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The Precious Metal Equities Have a Good Day


 -- Published: Monday, 7 October 2019 | Print  | Disqus 

https://edsteergoldsilver.com/

YESTERDAY in GOLD, SILVER, PLATINUM and PALLADIUM

(05 October 2019 -- Saturday)
 
The gold price crawled quietly higher until around noon China Standard Time on their Friday -- and then didn't do much of anything until the jobs report hit the street at 8:30 a.m. in New York.  It was sold down about ten bucks or so over the next thirty minutes -- and back below $1,500 spot by a bit, but turned on a dime at precisely 9:00 a.m. EDT.  It edged unevenly higher until about fifteen minutes after the 11 a.m. EDT London close -- and then chopped quietly and unevenly sideways, with a slightly negative bias until trading ended at 5:00 p.m.

The high and low ticks certainly aren't worth looking up.

The gold price was closed at $1,504.00 spot, down 80 cents on the day.  Net volume was very heavy at a bit over 326,500 contracts -- and there was a bit under 18,500 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume on top of that.


The price pattern in silver was virtually the same as it was for gold, although the sell-off at 8:30 a.m. on the jobs number was a bit more severe than it was for gold.  But it bounced back -- and was in the green by about a nickel by the 1:30 p.m. EDT COMEX close in New York.  However, that tiny gain was taken away in the very thinly-traded after-hours market.

The high and low ticks in silver were reported by the CME Group as $17.745 and $17.33 in the December contract.

Silver was closed at $17.51 spot, down 1 cent from Thursday.  Net volume was pretty quiet, all things considered, at about 58,500 contracts -- and there was only 1,590 contracts worth of roll-over/switch volume in this precious metal.


The platinum was price was stair-stepped quietly and unevenly lower starting shortly after 10 p.m. China Standard Time on their Friday morning.  It was then sold down hard starting at 2 p.m. CEST in Zurich/8 a.m. in New York.  Its low also came at 9 a.m. EDT and, like silver, crawled higher until the COMEX close.  It was sold a few dollars lower over the next thirty minutes, before trading sideways until trading ended at 5:00 p.m. EDT.


The palladium price mostly wandered around the unchanged mark until a vicious down/up spike occurred at noon in Zurich trading.  It then traded pretty flat until 9 a.m. EDT -- and its subsequent rally was capped and turned lower around 11:35 a.m. in New York.  It was sold lower until 12:30 p.m. EDT -- and didn't do much of anything after that.  Palladium was closed at $1,647 spot, up 10 dollars from Thursday.


The dollar index closed very late on Thursday afternoon in New York at 98.86 -- and then opened up 1 basis point once trading commenced around 7:45 p.m. EDT on Thursday evening, which was 7:45 a.m. China Standard Time on their Friday morning.  It then spent the entire Friday session chopping around fifteen basis points either side of unchanged -- and closed at 98.81...down 5 basis points on the day.  The 98.74 low tick was set around 12:35 p.m. BST in London -- and the 98.996 high tick came at 8:35 a.m. in New York.  Nothing much to see here.
Here's the DXY chart, courtesy of Bloomberg Click to enlarge.


And here's the 5-year U.S. dollar index chart, courtesy of the folks over at the stockcharts.com Internet site.  The delta between its close...98.49...and the close on the DXY chart above, was 32 basis points on Friday.  Click to enlarge as well.


The gold shares opened down a bit, but began to head quietly and unevenly higher at, or very soon after, the 10 a.m. EDT afternoon gold fix in London.  That price pattern more or less continued right into the 4:00 p.m. close of trading in New York.  The HUI closed up 2.07 percent.


The silver equities followed a similar price path, except their sell-off at the 9:30 a.m. open in New York was a bit more noticeable.  However, the rally that followed was  much more brisk -- and Nick Laird's Intraday Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index closed on its high of the day...up 2.49 percent.  Click to enlarge if necessary.


And here's Nick's 1-year Silver Sentiment/Silver 7 Index chart, updated with Friday's doji.  Click to enlarge as well.


Two of our three laggards in the Silver 7 Index turned out to be the big movers of the day, as Buenaventura closed up 3.04 percent.  But Peñoles was the star, closing up 6.70 percent.  The other laggard, Hecla, was up 1.59 percent.



Here are the usual three charts from Nick that show what's been happening for the week, month -- and year-to-date. The first one shows the changes in gold, silver, platinum and palladium for the past trading week, in both percent and dollar and cents terms, as of their Friday closes in New York - along with the changes in the HUI and the Silver 7 Index.
Here's the weekly chart -- and except for the licking that 'da boyz' laid on platinum, there isn't much to see, as pretty much everything netted out at about unchanged.  However, considering the way the week started, it could have ended up far worse.  Click to enlarge.


There's no month-to-date chart this week, because of the way Nick's chart program works, the four day of October have been included in all of September's data, which is obviously useless.  This chart will be back to normal in next Saturday's column.

Here's the year-to-date chart -- and it's still all green by very decent amounts -- and except for palladium it, for obvious reasons, hasn't changed month from this time last week. The gold shares are still outperforming the silver equities.  That, as you already know is all thanks to JPMorgan, along with the already mentioned dismal year-to-date performances of Buenaventura, Peñoles and Hecla.  However, all three have been showing signs of life lately, so there is hope.  Click to enlarge.


The usual 'wash, rinse, spin' cycle got interrupted.  We're back above the 50-day moving averages in both gold and silver -- and it remains to be seen where we go from here.  Are we done to the downside, or are there more engineered lower prices in our futures?  We'll find out in due course...however all the signs out there point to big goings-on under the surface just out of sight.



The CME Daily Delivery Report for Day 6 of October deliveries showed that 44 gold and 24 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Tuesday.

In gold, the two short/issuers were Advantage and Goldman Sachs, with 42 and 2 contracts...the former was out of their client account -- and Goldman's 2 contracts were issued from their in-house/proprietary trading account.  There were five long/stoppers in total.  The three biggest were JPMorgan, Advantage and Australia's Macquarie Futures, with 20, 13 and 7 contracts.  Macquarie stopped their 7 contracts in their own account...the rest were stopped in JPMorgan's and Advantage's respective client accounts.

In silver, the two short/issuers were Advantage and Dutch bank ABN Amro with 13 and 11 contracts.  The three long/stoppers were JPMorgan, Advantage and  ABN Amro, picking up 17, 4 and 3 contracts.  All contracts, both issued and stopped, involved their respective client accounts.

So far in October, there have been an eye-watering 10,390 gold contracts issued/reissued and stopped -- and that number in silver is 914.

The link to yesterday's Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.

The CME Preliminary Report for the Friday trading session showed that gold open interest in October declined by 955 contracts, leaving 395 contracts still around, minus the 44 contracts mentioned a few paragraphs ago.  Thursday's Daily Delivery Report showed that 1,115 contracts were actually posted for delivery on Monday, so that means that 1,115-955=160 more gold contracts were just added to the October delivery month.  Silver o.i. in October dropped by 85 contracts leaving 365 still open, minus the 24 mentioned a few paragraphs ago.  Thursday's Daily Delivery Report showed that 108 silver contracts were actually posted for delivery on Monday, so that means that 108-85=23 more gold contract were added to October.



There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV on Friday.

In other gold and silver ETFs and mutual funds on Planet Earth on Friday...minus GLD, SLV and COMEX warehouse stocks...there was a net 138,817 troy ounces of gold added -- and in silver, that number was 635,835 troy ounces. These are big numbers.

There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint on Friday.

Month-to-date...the last four business days...the mint has sold 2,500 troy ounces of gold eagles -- 280,000 silver eagles -- and 42,200 of those 'America the Beautiful' 5-ounce silver coins.
There was some movement in gold over at the COMEX-approved depositories on the U.S. east coast on Thursday.  JPMorgan received 57,517 troy ounces.  The only 'out' activity was 32.151 troy ounces...one kilobar [SGE kilobar weight]...that departed Brink's, Inc.  The link to that is here.

It was very busy in silver, as 1,672,358 troy ounces was received -- and 784,428 troy ounces was shipped out.  In the 'in' category, there was 1,073,165 troy ounces dropped off at CNT -- and the remaining truckload....599,193 troy ounces...found a home over at Brink's, Inc.  There were five depositories involved in the 'out' category -- and the three largest were...CNT, with one truckload...628,224 troy ounces.  Next came Canada's Scotiabank and Brink's, Inc...with 75,200 and 60,083 troy ounces respectively.  If you wish to see all this, plus more, the link is here.

Despite the ongoing Golden Week, there was a bit of activity over at the COMEX-approved gold kilobar depositories in Hong Kong on their Thursday.  They reported receiving 25 of them -- and shipped out 50.  This activity was at Brink's, Inc. -- and I won't bother linking this.



Origin: Roman German Empire   Mint: Hall in Tyrol   Material: Gold   Weight: 3.5 grams   Value: €980/US$1,080



The Commitment of Traders Report, for positions held at the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday, October 1 showed a disappointingly small reduction in the commercial net short position in silver, but a very hefty one in gold.

In silver, the Commercial net short position fell by a tiny 1,998 contracts, or 10 million troy ounces, which is barely a rounding error in the grand scheme of things.

They arrived at that number by selling 850 long contracts, but reduced their short position by 2,848 contracts -- and it's the difference between those two numbers that represents their change for the reporting week.

Under the hood in the Disaggregated COT Report, it was all Managed Money traders, plus more, as they reduced their long position by 3,553 contracts -- and also added 1,178 short contracts.  It's the sum of those two numbers...4,731 contracts...that represents their change for the reporting week.

As it must be, the difference between that number -- and the Commercial net short position...4,731 minus 1,998 equals 2,733 contracts...was made up by the traders in the other two categories.  The 'Other Reportables' increased their net long position by 3,817 contracts -- and the 'Nonreportable'/small traders went in the other direction, decreasing their net long position by 1,084 contracts.  The difference between those two numbers is the aforesaid mentioned 2,733 contracts.

With the new Bank Participation Report in hand, Ted estimated that JPMorgan's short position is around the 22,000 contract mark...basically unchanged from the 22-23,000 contracts that he estimated their short position to be in last week's COT Report.

The Commercial net short position in silver is down to 368.9 troy ounces, little changed from the prior week's report.

Here's the 3-year COT chart for silver, courtesy of Nick Laird -- and updated with yesterday's data.  Click to enlarge.


So, despite the fact that silver's 50-day moving average was broken to the downside with some authority during the reporting week, the technically oriented Managed Money traders basically stood their ground and didn't sell much of anything -- and therefore, the commercial traders weren't able to cover very much of their short position.

So why was that, you ask?

As you can imagine, Ted and I had quite a discussion about that on the phone yesterday afternoon -- and I'll be more than interested in what he has to say in his weekly review later this afternoon.

I put forward the idea/theory that maybe the brain-dead moving average-following Managed Money traders did sell in droves...following their usual Pavlovian response to such moving average penetrations.  But that selling was masked by equally ferocious buying by the non-technical value investing Managed Money traders -- and that their buying masked the true amount the former was selling.  If that was the case -- and remember it's only a theory, then the rather bearish COT Report that we're looking at, may not be as bearish as it seems.

So it's impossible to know if we're done to the downside or not -- and that will only sort itself out in the fullness of time -- and not too much time, I hope.



In gold, the commercial net short position dropped by a far more substantial amount...41,457 contracts, or 4.15 million troy ounces of paper gold.

They arrived at that number by selling 535 long contracts, but also reduced their short position by a hefty 41,992 contracts -- and it's the difference between those two numbers that represents their change for the reporting week.

Under the hood in the Disaggregated COT Report, it was all Managed Money traders, plus more, as they decreased their long position by 45,518 contracts -- and they also added 1,542 short contracts.  [Ted was surprised that they didn't add more short contracts than they did.] It's the sum of those two numbers...47,060 contracts...that represents their change for the reporting week.

The difference between that number -- and the commercial net short position...47,060 minus 41,457 equals 5,603 contracts...was made up, as it always must be, by the traders in the 'Other Reportables' and 'Nonreportable'/small trader categories.  Both increased their net long position during the reporting week...the former by 3,609 contracts -- and the latter by 1,994 contracts.  The sum of those two numbers is 5,603 contracts.

Ted figures that JPMorgan reduced their short position in gold by around 10,000 contracts during the reporting week, leaving them with a short position of about 45,000 COMEX contracts.  There's more about this in the Bank Participation Report data below.

The commercial net short position in gold is down to 30.36 million troy ounces.

Here's Nick's 3-year COT chart for gold, updated with yesterday's data -- and the improvement should be noted.  Click to enlarge.


Despite the improvement during the reporting week, gold is still very much in the bearish camp -- and the only way to fix that situation is for the Big 8 traders to continue to engineer the gold price lower.  But whether that event is in our future, remains to be seen.  However, if/when does occur, then you'll know the reason why.

And as Ted keeps pointing out, correctly I might add, the the COT Report is the only bearish feature of an otherwise wildly bullish environment for precious metal prices.  However, there is nothing in the above report that hints [at least on the surface] that JPMorgan et al. have loosened their iron grip in the slightest.



In the other metals, the Manged Money traders in palladium increased their net long position by a further 308 COMEX contracts.  And as you already know, it only take a small handful of contracts to move this market in a major way. The Managed Money traders are now net long the palladium market by 13,909 contracts...59 percent of the total open interest.  Total open interest in palladium is now up to 23,6242 COMEX contracts.  In platinum, the Managed Money traders dumped longs and went short as 'da boyz' rigged prices lower during the reporting week. They decreased their net long position by a very hefty 7,466 contracts. The Managed Money traders are now net long the platinum market by 'only' 17,610 COMEX contracts...a bit under 21 percent of the total open interest.  In copper, the Managed Money traders increased their net short position in that metal by a further 10,226 COMEX contracts during the reporting week -- and are net short the COMEX futures market by 62,812 contracts, or 1.57 billion pounds of the stuff. That's almost 26 percent of total open interest...a huge amount.



Here's Nick Laird's "Days to Cover" chart, updated with the COT data for positions held at the close of COMEX trading on Tuesday. It shows the days of world production that it would take to cover the short positions of the Big 4 - and Big '5 through 8' traders in each physically traded commodity on the COMEX. Click to enlarge.


For the current reporting week, the Big 4 traders are short 144 days of world silver production, which is up 6 days from last week's report - and the '5 through 8' large traders are short an additional 64 days of world silver production, down 2 days from last week's report - for a total of 208 days that the Big 8 are short, which is a hair under seven months of world silver production, or about 485 million troy ounces of paper silver held short by the Big 8. [In the prior week's COT Report, the Big 8 were short 204 days of world silver production.]

In the COT Report above, the Commercial net short position in silver was reported as 368 million troy ounces.  As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the short position of the Big 8 traders is 485 million troy ounces.  The short position of the Big 8 traders is larger than the total Commercial net short position by around 485-368=117 million troy ounces.

The reason for the difference in those numbers...as it always is...is that Ted's raptors, the 31-odd small commercial traders other than the Big 8, are net long that amount...which is preposterous beyond belief.

As I mentioned in my COT commentary in silver above, Ted figures that JPMorgan is short around 22,000 COMEX silver contracts...virtually unchanged from last week's COT Report.
22,000 COMEX contracts...is 110 million troy ounces of paper silver, which works out to around 47 days of world silver production the JPMorgan is short, down 1 day from last week's COT Report.

JPMorgan is still the biggest silver short on the COMEX futures market by a decent amount.  Citigroup is in second place -- and not all that far behind.

The Big 4 traders in silver are short, on average, about...144 divided by 4 equals...36 days of world silver production each.  The four traders in the '5 through 8' category are short around 64 days of world silver production in total, which is 16 days of world silver production each, on average.

The Big 8 commercial traders are short 44.2 percent of the entire open interest in silver in the COMEX futures market, which is a bit of a decrease from the 45.9 percent they were short in last week's report.  And once whatever market-neutral spread trades are subtracted out, that percentage would be something around the 50 percent mark.  In gold, it's now 43.3 percent of the total COMEX open interest that the Big 8 are short, up a hair from the 42.7 percent they were short in last week's report -- and also approaching 50 percent, once the market-neutral spread trades are subtracted out.

In gold, the Big 4 are short 58 days of world gold production, down 7 days from what they were short in last week's COT Report.  The '5 through 8' are short another 31 days of world production, down 3 days from what they were short last week...for a total of 89 days of world gold production held short by the Big 8...down 10 days from last week's report.  Based on these numbers, the Big 4 in gold hold about 65 percent of the total short position held by the Big 8...down 1 percent from last week's COT Report.

The "concentrated short position within a concentrated short position" in silver, platinum and palladium held by the Big 4 commercial traders are about 69, 66 and 78 percent respectively of the short positions held by the Big 8.  Silver is up about 1 percent from a week ago...platinum is down 3 percent from last week -- and palladium is unchanged from a week ago.  What these number show are the percentage differences between what the red bars and green bars show on the 'Days to Cover' chart above.



The October Bank Participation Report [BPR] data is extracted directly from yesterday's Commitment of Traders Report.  It shows the number of futures contracts, both long and short, that are held by all the U.S. and non-U.S. banks as of Tuesday's cut-off in all COMEX-traded products.  For this one day a month we get to see what the world's banks are up to in the precious metals -and they're usually up to quite a bit.

[The October Bank Participation Report covers the time period from September 3 to October 1 inclusive.]

In gold, 4 U.S. banks are net short 94,438 COMEX contracts in the October's BPR.  In September's Bank Participation Report [BPR] 5 U.S. banks were net short 105,713 contracts, so there was a decrease of 11,275 COMEX contracts from a month ago.

JPMorgan, Citigroup and HSBC USA would hold the lion's share of this short position.  But as to who other U.S. bank might be that is short in this BPR, I haven't a clue, but it's a given that their short position would not be material.  Ted mentioned on the phone yesterday that JPMorgan is short around 45,000 contracts of the total net short position held by these 4 U.S. banks as of Tuesday's COT Report.  That's just about 50 percent.

Also in gold, 28 non-U.S. banks are net short 96,587 COMEX gold contracts.  In the September's BPR, 30 non-U.S. banks were net short 114,958 COMEX contracts...so the month-over-month change shows a reduction of 18,371 contracts.

At the low back in the August 2018 BPR...these same non-U.S. banks held a net short position in gold of only 1,960 contacts!

However, as I always say at this point, I suspect that there's at least two large non-U.S. bank in this group, one of which would include Scotiabank.  It's certainly possible that it could be the BIS in the No. 1 spot.  But regardless of who this second non-U.S. bank is, the short positions in gold held by the remaining 26 non-U.S. banks are immaterial.

As of this Bank Participation Report, 32 banks [both U.S. and foreign] are net short 31.5 percent of the entire open interest in gold in the COMEX futures market, which is down a bit from the 34.8 percent they were short in the September BPR.

Here's Nick's BPR chart for gold going back to 2000.  Charts #4 and #5 are the key ones here.  Note the blow-out in the short positions of the non-U.S. banks [the blue bars in chart #4] when Scotiabank's COMEX short position was outed by the CFTC in October of 2012.  Click to enlarge.


In silver, 4 U.S. banks are net short 34,176 COMEX contracts in October's BPR.  In September's BPR, the net short position of 5 U.S. banks was 37,706 contracts, so the short position of the U.S. banks is down 3,530 contracts month-over-month -- and most assuredly that decrease comes courtesy of JPMorgan.  Ted says of that JPMorgan is short about 22,000 contracts of that amount. Citigroup and HSBC USA would hold 99 percent of the rest.

As in gold, the three biggest short holders in silver of the four U.S. banks in total, would be JPMorgan, Citigroup and HSBC USA.  Whoever the remaining U.S. bank may be, their short position, like the short position of the smallest U.S. bank in gold, would be immaterial in the grand scheme of things.

Also in silver, 24 non-U.S. banks are net short 40,719 COMEX contracts in the October BPR...which is down from the 41,540 contracts that 23 non-U.S. banks were short in the September BPR.  I would suspect that Canada's Scotiabank [and maybe one other, the BIS perhaps] holds a goodly chunk of the short position of these non-U.S. banks.  I believe that a number of the remaining 22 non-U.S. banks may actually net long the COMEX futures market in silver.  But even if they aren't, the remaining short positions divided up between these other 22 non-U.S. banks are immaterial - and have always been so.  This is a JPMorgan-run operation...end of story.

As of October's Bank Participation Report, 28 banks [both U.S. and foreign] are net short 35.3 percent of the entire open interest in the COMEX futures market in silver-virtually unchanged from the 35.1 percent that they were net short in the September BPR.  And much, much more than the lion's share of that is held by JPMorgan, Citigroup, HSBC USA, Scotiabank -- and maybe one other non-U.S. bank, which I suspect may be the BIS.

Here's the BPR chart for silver.  Note in Chart #4 the blow-out in the non-U.S. bank short position [blue bars] in October of 2012 when Scotiabank was brought in from the cold.  Also note August 2008 when JPMorgan took over the silver short position of Bear Stearns-the red bars.  It's very noticeable in Chart #4-and really stands out like the proverbial sore thumb it is in chart #5.  Click to enlarge.


In platinum, 5 U.S. banks are net short 19,056 COMEX contracts in the October Bank Participation Report.  In the September BPR, these same banks were net short 20,670 COMEX contracts...so there's been slight decrease month-over-month...1,614 contracts worth.

[At the 'low' back in July of 2018, these same five U.S. banks were actually net long the platinum market by 2,573 contracts. That's quite a change for the worse since then.]

Also in platinum, 20 non-U.S. banks are net short 18,701 COMEX contracts in the October BPR, which is up a bit from the 16,647 COMEX contracts that 19 non-U.S. banks were net short in the September BPR.  [Note: Back at the July 2018 low, these same non-U.S. banks were net short only 1,192 COMEX contracts.]

And as of October's Bank Participation Report, 25 banks [both U.S. and foreign] are net short a grotesque 44.3 percent of platinum's total open interest in the COMEX futures market, which is up a bit from the 42.1 percent they were net short in September's BPR.

Here's the Bank Participation Report chart for platinum Click to enlarge.


In palladium, 4 U.S. banks are net short 6,631 COMEX contracts in the October BPR, which is virtually unchanged from the 6,682 contracts that these same 4 U.S. banks were net short in the September BPR.

Also in palladium, 13 non-U.S. banks are net short 2,477 COMEX contracts-which is up a decent amount from the 1,965 COMEX contracts that these same 13 non-U.S. banks were short in the September BPR.

But when you divide up the short positions of these non-U.S. banks more or less equally, they're completely immaterial...especially when compared to the positions held by the 4 U.S. banks.

As of this Bank Participation Report, 17 banks [both U.S. and foreign] are net short 38.5 percent of the entire COMEX open interest in palladium...almost as grotesque a number as platinum.  In September's BPR, the world's banks were net short 42.1 percent of total open interest...a bit of a decrease from a month ago.

Here's the palladium BPR chart.  And as I point out every month, you should note that the U.S. banks were almost nowhere to be seen in the COMEX futures market in this precious metal until the middle of 2007-and they became the predominant and controlling factor by the end of Q1 of 2013 -- and are even more so today.  Click to enlarge.


JPMorgan et al. are facing some rather serious and long-term headwinds...not only in the currencies, but in foreign bank and ETF gold purchases.  These headwinds are becoming ever more pronounced with each passing week...including this week.

However, it's obvious that JPMorgan is still the short seller of last resort -- and sometimes first resort as well, in order to keep a lid on precious metal prices.

But, as always, they are in a position to stick it to the rest of the short holders in both silver and gold if they so choose -- and whether they will they or they won't, remains to be seen.

And whether the current rallies in both gold and silver that began early this past week, are the indication that prices are up, up and away from here...or just a respite from continuing engineered price declines, remains to be seen as well.

I have a very decent number of stories/articles for you today -- and a lot of them are certainly worth your while if you have the time over the weekend.

CRITICAL READS  

September Payrolls Miss: 136K Jobs Added as Wage Growth Crashes

It wasn't quite as bad as the whisper number, which saw September payrolls dropping below 100K, but it wasn't great either: moments ago the BLS reported that in September the U.S. added 136K jobs, below the 145K expected, however the big story here was that the August number - as has become customary - was revised notably higher, from 130K to 168K, the mirror image of what happened at ADP, which scrambled to catch down to the original NFP print.  Click to enlarge.


The change in total non-farm payroll employment for July was revised up by 7,000 from +159,000 to +166,000, and the change for August was revised up by 38,000 from +130,000 to +168,000. With these revisions, employment gains in July and August combined were 45,000 more than previously reported.

Of note: the three-month average of private payroll gains dropped to 119,000, the smallest since 2012, which however still remains above the organic growth in the labor force. If only it also helped raise wages.

Commenting on the data, Bloomberg economist Eliza Wanger writes "the still healthy 136k-payroll gain and drop in unemployment rate to 3.5% underscores that the labor market remains solid. While the trend in labor demand has been deteriorating and risks are rising, conditions in the labor market are tight and layoffs are exceptionally low."

As for CIBC's Kartherine Judge, despite the poor data, the October rate cut has been pushed into December: "The U.S. labor market appears to still be on relatively healthy footing despite the downside miss on payrolls for September...Overall, these data are constructive enough to allow the Fed to skip October in our view, and cut in December."

This Zero Hedge story appeared on their website at 8:36 a.m. EDT on Friday morning -- and it's the first offering of the day from Brad Robertson.  Another link to it is here.


September Class 8 Heavy Duty Truck Orders Collapse 71%

Preliminary Class 8 order data for September is starting to trickle in and, like the data preceding it so far this year - it's ugly.

Class 8 orders were crushed 71% in September, reaching 12,600 units, according to Baird and Morgan Stanley.

This follows a 79% plunge in August.

This makes September the 11th consecutive month of YOY order declines and the 9th consecutive month of orders below 20,000.

Class 8 orders are often seen as a pulse on the U.S. economy. Morgan Stanley analyst Courtney Yakavonis wrote in a note that she expects YOY order declines to continue into the year's end. But Baird analyst David Leiker said he was gaining "increased confidence" that a bottom in declines was likely near - but that's a story we have heard from ACT Research analysts all year and orders just continue to collapse.

The number of available used trucks continues to rise, leading to lower prices in that sector. Volvo trucks and Mack trucks are both taking two down weeks at their Virginia and Pennsylvania factories this quarter.

Donald Broughton, principal and managing partner of research firm Broughton Capital, told FOX Business in September that in 1H19 nearly 640 trucking firms failed. That equates to 20,000 trucks have been pulled off the road.

In 2018, only 310 trucking companies failed, which points to an accelerating trend that could transform into a major bust cycle for the industry in 2020.


And we've routinely pointed out that freight is a leading indicator of where the economy could be headed. At least 70% of domestic goods are moved on heavy-duty trucks, so when freight companies are cutting their workforce - it's typically the onset of an economic downturn.

This news item put in an appearance on the Zero Hedge website at 1:10 p.m. on Friday morning EDT -- and I thank Brad Robertson for this one as well.  Another link to it is here.  Another excellent article on this subject is from the wolfstreet.com Internet site.  It's headlined "Orders of Heavy Trucks Collapse, Layoffs Start".


N.Y. Fed Announces Extension of Overnight Repos Until Nov 4, Will Offer 8 More Term Repos

Anyone who expected that the easing of the quarter-end funding squeeze in the repo market would mean the Fed would gradually fade its interventions in the repo market, was disappointed on Friday afternoon when the NY Fed announced it would extend the duration of overnight repo operations (with a total size of $75BN) for at least another month, while also offer no less than eight 2-week term repo operations until November 4, 2019, which confirms that the funding unlocked via term repo is no longer merely a part of the quarter-end arsenal but an integral part of the Fed's overall "temporary" open market operations... which are starting to look quite permanent.

What this means is that until such time as the Fed launches Permanent Open Market Operations - either at the November or December FOMC meeting, which according to JPMorgan will be roughly $37BN per month, or approximately the same size as QE1.

The New York Fed will continue to inject liquidity via the now standard TOMOs: overnight and term repos. At that point, watch as the Fed's balance sheet, which rose by $185BN in the past month, continues rising indefinitely as QE4 is quietly launched to no fanfare.  Click to enlarge.


And remember: whatever you do, don't call it QE4!

This Zero Hedge article showed up on their Internet site at 2:01 p.m. EDT on Friday afternoon -- and I thank Brad Robertson for sending it our way.  Another link to it is here Gregory Mannarino's post market close rant on Friday is entitled "Game Changer. QE SIX BEGINS! Perpetual" -- and it's worth your while.


There's Nothing Normal About the Fed Pumping Hundreds of Billions Weekly to Unnamed Banks on Wall Street: "Somebody's Got a Problem"

Yesterday, the House Financial Services Committee released its hearing schedule for October. There is not a peep about holding a hearing on the unprecedented hundreds of billions of dollars that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is pumping into unnamed banks on Wall Street at a time when there is no public acknowledgement of any kind of financial crisis taking place.

Congressional committees should have been instantly on top of the Fed's actions when they first started on September 17 because the Fed had gone completely rogue from 2007 to 2010 in funneling an unfathomable $29 trillion in revolving loans to Wall Street and global banks without authority or even awareness from Congress. The Fed also fought a multi-year court battle with the media in an effort to keep its giant money funnel a secret.

According to multiple sources we queried, the New York Fed has not made the names of these banks doing the borrowing available to either the Senate or House committees. And if there is push-back from the Committees, the public is not hearing about it. It was this exact kind of complacency and lack of leadership on the part of Congress in the early days of the financial crisis in 2007 that gave the Fed the guts to press a button and electronically create trillions of dollars to bail out the worst actors on Wall Street as they used large chunks of that money to reward themselves with tens of millions of dollars in bonuses and pay billions of dollars of the bailout money to lawyers to block their being prosecuted for fraud.

Journalists also failed to properly alert the public to the impending crisis - even when warning bells were loudly clanging.

There are only two ways to look at what is happening today. It starts with basic math. As of June 30 of this year, the four largest commercial banks held more than $5.45 trillion in deposits. The breakdown is as follows: JPMorgan Chase has $1.6 trillion; Bank of America clocks in at $1.44 trillion; Wells Fargo has $1.35 trillion; and Citibank is home to just over $1 trillion.

With $5.45 trillion in deposits, why isn't there enough liquidity to make loans in the billions. Either the big banks are backing away because of something they see on the horizon or something very troubling has happened to their liquidity.

This longish, but very interesting article put in an appearance on the wallstsreetonparade.com Internet site sometime on Friday -- and I found it posted on the gata.org Internet site.  Another link to it is here.


Market's "$1.6 Trillion Time Bomb" Claims Another Victim as Arrowgrass Writes Down Illiquid Investment By 70%

First it was the shocking junk bond fiasco at Third Avenue which led to a premature end for the asset manager, then the three largest U.K. property funds suddenly froze over $12 billion in assets in the aftermath of the Brexit vote; two years later the Swiss multi-billion fund manager GAM blocked redemptions, followed by iconic U.K. investor Neil Woodford also suddenly gating investors despite representations of solid returns and liquid assets, and most recently the ill-named, Nataxis-owned H20 Asset Management decided to freeze redemptions.

By this point, a pattern had emerged, one which Bank of England Governor Mark Carney described best when he said that investment funds that promise to allow customers to withdraw their money on a daily basis are "built on a lie." At roughly the same time, the chief investment officer of Europe's biggest independent asset manager agreed with him, because while for much of 2019 the biggest risk bogeymen were corporate credit, leveraged loans, and trillions in negative yielding debt, gradually consensus emerged that investment funds themselves - and specifically their illiquid investments- gradually emerged as the basis for the next financial crisis.

"There is no point denying we are faced with a looming liquidity mismatch problem," said Pascal Blanque, who oversees more than €1.4 trillion ($1.6 trillion) as the CIO of Amundi SA, adding that the prospect of melting liquidity is one of "various things keeping me awake at night."

Fast forward to today, when the recently shuttered Arrowgrass Capital Partners became the latest fund to remind investors just how toxic the threat of illiquid securities is, when it slashed the valuation of its stake in Britain's oldest surviving amusement park, piling further losses on investors in Nick Niell's closed hedge fund.

While we previously discussed "The $1.6 Trillion Ticking Time Bomb In The Market", the Arrowgrass fiasco is merely the latest example of how pervasive investment in hard-to-mark illqiuid assets have become in Europe where money managers from Neil Woodford to H2O Asset Management have come under fire from politicians, regulators and investors. But really it's the central bankers' fault: having injected trillions in the market to crush yields and push investors into the riskiest assets, investment firms have had no choice but to venture into harder-to-sell assets such as real estate in a search for yield.

This dramatic imbalance of asset holdings at market making banks and buy-side "bagholders" of illiquid securities, is now posing a major problem for regulators, something the Bank of England acknowledged in a working paper published earlier this month, and highlighted by Mark Gilbert, to wit: "as the funds industry has supplanted banks as a source of credit in the past decade, households and companies have benefited from a useful alternative source of financing. But, the report warned, we don't know how this market-based system will respond under stress."

"It is a bomb, given the risks of liquidity mismatch," he warns. "We don't know if what is sellable today will be sellable in six months' time."

That's not the only we don't know. As Blanque concluded, "we don't know the channels of transmission, we don't know how the actors will act. It is uncharted territory."

And that, precisely, is why central banks can never again allow risk asset prices to drop: the alternative means gating not one, or two, or a hundred funds, but halting the entire market, because once everyone start selling and price discovery finally returns to a market that has been dominated by central banks for the past decade, several generations of traders and investors who have grown up without price discovery will be shocked to discover just where "fair" market prices reside.

This long, but very worthwhile commentary/story was posted on the Zero Hedge website at 11:34 a.m. EDT on Friday morning -- and another link to it is here.


Doug Noland: Resurrecting M2

M2 "money" supply surged $70.2 billion last week, the strongest advance since the week of January 11, 2016. Notable to be sure, but apparently not worthy of a headline or article. Moreover, M2 was up $262 billion in 10-weeks and $575 billion over 22 weeks. The Fed's weekly H.6 "Money Stock and Debt Measures" report presented a 13-week seasonally-adjusted M2 growth rate of 8.5%.

Let's focus on the extraordinary $575 billion M2 growth over the past 22 weeks (that receives zero attention). This was the second strongest (22-week) monetary expansion in U.S. history, trailing only 2011's "QE2" period (Fed expanded holdings by $600 billion) where M2 expanded as much as $616 billion over 22 weeks. M2 growth peaked at $530 billion (over 22 weeks) in February 2009 during the Federal Reserve's inaugural QE operation.

I have posited that a bond market "melt-up" was instrumental in what has been a period of extraordinary Monetary Disorder. A weakening global economic backdrop along with escalating trade war risks and fragile markets spurred a dovish U-turn by the Fed, ECB and global central banks generally. The global yield collapse was largely fueled by a combination of speculative excess and risk market hedging. Such strategies have focused on safe haven sovereign and investment-grade corporate debt as instruments that would see rising prices in the event of a "risk off" backdrop and resulting central bank rates cuts and QE.

The surge in speculative leverage - exemplified by enormous "repo" market expansion - created a self-reinforcing surge in marketplace liquidity, of which a portion flowed into the "money" supply aggregates (notably through the expansion of commercial bank saving deposits and institutional money fund assets). Moreover, it's my view that the abrupt September reversal of market yields and the prospect of end-of-quarter liquidity challenges spurred a reversal of some leveraged holdings that quickly manifested into a liquidity shortage and spike in overnight funding costs.

Federal Reserve Credit jumped $83.9 billion last week to $3.893 TN, the strongest weekly Fed balance sheet expansion since March 2009. This pushed four-week Federal Reserve liquidity operations to $170.5 billion - taking Fed Credit to the highest level since the week of April 17th.

I view the eruption of acute repo market instability as an urgent signal of mounting financial market instability. The Fed seemingly agrees.

Doug's weekly commentary showed up on his Internet site in the very wee hours of Saturday morning -- and another link to it is here.


The Narrative Failure is upon us! -- Hedge fund manager Erik Townsend interviews Luke Gromen

This 25-minute audio interview is definitely worth your time, if you have it.  It was posted on the marketsanity.com Internet site on Wednesday -- and I thought I'd save it for today's column.  I thank Judy Sturgis for pointing it out.


What to do When Inflation Hits the Economy Soon -- Bill Bonner

The end of the stock market boom...is unpredictable. But each passing day brings us a day closer to when it will crash and burn.

What will set it off? Hints of a forthcoming recession? A bad turn in the on-going trade war with China? A collapse of the Chinese economy? Or a sudden surge in the polls by Elizabeth Warren?

With Biden tainted by corruption... and Sanders by age and infirmity, Ms. Warren is the likely Democratic candidate.

The Democrats will blame the crash on Mr. Trump. The president will point the finger at the Fed... and the Democrat's impeachment plan.

But a stock market crash will be more damaging to Mr. Trump than to the Democrats. It will call into question the one thing people still feel they can trust about the president - that he understands money.

This commentary from Bill showed up on the bonnerandpartners.com Internet site early on Friday morning EDT -- and another link to it is here.


Russia's largest oil company ditches dollar in new oil deals

Russia's largest oil company Rosneft has set the euro as the default currency for all new exports of crude oil and refined products.

As of September, Rosneft is seeking euros as the default option of payment for its crude oil and products, Reuters reported on Thursday, quoting tender documents the Russian firm has published.

"Rosneft has recently adjusted all the new contracts for export supplies to euros," a trader at a company that regularly procures oil from Rosneft told Reuters, adding that buyers have already been notified of the change.

The United States has not ruled out imposing sanctions on Rosneft over its involvement in trading oil from Venezuela. Rosneft has been reselling the oil from the Latin American country to buyers in China and India and thus helping buyers hesitant to approach Venezuela and its state oil firm PDVSA because of the U.S. sanctions on Caracas, and, at the same time, helping Venezuela to continue selling its oil despite stricter U.S. sanctions.

Rosneft's move was seen by traders and analysts as a future hedge against potential new U.S. sanctions on Russia and/or its oil industry.

This news story was posted on the rt.com Internet site at 10:50 a.m. Moscow time on their Friday morning -- and I thank George Whyte for pointing it out.  Another link to it is here.

Miner Alrosa Finds Russian Doll-Type Diamond With Another Gem Inside

Alrosa PJSC found a small, but unique diamond that has another gem moving freely inside it, resembling a traditional Russian Matryoshka doll.  Click to enlarge.
 

The stone, found at Alrosa's Nyurba site in Siberia, weighs just 0.62 carats, with an internal cavity of 6 cubic millimeters holding another crystal of just 0.02 carats, the miner said in a statement. It's the first diamond of that nature to ever be found and may be more than 800 million years old, Alrosa said, citing scientists.

The Russian gem producer has also made other rare finds in recent years. In August, it said it plans to sell a 14.83-carat pink gem, named The Spirit of the Rose, that is expected to fetch one of the highest prices ever for a diamond.

Alrosa plans to send the Matryoshka diamond to the Gemological Institute of America for further analysis, a spokesman said. There are no details yet on how much the gem may be worth.

This brief news item, along with two nifty photos, appeared on the Bloomberg website at 8:19 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Friday morning -- and it comes to us courtesy of Swedish reader Patrik Ekdahl.  Another link to it is here.


Sales of gold soar during China's holiday season

Sales of gold jewelry have been booming during the first few days of the National Day holiday break, boosted by a festive shopping mood, a busy wedding season and an upward growth trend of gold prices.

The week-long break, also known as the Golden Week, appears to be a golden business opportunity for retailers. The sales value of gold jewelry during this period can be twice or even three times higher than during a regular week, and many retailers are offering discounted prices to attract more consumers, industry experts observed.

Gold sales are expected to accelerate through the end of the year due to weakening global economic conditions, said Mike McGlone, a Bloomberg Intelligence senior commodity strategist.

As of Wednesday noon, gold prices stood at $1,498.93 per ounce on the back of weak U.S. manufacturing data. The precious metal continues to be a traditional safe-haven for investors amid economic uncertainties.

In the first six months, gold consumption in China reached 523.54 metric tons, down 3.3 percent year-on-year, with a declining consumption of gold bars and coins.

Yet, the spending on gold jewelry during the period has increased steadily. About 359 metric tons of gold were sold from January to June, edging up 1.97 percent year-on-year, according to the China Gold Association.

This gold-related news item showed up on the china.org.cn Internet site on Friday sometime -- and it's something I found on the Sharps Pixley website.  Another link to it is here.


Tocqueville Gold Strategy Third Quarter 2019 Investor Letter:  "A Dip That Needs to Be Bought"

Following a strong first eight months of the year, the precious-metals complex may be in the process of offering investors one final chance to enter on attractive terms before lurking systemic risks erupt into breakaway price action. Year-to-date through September 30, 2019, gold prices rose 14.8% but fell 5.2% from peak levels in late August.  Standard technical analysis suggests that bullion prices may revisit the 200-day moving average currently at $1,360, which is down 7.6% from the month-end close of $1,472 to shatter investor confidence that was just beginning to find some legs following a six-year nuclear winter of non-performance.  This would make sense, based on excessively bullish sentiment, overbought RSI's, Fibonacci retracements, head-and-shoulders breakdown, and the rest of the usual array of technical analysis.

Myopic attention to trading conventions aside, there is a much bigger picture on which to focus. Systemic risks have yet to trigger an appropriate market response, but those risks seem to be advancing from a simmer to a low boil.  Question: What, where, and when is the tipping point?

Answer: Timing is always devilishly complicated; still, warning signs and red flags proliferate. The debris field of mishaps, sudden policy shifts, dubious explanations, and ambiguous to bad economic data seems to expand daily. The bigger picture suggests to us that the established financial order may be on track for destinations unknown.

Gold's breakout from a six-year base in June of this year may have signaled a secular turning point for interest rates, inflation and hard assets in general.  It seems quite plausible to us that it is gold's turn to climb to record highs against the U.S. dollar.  It is already advancing in every currency, the definition of a gold bull market, and has summited to record highs against the AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, and Yen.  Famed non-gold bug economist David Rosenberg (Gluskin Sheff) recently stated that $3,000 gold would not come as a surprise.  It would certainly not surprise us.

In the weeks ahead, according to conventional technical analysis, the precious-metals complex may be due for a well-deserved rest, considering the torrid first eight months of 2019. We would guess another four to six weeks before an important bottom. However, we suggest that investors keep their eye on the big picture and take advantage of any possible near-term weakness to build exposure.  This is a dip that needs to be bought.

This commentary by John showed up on the tocqueville.com Internet site on Thursday sometime -- and another link to it is here.

The WRAP

Today's pop 'blast from the past' dates from 1970 -- and firmly falls into the 'one-hit wonder' category.  It hit #2 on the U.K. singles chart and #4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart -- and I remember it all to well.  The link is here.  And if you're into bass covers, there's a good one linked here.

Last week's classical 'blast from the past' was one of the 'Big 4' German violin concertos...in that case, Brahms.  But as much as love the Brahms work, I prefer Beethoven's.  This week's violin concerto from the 'Big 4' comes to us courtesy of Max Bruch...his Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26.  I'm sure I've featured it this year at least once before...but here it is again anyway.  The lovely and gifted Hilary Hahn does the honours, along with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony.  Andrés Orozco-Estrada conducts -- and the link is here.  It doesn't get any better than this.



It was a 'nothing' sort of day in the precious metals on Friday -- and the sell-off that did come to pass on the jobs report more or less recovered by the end of the New York trading session.  I was also happy to see the gold price close above $1,500 spot.

Considering the price action in gold and silver, I was even more delighted to see how well their underlying equities performed in light of that.  They were under steady accumulation throughout the entire trading session...irrespective of what the precious metals themselves were doing.

But still at 'Ground Zero' as the near-term prices in silver and gold are concerned, is how the enormous short position in both is resolved...a fact that Ted reminded me of on the phone again yesterday.  There was a decent improvement in gold, but still light years away from being anywhere near bullish.  The situation for silver from a COT perspective is somewhat better, but still bearish as well.

The Big 7 traders are still sitting with enormous unbooked losses -- and it remains to be seen if they get over run, or whether what we've see during September's engineered price declines, is the best they can do.

Yesterday's COT Report in silver is still very much top of mind for me...as it just made no sense at all -- and my attempts to explain what may have happened, could turn out to be very wide of the mark.  If the Managed Money traders weren't prepared to sell much when silver was pounded back below its 50-day moving average, then how can the Big 7 commercial traders hope to cover their short positions?  And what price would it take for these technical types to finally puke up longs and go short?  Questions with no answers at the moment.

However, never to be forgotten is the fact that JPMorgan, because of its huge physical holdings in both silver and gold, can walk away as short seller of last resort at any time -- and leave all the remaining short holders... including the Big 7...twisting in the wind.

I look forward to hearing what Ted has to say about it all in his weekly review this afternoon, now that's he's had a chance to "sleep on it."

Here are the 6-month charts for the Big 6 commodities -- and there certainly weren't any changes in the precious metals worthy of the name.  I note that both copper and WTIC had tiny 'up' days...but that's not saying much considering how far they are below any moving average that matters.  Click to enlarge.


You'd think that everything has come up sunshine and moonbeams after the rallies in the equity markets in New York on Friday.  But nothing could be further from the truth.

The only reason that everything appears to be normal on the surface is because the PPT et al. are keeping it that way.  As I and others have pointed out on numerous occasions lately, there is no price discovery in anything any more.  The prices are whatever the powers-that-be set them at.

But down in the engine room in the money markets, there is big trouble stirring, as liquidity is vanishing at an alarming rate.  In a Zero Hedge article in the Critical Reads sections above, was this comment on a news story that broke on Friday afternoon in New York..."the New York Fed announced it would extend the duration of overnight repo operations (with a total size of $75BN) for at least another month, while also offer no less than eight 2-week term repo operations until November 4, 2019, which confirms that the funding unlocked via term repo is no longer merely a part of the quarter-end arsenal but an integral part of the Fed's overall "temporary" open market operations... which are starting to look quite permanent."

And if that's not a big straw wind, I don't know what is.

Then there's another Zero Hedge piece above headlined "Market's "$1.6 Trillion Time Bomb" Claims Another Victim as Arrowgrass Writes Down Illiquid Investment By 70%"...to wit..."By this point, a pattern had emerged, one which Bank of England Governor Mark Carney described best when he said that investment funds that promise to allow customers to withdraw their money on a daily basis are "built on a lie.""..."This dramatic imbalance of asset holdings at market making banks and buy-side "bagholders" of illiquid securities, is now posing a major problem for regulators, something the Bank of England acknowledged in a working paper published earlier this month"

The article goes on to say...""It is a bomb, given the risks of liquidity mismatch," he warns. "We don't know if what is sellable today, will be sellable in six months' time."

That's not the only we don't know. As Blanque concluded, "we don't know the channels of transmission, we don't know how the actors will act. It is uncharted territory."

And as Zero Hedge concludes, correctly I might add..."And that, precisely, is why central banks can never again allow risk asset prices to drop: the alternative means gating not one, or two, or a hundred funds, but halting the entire market, because once everyone start selling and price discovery finally returns to a market that has been dominated by central banks for the past decade, several generations of traders and investors who have grown up without price discovery will be shocked to discover just where "fair" market prices reside."

Amen to that, bro!...and it's only a matter of time before it does happen -- and that's exactly why the world's financial system is now on the slippery slope from which there is no escape, except by the final destruction of all fiat currencies through massive money printing.

"Inflate, or die." is a truism that's only half that.  Ultimately it's "Inflate -- and die."

The crack-up boom, as Ludwig von Mises pointed out, would unfold only when people come to the conclusion that the central bank will expand the money supply at ever-greater rates:

"If once public opinion is convinced that the increase in the quantity of money will continue and never come to an end, and that consequently the prices of all commodities and services will not cease to rise, everybody becomes eager to buy as much as possible and to restrict his cash holding to a minimum size. For under these circumstances the regular costs incurred by holding cash are increased by the losses caused by the progressive fall in purchasing power. The advantages of holding cash must be paid for by sacrifices which are deemed unreasonably burdensome. This phenomenon was, in the great European inflations of the 'twenties, called flight into real goods (Flucht in die Sachwerte) or crack-up boom (Katastrophenhausse). Click to enlarge.


Thinks Zimbabwe, dear reader...

I'm still "all in".

I'm also done for the day -- and the week -- and I'll see you on Tuesday.

 
 

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 -- Published: Monday, 7 October 2019 | E-Mail  | Print  | Source: GoldSeek.com

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