Furious Gold Slamdown Leads To Yet Another 20 Second Gold Market Halt

Tyler Durden's picture

What do the following dates have in common: September 12, October 11 and now, November 20? These are all days in which there was a forced gold slamdown so furious, it triggered a "stop logic" event on the CME resulting in a trading halt of the precious commodity. In today's case gold trading was halted for a whopping 20 seconds as the market tried to "reliquify" itself following what was a clear attempt to reprice the gold (and silver) complex lower. Needless to say, there was absolutely no news once again to drive the move. Ironically, this comes just as the London regulator is launching an investigation into London gold benchmark manipulation - we are, however, confident that all these glaringly obvious manipulative events that take places just around the London AM fix will be routinely ignored. After all it is perfectly normal for someone to dump 1500 GC contracts in one trade and suck up all the liquidity from the market with zero regard slippage costs, or getting the best execution price possible. Well, it's normal if that someone is the Bank of International Settlements.

Since there is nothing new in the narrative, here is what we said last time this event happened just over a month ago:

What is Stop Logic? Basically, it is a the mother of all stop hunts, which takes out the entire bid stack and continues until such time as there is absolutely no liquidity left in the entire market! From the CME:

Stop Logic detects potential market movements caused by the triggering and trading of Stop orders where the resulting price move would extend beyond an exchange specified threshold.

 

The triggering of Stop orders can potentially exaggerate price movements in temporarily illiquid markets. When triggered Stop orders attempt to move the market to an executing price beyond a pre-established value, a Stop Logic event occurs. Stop Logic detects these situations and responds by placing the identified market in a Reserved state for a predetermined period of time, usually 5 to 10 seconds, depending on the instrument. During the Reserve period, new orders are accepted and an Indicative Opening Price (IOP) is published, but trades do not occur until the Reserve period expires, thereby providing an opportunity for participants to respond to the demand for liquidity. At the end of the Reserve period, the instrument will re-open and matching will resume.

 

When a futures contract designated as a lead month contract experiences a STOP Logic event, associated options markets are paused and Mass Quotes canceled.

 

Stop Logic will not prevent markets from ultimately moving in the direction of the order flow, but allows time for liquidity to enter the market so that new orders can be matched against the triggered stop order(s).

Of course, the liquidity we re-enter at a time when the prevailing price has been reset substantially lower on what is basically a "banging the open" type of event, or in this case market open, when one or more traders attempt to generate the well-known "momentum ignition" event so known to HFT algo manipulators everywhere.

Most indicative is that this is taking place less than 24 hours after the FSA announced it was investigating precisely this kind of gold manipulation. What's the saying... "in your face"?

And, as usual, capturing this moment of epic manipulative smackdownness which took place precisely at 6:26:40, here is Nanex showing both the 20 second trading halt and the evaporation of all liquidity following the forced sell of 1500 GC contracts pushing the price of gold over $10 lower.

1. December 2013 Gold (GC) Futures Trades.
 

 

1b. December 2013 Gold (GC) Futures Trades - Zoom 1.
 

 

1c. December 2013 Gold (GC) Futures Trades - Zoom 2.
The 20 second halt shows up clearly.
 

 

2. December 2013 Gold (GC) Futures Quotes.
 

 

2b. December 2013 Gold (GC) Futures Quotes. Zoom 1
 

 

2c. December 2013 Gold (GC) Futures Quotes - Zoom 2.
 

 

3. December 2013 Gold (GC) Futures Depth of Book
 

 

3b. December 2013 Gold (GC) Futures Depth of Book - Zoom.