bias, the lower reading in the official PMI and unchanged reading in the HSBC/Markit PMI suggest manufacturing activity growth weakened in April.

...and lower upstream inflationary pressures

The latest reading of the Input Price sub-index (note this is a reference index which does not enter the calculation of the headline PMI), which is highly correlated with the sequential reading of PPI inflation (see Exhibit 4), suggests the latter is likely to show further moderation in April as well. At the same time, with the softening of food (especially vegetable) prices, we are likely to see a meaningfully lower CPI inflation reading as well, perhaps to around 5.0% yoy, down from 5.4% yoy in March.

We believe the underling growth momentum indeed has been trending down despite some data issues...

There have been some controversies regarding the relative reliability of the PMIs versus official “hard” data such as industrial production (IP) as a gauge of manufacturing activities. In March, the PMIs apparently were not strong considering seasonality (headline official PMI went up but much less than the rise in March data historically), but hard data almost across the board showed stronger growth than in January-February. We believe the difference might be the result of unstable seasonal factors in the PMIs and other data complications such as the Lunar New Year effects which often distorts monthly data within the first quarter of the year and changes to statistical standards in terms of official IP/fixed asset investment data (see China: March PMIs suggest activity growth continued to moderate, Asia Economics Data Flash, April 1, 2011 for further details) . Besides, the equal weighting methodology of the PMIs meant when small enterprises move differently from large companies, the PMIs would tend to reflect their changes more than hard data such as IP. Having said that, we believe the trend of the two PMI series is generally reliable and they have both been on a downward trend since reaching a peak in 4Q2010 and there is no clear sign of an imminent change to that trend yet. Within 1Q2011, growth in March probably had a rebound but it appears to be a temporary one.

...driven by continued policy tightening and increasingly prevalent power shortages and possibly a slowdown in exports growth

Our channel checks with commercial banks suggest their lending activities have been under continued pressure from regulators in April. At the same time, there have been increasing anecdotal information on the rise in the actual lending rate (commercial banks are free to charge interest rates above the official benchmark lending rate without a ceiling) as a result of the various quantitative controls. Apart from these conventional monetary tightening tools, the government also seems to be broadening the width of tightening by imposing additional administrative controls on investments in aluminum smelting and production in energy-intensive sectors as a result of the increasingly prevalent power shortage in the country which tends to slow domestic demand growth. Besides, the Export Order sub-index of the PMI has been falling rather quickly since the start of the year which deserves a high level of attention though so far it is somewhat at odds with other information such as our Global Leading Indicator which has been a reasonably good leading indicator of exports growth and it has not shown any meaningful softening.

There are no signs of an over-tightening as yet

Despite the softening of the PMIs, they both stayed clear of the 50% threshold and there has been no dramatic fall in other major economic indicators either. While the 50% threshold may mean something different in China than in many other countries as China’s trend level of PMIs appears to be higher, a slightly below trend level growth is what we would regard as appropriate given there is still a clear need for the Chinese economy to lower its level of inflation.

We expect this policy stance to be kept largely unchanged in 2Q2011 compared with 1Q2011 and the downward trend in activity growth and underlying inflation is likely to continue

We believe given the level of CPI and PPI inflation is still above the government’s comfort zone and activity growth appears to be holding up at a healthy level (yoy activity growth may actually rise further because of a low base in 2Q2010), the growth-inflation combination will mean policy makers are likely to continue to keep the policy stance comparable to 1Q2011 (not March, as the policy stance in January-February was much tighter than it was in March). More meaningful changes to the policy stance will likely come in 2H2011 as yoy CPI inflation is likely to start trending down as a result of a change in base and the expected sequential slowdown.

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godzila's picture

ouch.... Fat finger ?

Silver Shield's picture

These are the days I am glad I am 100% physical.


Just checked my stack... it looks the same to me.

Let’s see how long this bullshit lasts… We had a full recovery by Thursday last week.

Watch physical silver dry up or premiums to skyrocket… Paper market is not the real market.

brian downunder's picture

And just when you think you've had enough, You change your mind, throw you hands in the air and ride the roller coaster all over again. That's exhilaration...

nope-1004's picture

That's not a graph of falling silver, that's a graph of growing government desperation.  Volatility will pick up as the fiat regimes topple... a financial war is no different than a ground war.  Before final victory, things get VERY desperate and actions VERY pronounced.

At any rate, I appreciate the excellent re-entry point.


narapoiddyslexia's picture

Agreed. Manipulation, period. I just bought some more pre-64 US Franklin halfs. 

The Navigator's picture

Damn - I just spent $600 this weekend on ebay junk silver at $46/oz.

Too bad my average cost just went up from $16/oz to $16.000001/oz - the whole trick to dollar cost averaging and starting in 2007.

Bring it on Bitchez - 'cus I'll keep buying. Bring it Fucking On. 'Cus I don't believe your bull shit. Bringing down Obama Bin Laden doesn't change shit. Uncle Bennie boy is still printing like there's no tomorrow and flation is coming like a Miyagi Prefecture Tsunami. Not a damn thing has changed since Friday 'cept the spelling of Osama to USAma. Watch my right hand sock puppet while my left hand does U SAma more rectal fisting.

Manthong's picture

OK, so the Comex is flat lined for almost three days 48-49 or so - goes flakey south after hours on Friday and then noses down 20% BEFORE Sydey?? I just hope this stays down or goes down further until a little after 9:30 tomorrow.

Cleanclog's picture

Silver isn't gold, and the hedge/play isn't just interest rates.  It is currency replacement value. Gold is real values/prices vs. worthless (or increasingly less worth) fiat currencies.

Oil is the potential foil for interest rate manipulations.  Oil is the real interest rates that the Central Banks deny.  

longorshort's picture

Get a profile with professionalism dipshit.

FEDbuster's picture

She looks like a pro to me.

Whalley World's picture

What a blessing, just got my Q1 bonus and what do I find Sunday night but a month end clear out sale.

Thank you JPM

Cash_is_Trash's picture



fockewulf190's picture

Glad I stayed up late over here in Germany.  Now I got to press my own fat fucking finger at slimmed up prices.  Thanks Blythe for helping me stack my stack with extra bling.  See you in Venezuela. 

PY-129-20's picture

Yap, me too. Huhu Focke! Bist nicht der Einzige...

Ahmeexnal's picture

*hmpf*  You so obviously don't know about Venezuelan ladies.

dognamedabu's picture

Try Bolivia..Orvana and SAC so much fun. But jebus this whole thing has me a bit concerned..Or not..Naw..In fact I am laughing here. What a prick am I. 

Freddie's picture

Yeah but you cannot eat gold or silver and it pays no income.  ;-)

Talked to someone on late Thurs.  He is in the business and a friend's relative is at a big hedge fund.  He said they called and said get out.  He said they were going to take it down to $37.  Why?  I guess because they can and probably it is to fleece the weak hands.


CrazyCooter's picture

Cash doesn't pay income either ... if you don't take some risk. One must either lend your dollars or lease your silver. :-)

And you can't eat FRNs either ... well, I guess technically your could. Here is Adam Savage weighing in on the subject of dieting on FRNs (well, cardboard but hey close enough) ...



Urban Redneck's picture

If someone wants to minimize the volume of paper silver converting to physical - the tactic of loading a Brinks truck with FRNs and dropping it on the bid during the thinnest volume hours is tried and true.  In the current environment, with the suspiciously small number of intentions signaled since futures and options expiration, it might be that much more effective.

Silver Shield's picture

A tale of two silver bull markets for those that need a little reminder...

godzila's picture


Actually had a buy limit @ 42.80 which got filled - couldn't believe the alert I recevied.

Let's see how this one evolves...

SRSrocco's picture


USDX = +.03 @ 73.09

You call that a short covering rally?  I think this may have something to do with it instead:

Silver: Much Higher Margins Ahead for CME?

In what could be a precursor to much higher margins at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, MF Global on Friday raised its margins on one contract of silver from $14,513 to $25,397, an increase of 75 percent.


"I would anticipate that the CME will be raising margins again due to the volatility of the daily trading range as well as to reflect the contract's intrinsic value," he said. McGillivray suggested markets could see some selling in silver when Comex electronic trade starts Sunday night at 6pm ET.


They want to increase SILVER MARGINS to keep down VOLATILITY....HAHAHAAH.....glad we only had silver down 15% in 5 minutes. 

Looks like JP MORGUE and HSBC have lost control of the silver market with the Short Positions as the Net Short Contracts in silver are down from 76,000 in March 2008 when silver hit $21 to only 46,000 contracts net short when silver was $48 on Friday.

Fricken hilarious.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Rumor that NATO Fighter Jets took out The Federal Reserve - The Bernank is Down. I repeat. The Bernank is Tango Down - permanently.

President Obama plans address to the nation


By Michael A. Memoli, Washington Bureau

May 1, 2011, 7:01 p.m.

President Obama will address the nation at 10:30 p.m. Eastern time Sunday, the White House said.

The announcement was abrupt, coming after the White House had declared a so-called lid, meaning no other news would be coming for the remainder of the day.

No word was given as to what the president would be addressing.

SheepDog-One's picture

So adding in early last week hikes, the total amount of margin hike is 85% ? Gee as long as theyre not too desperate or anything.

scatterbrains's picture

I'm hoping for continued selling so I can back the truck up. These fools don't realize these  attacks play right into the common man's  hands. I'm sure there are millions of americans praying for a chance to dump dollars at the right silver price, both here and around the globe. Please double again margin rates for us common folk.

Frankie Carbone's picture

I actually sold 100% of my physical on Friday in anticipation of an all-out, viscious short-lived attack on the $50.00 mark. It went against my core position of NEVER SELL YOUR HARD ASSETS. 

Why'd I do it? 


Because I think that TPTB (The Punks That Be) are really desperate and will attack this price for weeks if they have to. 


And they'll be sucessful. 


For a while. A week, perhaps two. But for those holding it will be their victory. 

My target price is $180 or so, based on the inflation adjusted (or what I call Bernack-discounted, hee hee hee) Hunt Brother's price. 

But here me out. If this thing busts above 50 sustained, I have my FAT finger on the buy button, and I'll get it all back and more. 

I'm looking for a bargain buy right now. 

This week is the most financially insecure that I have ever felt. Having unloaded so many beautiful Silver eagles into the market. I want them back. 

But I'm playing the correction game. I think we might see a sustained 20% correction for about 2 weeks, 3 at max. 

That's 200 free ounces for every 1,000 that I sold. 

And if I am wrong then I am going to buy back what I sold and pay more for it. I have a buy order in at 52.00. 


Hell, I bought it at 12.80. I give up 8% as insurance against a correction. I think 15-20% correction is more than possible. That's 2:1 reward to risk. 

I'll test that. 

Advice here folks: If you want to sleep at night, don't do what I am doing.

Really. Sometimes peace of mind is worth a few bucks lost :)


Ohh, I have already reclaimed 25% of them already at a 9% discount. 

1fortheroad's picture

Sounds like your talking cow pies to me but its your fantasy. 

Frankie Carbone's picture

You don't think  a correction is in order? Listen, when I hear all my fellow silver bugs tell me that it's going to blow through 50 without effort, and I hear that drumbeat, I bet against it. Right now on the 50 mark, there's too many folks on the long side of the trade. So I plan on grabbing a discount. You look at the technicals right now for Ag and tell me that this is unwinding as a consolidation. It's not. It's looking an awful lot like a correction in play. 

As far as your cowpie comment. GFY. 

Freddie's picture


The big money wants to take some from the weak hands who jumped on the silver bandwagon.

I love these arseholes here especially the liars who voted for Obam think they are gonna take the system down. I like the idea of buying silver to nuke JPM and the corrupt Fed banking cartel but sadly the big money/elites alway win.

Frankie Carbone's picture

The weak hands will stay out. The strong hands will acquire more. The crazy hands will do what I just did. I plan on buying more. I started buying right after the 08' crash and stopped at the 20 mark. Now what I want is more. If greed burns me on a price hike instead of a price correction then I'm burned, but still up and will get it back. 

I want gold and silver not to crash the system, it doesn't need my help. I want it so that I can tunnel my wealth through the coming hyperinflation. 

DaBernank's picture

I hear you, whatever floats your boat. This is what I do with SLV shares, once I buy physical, it goes in the hiding spot until I need it for food.

FEDbuster's picture

Skip one step, and buy some food now.  In a system down situation, it's going to take a bunch of silver or gold to buy one of my 5 gal. pails of oatmeal.

SamuelMaverick's picture

I did almost the same thing for the exact very same reason, only I did not sell all of my PM's ( just most of them).  I took a chance that TPTB were going to fight PM's, and add to that the end of fucking QE2 and Helicopter Bens bullshit speech.......   Well, at least I did not get burned this time .  Going to buy back as much silver as I can.  Yours, Maverick

r101958's picture

Sounds to me like you are dealing with paper and not physical.....or perhaps paper backed by some % of silver.

SamuelMaverick's picture

No, I am 100% PM. Selling it was a pain in the ass, but I sold at between 41 and 49.  I am getting ready to start buying again.  Good luck.

XPolemic's picture

Pity you got junked, there are some religious types here.

Personally I own the physical, so I'm in it for the long run, and the liquidity is not so great.

If you are in the paper market, then I think what you did was good trading.

And I also concur that they will probably hammer it as long as they can, try and close out some short positions. 

I wonder what the 1M implied vol is ...

Ben Fleeced's picture

Raise your knees higher. I can't see your diaphram yet.

Never mind I re-read it.

dryam's picture

The Evil Empire's back is against the wall.  They are on the verge of completely losing control of the physical market.  This represents their desperation. 

knukles's picture

Dance of the Elephants

Don't know about the Evil Empire, but Blythe (and I don't mean Eastman Dillon) is in a tough spot.  Big Short being run, pain and suffering after Friday's monolithic burst. 
Cannot sit still.  Absolutely must play the hand; note the coincidental hit just as the COMEX opens. 
Gotta counter attack, demoralize the opposition.  Cannot let the surge carry on way past the Big Obscene Number of $1500 for any meaningful period.  It Must Appear As An Apparition, An Anomaly.

Do or die time.
Maybe even was the big way out of the money call option buyer? 
Just in case.

Significance here in the pattern recognition, the game theory.  There has been no major worthwhilenews today, none, nada, zip, zilch.

Watch the MSM (CNBS, et al) they'll note (if the price is held low enough by on the air time) just how right their prognostications as to the worthless metals has been.  Applause!

Self congratulatory pablum.
Be aware, will be a Bernaysian Onslaught of the most forceful nature, augmented with histrionics drawing the rational discussion as to the action deep into the most insignificant reaches of the Hegelian Dialect.

Be forewarned.  This is muscling by the elephants protecting a bad, bleeding position.

nmewn's picture

I can hardly wait for the appeals to patriotism to come forth...the final, desperate, emoting of scoundrels.

Quadlet's picture

What about this?

Idaho silver mine reopens after fatal accident


Frankie Carbone's picture

Something else is at play here short term. Anyone check commodity futures tonight? Most of them are flashing red. Plus the dollar just bounced again off the abyss to 73.27. 

Perhaps Tyler is right. Short covering rally of the DXY? Or perhaps CB intevention (swaps? if so why????)? Both? In any event, fascinating evening.