It is the last day of not only the month but also the quarter, not to mention the halfway point of 2014, which means that window dressing by hedge funds will be rampant, as they scramble to catch up some of the ground lost to the S&P 500 so far in 2014. Most likely this means that once again the most shorted names will ramp in everyone's face and the short side of the hedgie book will soar, further pushing hedged P&L into the red, because remember: in a market in which all the risk is borne by the Fed there is no need to hedge.
Curious how and why commercial bank traders manipulate the price of gold? The following detailed narrative from the FCA should answer most lingering questions.
It has been exactly six days in which algos, reversing the most recent drop in the S&P with buying sparked by a casual Nikkei leak that the BOJ may, wink wink, boost its QE (subsequently denied until such time as that rumor has to be used again), have pushed the market higher in the longest buying streak since September, ignoring virtually every adverse macroeconomic news, and certainly ignoring an earnings season that is set to be the worst since 2012. Today, the buying streak may finally end on rumors even the vacuum tubes are scratching their glassy heads if more buying on bad or no news makes any sense now that even the likes of David Einhorn is openly saying the second tech bubble has arrived. Keep an eye on the USDJPY which has had seen some rather acute "trapdoor" action in early trading and is approaching 102 after breaching its 55-DMA technical support of 102.38. If the support is broken here we go again on the downside. Keep an eye on biotechs and GILD in particular - if the early strength reverts into more selling again (after the two best days for the biotech space in 30 months), the most recent euphoria phase is now over.
In this part, we look at the question: Is gold a currency? Professor Tom Fischer answers, “Yes, gold is a currency with the symbol XAU”.
Beginning 3 minutes before the release of the FOMC Statement, gold spot and futures prices began to rise notably. Bonds did not. Stocks did not. FX did not. Around 4300 contracts changed hands in the Dec Futures - massively more than average volume - before the statement came out and drove prices further up. In those 3 minutes Gold prices jumped $11... so the question is - lucky guess... or which big bullion bank got the nod?
The LBMA clearing statistics therefore essentially represent huge daily trading through unallocated accounts, most of which is classified as spot delivery, but which is backed by very small physical metal foundations. The clearing statistics while interesting, need to be made more transparent and granular beyond the headline data. Otherwise they tend to obscure rather than illuminate.
Any backwardation in gold at all is serious. Recently, a related phenomenon has occurred: the GOFO rate has gone negative.
The recent decline in gold prices and the drain from physical ETFs have been interpreted by the media as signaling the end of the gold bull market. However, our analysis of the supply and demand dynamics underlying the gold market does not support this thesis. In our view, the bullion banks’ fractional gold deposit system is testing its limits. Too much paper gold exists for the amount of physical gold available. Demand from emerging markets, who do not settle for paper gold, has perturbed the status quo. Thus, our recommendation to investors is the following: empty unallocated gold accounts and redeem your gold in physical form (while you still can).
Weakness in gold and silver is leading to robust demand internationally as store of value buyers accumulate gold and silver on this dip. This is particularly the case in Asia where premiums remain robust and supply demand imbalances remain. The persistent strong demand of this week began on the price falls in April. This demand is clearly seen in the London gold and silver trading data released by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) yesterday. London gold trading jumped to a 20 month high in April and silver volumes surged 25% after the price falls led to an increase in physical buying, the LBMA said in a report. Trading in gold averaged 24.1 million ounces a day in the London market, the most for any month since gold reached record nominal highs in August 2011, the LBMA said in a statement yesterday as reported by Bloomberg. The 24.1 million ounces was a 10% increase on March when 21.8 million ounces a day were traded. Silver volume surged nearly 25% to 165.2 million ounces a day, up from 132.5 million ounces in March. There were 5,395 gold transactions on average per day, the highest on record, while silver transfers at 1,007 a day were the second-highest ever, according to the report.
Traders and speculators are watching the $1,413/oz resistance level. A daily close above this level will likely trigger the beginnings of a short squeeze. Holdings in the largest bullion-backed exchange-traded product expanded yesterday for the first time since May 9. Strong premiums for gold bars in Asia show that jewellers and investors are busy buying bullion on this dip. In Singapore, Reuters reports that “supply constraints” have sent premiums to “all time highs” at $7 to spot London prices. Animal spirits are returning to the gold market in the ‘Land of the Dragon’ in this the ‘Year of the Snake’. The volume for the Shanghai Gold Exchange’s benchmark cash contract surged to 19,599 kilograms yesterday from 15,641 kilograms the day before. In two days the volumes have nearly doubled and surged from 10,094 kilograms to 19,599 or 94%.
Gold edged higher today supported by strong physical demand internationally and especially in Asia.
Demand in the physical market continued to hold prices near $1,400/oz as the recent drops in the spot market encourage buyers internationally to accumulate bullion.
More indisputable proof that gold and silver prices are massively manipulated by the global Central Banking cartel.
With its biggest 8-day rally in 20 months, Gold - having jumped another 1% this evening - has just breached $1445 and retraced half of the record plunge from April 12th. It would appear that the record physical demand that we are seeing in every corner of the globe is indeed leaking back into the actual price of gold.
UPDATE: Spot Gold $1426 (from $1564 highs Friday)
As Asia opens to the bloodbath that occurred in precious metals on Friday in the US, it would appear that more than a few traders got the 'tap on the shoulder'. Shanghai futures are limit-down and spot gold and silver prices are plunging once again as we suspect forced margin-calls and the raising of cash (to cover extreme variation margin - or capital reserves) needed in JGB positions, as we explained here. Liquidation is certainly the theme of the evening - investors are selling JGBs (6th day in a row of multiple-sigma moves in long-dated Japanese bonds 30Y +56bps off its post-BoJ lows at 1.60%!), selling Japanese stocks (Nikkei -128 pts, second biggest down day post-BoJ), selling US Treasuries (futures down), selling gold and silver (gold spot down over $100 from Friday's highs), and despite selling JPY early (retracing 30% of the weakness post-BoJ), JPY is practically unchanged (jerking lower only on the US futures open and Asian equity open) - it seems Mrs.Watanabe is struggling and unwinding some her excessively short JPY and long NKY positions... and post the China data (4-for-4 misses), everything is red - JGBs down, Japanese stocks down, US Stocks down, US Treasuries down, Gold and Silver down, Copper down, Oil down, Rubber futures limit down.
One of the least well-known precious metals continues to shine brightly this year - palladium.