Gold and silver are acting differently right now. Usually when the open interest in the paper gold (Comex) net short of the bullion banks becomes overweighted, it’s a signal that they are getting ready attack the price of gold by triggering massive stop-loss selling by the technically-driven hedge funds.
And through last Tuesday, per the latest COT report, the Comex banks had piled heavily into the short side, feeding paper shorted to the hedge funds. And true to form, the market was attacked aggressively this past week starting Tuesday with the expiration of Comex options. Interestingly, the banks had to wait until after the Comex floor trading closed on Tuesday in order to take advantage of a thinly-traded electronic “access” market that is open for about another 90 minutes after the Comex closes in order to push down the price of gold enough to trigger automated hedge fund algo stop-loss selling.
The attacks on the price of gold persisted through Thursday, resulting in what appears to be a record weekly percentage drop in Comex gold open interest. But this attack resulted in a shallow price decline. And if you trace the build-up in the bullion bank short position over the past couple of weeks, it appears that the banks were willing to sustain losses on those shorted contracts in order to cover them. Bill “Midas” Murphy at Lemetropole Cafe first pointed this pattern out to me and I confirmed his theory by tracing out the rise in the commercial short interest with the movement in the price of gold.
At the same time, there has been a massive amount of silver – as reported – moving in and out of the “registered” accounts at the Comex silver vaults. The silver in the “registered” account is the silver designated to be available for delivery. On the last two days of this past week, for instance, nearly 30% of the silver held in the registered account was moved into the “eligible” account. The “eligible” account is the account in which silver is allegedly “safekept” for the owner of that silver.
Finally, although the mainstream financial media and the fear porn oriented alternative media has been making a lot of noise about the sudden fall-off in the sales of minted bullion coins, I heard a report from a large bullion dealer who said that, while retail coin sales are slow, his company has been receiving very large orders from very connected quite off the radar types purchasing large quantities of physical silver. The recurring theme from these buyers is a desire to move money out of electronic fiat currency bank credits and into privately safe-kept precious metals in bullion form.
Eric Dubin (The News Doctors) and “Doc” invited me to join them on their weekly Metals and Markets podcast to discuss the latest developments which point to possibility of a big surprise move to the upside in gold and silver that is driven by the physical market: