JPMorgan Accounts For 99.3% Of The COMEX Gold Sales In The Last Three Months [Zerohedge]

Submitted by Mark McHugh from Across The Street

Jamie Dimon Has Issues

When just one firm accounts for 99.3% of the physical gold sales at the COMEX in the last three months it’s not what most of us on this side of the rainbow would consider “broad-based” selling.  Of course discovering this kind of relevant information requires an internet connection, 2nd grade math and reading skills, and the desire to do a teeny-weeny bit of reporting.  Sadly they’ve wandered so far down the rabbit hole that the concept of “physical demand” (i.e. people actually wanting to take possession of the stuff) is puzzling to them because the vast majority of the world’s so-called “gold-trading” takes place in the realm of make believe (which is their natural habitat).  It’s all fun and games until somebody loses their metal and “somebody” has lost one hell of a lot of metal in the last 90 days.

This is the CME Group’s COMEX metals issues and stops year-to-date report, which can be found here everyday for free.  It chronicles the physical delivery notices of various metals, including gold.  Let’s have a look:

“I” is for “Idiot”
That’s how I remember it, anyway. “I” actually stands for “issues,” meaning the firm parted with its metal (@ 100 troy ounces a shot), and “S” stands for “stops,” meaning the firm took delivery of gold. “C” is for customer accounts, “H” is house accounts.  The first thing you should notice is that most transaction net out to zero in a given month (blue boxes), meaning the firm’s gold holdings didn’t change. What they delivered one day they got back the next, or vice versa.  The green boxes show firms who received more than they delivered and the red boxes indicate firms who coughed up gold for Bernanke bucks (aka idiots). Note that Deutsche Bank’s massive take in February more than offsets its deliveries in December and April.


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JPMorgan’s Eligible Gold Plummets 65% In 24 Hours To All Time Low [Zerohedge]

We are confident that in the aftermath of our article from last night “Just What Is Going On With The Gold In JPMorgan’s Vault?” in which we showed the absolute devastation of “eligible” (aka commercial) gold warehoused in JPM’s vault just over the Manhattan bedrock at 1 Chase Manhattan Place (and also in the entire Comex vault network in the past month), we were not the only ones checking every five minutes for the Comex gold depository update for April 25. Moments ago we finally got it, and it’s a doozy. Because in just the past 24 hours, from April 24 to April 25, according to the Comex, JPM’s eligible gold plunged from 402.4K ounces to just 141.6K ounces, a drop of 65% in 24 hours,and  the lowest amount of eligible gold held at the vault on record, since its reopening in October 2010!

Everyone has seen what a run on the bank looks like. Below is perhaps the best chart of what a “run on the vault” is.


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Physical Gold & Silver Shortages Are Accelerating PREMIUMS EXPLODING

Gold and Silver shortages are increasing. However the current spot for paper silver is around $23USD. However, PREMIUMS are at $10 or higher per coin.

The paper market price and the physical price are starting to decouple. This is going to be fun to watch.

Hang onto your physical if you have any as this circus is just getting started. These are ebay links. My coin shop in my town does not have any of these coins available at the moment.

Couple links….


Article: Why the Western Banking Cartel’s Gold and Silver Price Slam Will Backfire – And How You Can Protect Yourself from the Blowback
For all intents and purposes, the spot price is equivalent to the fake banker engineered price that cavorts across the ticker on your television everyday. But go to a dealer and try to buy at that ticker price and you will discover that it is a delusional fake price that no dealer is willing to kindly grant you. Instead, when I checked prices on 1-troy ounce American Eagle coins on Apmex last week, there was a 5.8% premium on gold coins and when the spot silver price had fallen to $22.99 an ounce earlier in Asia last week, Apmex was still listing their 1-oz American Eagles at $29.01, a whopping 26.2% higher than the spot price. Only a complete buffoon of economics, like Paul Krugman and his zombie followers, would ever believe that the price of real silver was $22.99 at any point and time last week.”

Precious metals CEO: Physical silver market is “ugly”

“Last week, we turned away business in excess of 100,000 ounces because of stock depletion…”

By now, everyone has speculated on what caused the great precious waterfall which started on April 12 and continued for the next four days.


Professor Fekete on the Gold Smash: “Who Said the Hydra Would Take it Lying Down” [libertyblitzkrieg]

Ostensibly a lower gold price would solve the problem Bernanke has. Demoralized gold bugs would be forced out of their holdings through margin calls. Disillusioned investors would shun gold. This would make physical gold available to rescue the strapped gold futures market.

In fact, however, a lower gold price is making the problem more intractable, not less. The Fed is diving from the frying pan into the fire. This is the point missed by almost all observers and market analysts. They ignore the underlying flight into physical gold that continues unabated, in spite of (or, better still, because of) the panic in the paper gold market. The Fed’s intervention in bankrolling short interest is going to back-fire, for the following simple reason. The Fed’s strategy is inherently contradictory. A lower price for paper gold makes it easier, not harder, to demand delivery on maturing futures contracts.

- Professor Antal E. Fekete

Of all the articles I have read since the attack on the precious metals markets, this piece by Professor Fekete is the best one yet. I completely agree that this was an extremely desperate and brazen attempt by the Central Planners, one that is quite clearly backfiring big time.  My favorite excerpts are below:

In waking up too late that there was a problem after gold futures markets have been flirting with backwardation for a year or so, officialdom was forced to act. Act it did in a typically haphazard fashion. A few days ago, on April 12 and 15 the paper gold market was demoralized by a ferocious attack on the lofty gold price. This in and of itself is proof that Bernanke is fully aware that permanent gold backwardation is imminent, and that it will create and unmanageable situation. It’s got to be stopped in its track at all hazards.


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Keiser Report: Correlation & Causation of Gold Price (E434)

Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society Runs Out of Gold…Importing from Switzerland and London []

Hong Kong’s Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society has been in operations for over a century, and it’s President Haywood Cheung was interviewed by Bloomberg news earlier today.  Whoever orchestrated the attack on gold and silver in the last week or so has gravely miscalculated, since the response to the drop has been surging demand for physical gold and silver.  While I tend to be skeptical when I hear about silver shortages since these reports have been so exaggerated in the past, the lack of silver coin availability and premiums are the most extreme I have seen since the financial and economic meltdown of 2008.  Now we discover that the Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society has essentially sold out of gold bullion, and must wait until Wednesday for shipments to arrive from Switzerland and London.

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JIM RICKARDS: Here’s The Difference Between ‘Paper’ Gold And ‘Physical’ Gold [businessinsider]

It’s not that the price is different, per se.


When gold crashed on Monday, dragging market prices down to a low of $1321.50 an ounce from levels around $1560 only days before, holders of physical gold saw the value of their holdings decline as well.

However, we’ve seen a lot of claims that somehow there’s a difference between the market for physical gold (people buying gold bars or gold coins) and that for “paper” gold (which refers to gold futures traded on the COMEX or shares of GLD, the gold ETF).

Jim Rickards, a prominent gold bull and author of the book Currency Wars, told Business Insider that the disconnect between the two markets evidenced by the crash on Monday is not one of price, but “in terms of behavior, in terms of people’s responses to market developments.”

So, what does that mean exactly?

Jim Rickards

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The whole world is talking about gold [therealasset]

This is our third release from The Real Asset Report. Here we take a look at how, despite calls that the gold bubble is finished, the whole world is still talking about buying gold.

Read any financial paper or website and they’ll tell you that the ‘gold-bubble’ is over. This opinion appears to be based solely on price and not much else.

When you look at short-term price action on its own then perhaps you can understand how they’ve reached this conclusion. Gold, across many countries, is down since the beginning of the year and many are expecting a weak 2nd quarter.

The recent fall in the gold price seems to have been attributed to two things – manipulation and investors turning to riskier investments as they regain optimism over the US and Euro recovery.

Bubbles, central banks and gold

For us though, this isn’t enough to predict the end of the gold bubble. As you can see from our infographic everywhere has an interest in gold, whether it’s the central banks who are stocking up on it or it is citizens who are buying up record amounts. We see little evidence of gold chatter declining, if anything it’s increasing – particularly when it comes to central banks.

There are at least 97[1] countries that don’t seem too bothered about the fall in the gold price. Instead, they’re looking at its value, which has held over thousands of years. Whatever continent and country you look to there is something to be said about gold and a clear respect for its long legacy as money and a store of value.

Much of the gold chatter we find around the world appears to be over central bank purchases and their moves away from holding reserve currencies such as the dollar and the euro. This is an expression of the falling faith in devalued fiat sovereign currencies, and instead a move into something of value.

Bring that gold back!

Whilst we all heard about Germany’s gold repatriation[2], you might have missed the statement from the Ghanaian government expressing concerns over their own gold held abroad in foreign central banks.  Romania is also looking for their gold back, 93 tonnes which were sent to Russia during WWII for ‘safe-keeping’[3].

The best kept repatriation secret is in Azerbaijan where they are in the process of repatriating 330kg per week from London and have plans to increase gold reserves to 30 tonnes in 2013[4].

In countries where repatriation hasn’t been mentioned politically, the electorate is certainly pushing for it; Switzerland, Romania, Australia and Holland to name just a few.

  • In Holland, only 10% of gold reserves are held in Amsterdam. The Dutch CDA party has requested that Holland’s gold supply be repatriated.
  • Whilst, in a slightly worse situation in Australia, they hold 99.9%[5] of gold reserves in the Bank of England.
  • Despite the Queen’s visit to the Bank of England, questions of the existence of Ireland’s gold (96% of reserves are held between there and the US) have recently come to the fore[6].

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US Mint Sells Record 63,500 Ounces Of Gold In One Day [Zerohedge]

One of the more curious revelations of the New Normal is the fundamental dichotomy when investing between paper “investors”, or those who chase returns based on intangible, fiat-based and central bank-backed promises, such as capital appreciation or cash flow streams, and those who would rather convert their paper money into hard assets, even if said assets can not be, in the immortal words of Warren Buffett, fondled, or otherwise generate a cash-based return. Such as gold.

Today provides perhaps the perfect example of how the former increasingly trade on nothing but momentum and speculative mania (such as the previously reported record inflow of foreign capital into the Japanese stock market well after the bulk of the easy upside has already been made and at this point there is mostly downside) and where buying begets only more buying, while rampant selling only leads to liquidations, while those who invest in hard assets (and thus have little to no leverage) have become the true value investors, purchasing more as the price of the underlying asset drops. Yes, a novel concept to most High Frequency Trading vacuum tubes, and the momentum-chasing, equity trading “expert” du jour, but nothing new to IndiansAustraliansChinese or the Japanese.

And apparently to at least some Americans.

According to today’s data from the US Minta record 63,500 ounces, or a whopping 2 tons, of gold were reported sold on April 17th alone, bringing the total sales for the month to a whopping 147,000 ounces ormore than the previous two months combined with just half of the month gone.



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Gold, Silver In Asian Liquidation Mode As China Growth Slows More [Zerohedge]

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.


Gold down over $100 from Friday’s highs…


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How the Gold Market was Crashed [goldtrends]

There’s been a recent huge draw down of physical gold at the New York COMEX and at the JP Morgan Chase depository. Look at the physical market draw down on the charts below. It has taken a drastic plunge.

HOUSTON — we have a problem.

Physical inventory drawdown at JPM

Charts by Nick Laird of

Physical Drawdown at COMEX
Charts by Nick Laird of

You can imagine the dilemma this is causing for the market interests behind these inventories. If the inventory runs out and one cannot meet deliveries then it has to be bought on the open market. Not only that but it could cause a run up in prices that would hurt the shorts in the market.

So what to do?

There is only one way out of this for the market controllers would be to devise a plan that would collapse the market and trip up all the stops at the correction lows in gold of 1525 thereby setting off the stop loss orders under this important market low. And what if the plan included a way to stop the physical market from purchasing gold under 1525 while that correction was underway?

Gold Daily and Silver Weekly Charts – Shock and Awe in the Currency Wars – Silver Shenanigans [Jesse's Cafe Americain]

“This is an orchestration (the smash in gold). It’s been going on now from the beginning of April. Brokerage houses told their individual clients the word was out that hedge funds and institutional investors were going to be dumping gold and that they should get out in advance.

Then, a couple of days ago, Goldman Sachs announced there would be further departures from gold. So what they are trying to do is scare the individual investor out of bullion. Clearly there is something desperate going on….

I have assumed from the beginning that it is the Fed’s concern with the dollar because the dollar is being printed in huge quantities at the same time that other countries are abandoning the use of the dollar as international payment.

The exchange value of the dollar is (being) threatened, and if that collapses the Fed loses control over interest rates. Then the bond market blows up, the stock market blows up, and the banks that are too big to fail, fail.

So it’s an act of desperation because they’ve got to establish in people’s minds that the dollar is the only safe place, it is the only safe haven, not gold, not silver, and not other currencies.

And to help protect this policy they have convinced or pressured the Japanese to inflate their own currency. The Japanese are now going to print money like the Fed. They are lobbying the ECB to print more. So I see this as a dollar protection policy.

…I know where the gold is coming from in the market, it’s just paper. It’s naked shorts, there is no gold there. If somebody wanted to take delivery on those contracts nobody would be able to provide it. I don’t know what the source of the (physical) gold is. Some people are saying that the actual stocks available for possession are rapidly declining…”

Paul Craig Roberts, Fed Orchestrated Smash in Gold

I am not so sure that Paul Craig Roberts is right in manner of degree.  But it does make some sense, certainly more sense than the theories being put forward by the mouthpieces of the status quo.


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Massive Put Option Buying in GLD [TraderDan]

News late in the session today, after the close of pit trading at the Comex, revealed a surge in the number of put options being purchased on the gold ETF, GLD. That news seem to further undercut the price of the metal after it had managed to claw its way back above the $1500 level to end the pit session.

Once the news hit about the GLD put options, the price just sank and sank and sank to the point where it not only reached an initial downside support level at $1480, but went right through it, trading as low as $1476 before the damned bell rang to finally close the screen trading and end the miserable session.

Based on what I can see at this point from those put option purchases, these guys are now looking for $1400 gold. Also adding to the mix of things is news that the CBOE Gold VIX (yes, there is even a VIX for gold) added 39% today, a record one day increase in percentage terms. It seems as if gold owners are now looking to purchase insurance on their insurance. How in the hell did we ever get to this place?

One thing I want to point out is what I feel is yet another contradiction in terms. Just this week, gold, priced in terms of the Japanese Yen, put in a 33 year high (possibly an all time high, I am not sure). Why did it do that? Simple – the Bank of Japan, in conjunction with the current political leaders of Japan, have embarked on a very public, very up-front, not at all covert policy, of deliberately debasing their currency in order to generate inflation of 2%. In effect, they are going to debauch the Yen in order to funnel everyone and their dog into Japanese stocks and real estate.

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ECB & Draghi’s Cyprus Comments to Blame for Gold Sell-Off

Gold Chart by Request [traderdannorcini]

Here’s a look at the latest after today’s sharp selloff in gold. Note that the metal is approaching the support zone which has held it for some time now.

You can see that the former support zone between approximately $1592 – $1588 or so, turned into a resistance zone and attracted selling yesterday when gold failed to extend past it and back to $1600.

Central Bank buying out of Asia has been attracted to the metal on approaches to this lower support zone in time past. We will have to wait and see if that buying materializes again.

One thing I find quite ironic. Let me mention it and see if you do also. The Bank of Japan, has adopted the policy of its new Prime Minister whose stated goal when he ran for election was to deliberately produce a 2% inflation rate. That was for the express purpose of getting the Japanese economy out of the deflationary trap which has snared it for decades now. When you really examine that policy, all it essentially consists of is massive buying of all maturity ranges of Japanese government debt, along with some targeted buying of certain ETF’s and some other financial assets. The scope and the size of this buying has various estimates that I have seen but it looks to be in the neighborhood of (US) $1.4 Trillion or so.

What is the methodology to induce inflation when we cut to the chase? Simple – drive the currency lower pushing the costs of imported goods higher while making Japanese goods much more competitive on the global market. Also, keep interest rates artificially at such extremely low levels that it spurs borrowing and thus consumption.

What has been the result for gold priced in terms of the Yen? Answer – it shot up to an all time high just yesterday.

Now turn your attention to the US here. What is the policy of the Federal Reserve? Buy enough government bonds to keep interest rates, both short and long term, artificially low in order to spur borrowing and thus consumption.


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Swiss to vote on central bank gold reserves [swissinfo]

A rightwing group has submitted more than 106,000 signatures to the federal authorities, seeking a vote on stopping the sale of gold reserves held by the Swiss National Bank (SNB). It also wants gold bars stored in the US to be returned.

The group, led by members of the Swiss People’s Party, the far-right Swiss Democrats and the Lega dei Ticinesi movement, is confident a nationwide vote will be called on the issue once the signatures are verified. A date still has to be set by the government.

The collection of the necessary 100,000 signatures over 18 months was hard going but a last-minute effort ensured they reached the goal in time, activists said on Wednesday.

People’s Party parliamentarian Luzi Stamm criticised the sale of gold reserves which started 13 years ago following a decision to abandon the gold standard.

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The key to gold is moderation – Holmes [mineweb]

When investing in gold, I often say diverse opinions promote critical thinking and a healthy market. I believe elevated groups of buyers and sellers create a competitive tug-of-war in the bid and ask price of the precious metal.

Last week, we saw the gold bears growling louder and gaining strength, as the world’s largest gold-backed ETF, the SPDR Gold Trust, experienced its largest one-day outflows since August 2011. The Fear Trade fled the sector following the Federal Reserve’s meeting that revealed a growing dissension among some of its members over the central bank’s bond-buying program.

Despite the discord, the Fed is continuing its course to purchase $85 billion of bonds every month and keep interest rates near zero. Ben Bernanke’s plan bloating the balance sheet to more than $3 trillion has been keeping the Fear Trade coming back for more metal.

For good reason, too, as the correlation between the Fed’s balance sheet and the price of gold has historically been very high, at 0.93, according to Macquarie Research. The firm found that for every $300 billion expansion in the balance sheet of the U.S. government, there was a $100 an ounce increase in the price of gold. When you factor in the Fed’s current bond purchases totaling $85 billion per month for the next nine months, the central bank will be adding $765 billion in new assets. “Using the previous ratio, this would compute to a $255 an ounce increase in the gold price,” says Macquarie. By this measure alone, gold would rise approximately 16 percent over the next several months.


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In The Strange Case Of Gold’s Regular Morning Mugging [zerohedge]

Not everyone is a morning person. And few people like Mondays.

But if you’re a precious metals investor, mornings – especially Mondays – are brutal.

The Evidence

The precious metals are routinely sold off at or soon after the 8:20am EST morning open of the New York NYMEX exchange.

Below are the daily gold price charts (source: Kitco) for each Monday (or Tuesday, if Monday was a holiday) since early this year. The current day’s gold price is noted by the bright green line. The morning takedown is highlighted by the orange oval.

Monday, January 7

Gold is taken down $10 immediately after the 8am NYMEX open

Monday, January 14

A late breaking rally begun on the London exchange is quickly contained at the NYMEX open, and then beaten down nearly $10. Notice that the previous Friday’s gold price action (the bright blue line) also showed the same behavior at the same time, but with an even more severe response once the NYMEX opened.



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The Curious Case of Falling Gold and Silver Prices [acting-man]

A curious thing happened last week.  The prices of both monetary metals have been falling for a week and a half through February 15.   No, that’s not the curious part.  There is no law of nature that says the prices have to go up, but if they go down it must be artificial somehow.  The curious thing is that the price fell while open interest in futures rose, which is not typical of how the market has actually been behaving in recent years.

Now let’s look at the data.

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Speculative Money Flowing out of Gold [TraderDan]

This afternoon’s (Friday) Commitment of Traders report confirms what I have been discussing here on this site as well as in my audio interviews over at King World News Metals Wrap, namely, that the Central Banks have managed to curtail speculative money flows into Gold and direct those money flows into equities.

This is the reason gold cannot find much in the way of traction to the upside and cannot mount any sustained moves higher. Quite simply, big specs are using rallies into resistance to unload stale longs and put on new shorts. Now that near term momentum has shifted to the downside, they are also selling into weakness and pressuring the metal even lower.

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Ignoring The Obvious [Sprott]

Not a day goes by without hearing about the fiscal cliff, the debt ceiling or another political deadlock. We would not disagree that some of these are important issues that need resolving but, in the grand scheme of things, they are relatively superficial.

As we all know, central banks around the world have been frantically expanding their balance sheets. While exceptional times might warrant exceptional measures, Figure 1 below paints a rather troubling picture. The monetary base, the amount of money in circulation in the economy, has expanded at an incredible pace. Since the mid-80s, the U.S. monetary base had been very stable at around 5-6% of GDP. Through fractional reserve banking, this amount was sufficient to maintain annual inflation around 2-3%. With the banking system collapsing in 2008-2009, it was necessary for the Fed to increase the monetary base. However, banks are now in much better shape than they were in that period and the benefits of monetary expansion seem to be waning.

The Fed is not the solution to every economic and social woe and trying to hide real problems (eg. structurally high unemployment and rampant poverty, unsustainable income inequality and exploding government liabilities) with money printing achieves nothing constructive.



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GATA closing in on secrets behind gold cartel? GATA’s Chris Powell interview

Standard Bank Says Physical Gold Purchases Unusually High

Physical gold demand has been unusually strong for this time of year, with “good buying” from Southeast Asia, according to Standard Bank Plc.

The Standard Bank Gold Physical Flow Index signaled demand climbed to the highest since November, the bank wrote in an e- mailed report yesterday. Purchases typically pick up toward the end of the year amid religious festivals and the wedding season in India. Gold reached a four-week high of $1,696.28 an ounce in London on Jan. 17.

India, the biggest buyer in 2011, raised taxes on gold imports two days ago to reduce a record current-account deficit and to moderate demand. Standard Chartered Plc said earlier this month that its gold shipments to India soared on mounting concern the duty would be raised. While gold has gained for the past 12 years, the best run in at least nine decades, prices dropped as much as 9.5 percent from October through Jan. 4.

“It was strong in November and that’s normally a usual seasonal pattern that we see coming through from Indian post- monsoon, wedding season buying,” Marc Ground, a commodity strategist at Standard Bank in Johannesburg, said by phone yesterday. “The fact that January is as high as we see in November usually, that’s unusual. There was probably some Indian buying ahead of this tariff increase.”

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Jim Rickards: Bundesbank’s Gold Repatriation is ‘World Historical’ [caseyresearch]

The gold price didn’t do much yesterday.  Its small overnight gain turned to a small loss as the price got sold down into its low of the day at $1,686.10 spot shortly before 9:00 a.m. Eastern.  From there, gold rallied to it’s ‘high’ of the day of $1,697.30 just minutes after 12:00 o’clock noon in New York

From there, it got sold off a hair into the close.  The scale of the Kitco chart makes yesterday’s price action look far more dramatic than it really was.

Gold finished the Tuesday trading session at $1,691.80 spot…up $1.70 on the day.  Net volume was very light…around 90,000 contracts.

The silver price action was somewhat different.  It traded either side of $32 the ounce for most of the Far East trading day…and from it’s 2:00 p.m. Hong Kong high of $32.10 spot, it got sold down to its low of the day [$31.79 spot] which came less than an hour before the 8:20 a.m. Eastern time Comex open.


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Indian gold imports surge amid fears of further duty hikes [minesweb]

While jewellers across India are planning to launch an agitation against the Indian government’s proposal to increase import duty on gold to around 6% from the current 4%, a massive jump in gold imports has been witnessed across the country.

“With the news that the government is considering such a move (to hike import duty) and could most probably make an announcement in the Budget next month, bullion houses have jacked up their imports of the precious metal considerably since the last week,” said Prithviraj Kothari, of bullion house Ridhi Sidhi Bullions.

“As compared to the normal 5-6 metric tonnes each week, traders have imported more than 30 metric tonnes already in the last five days,” he added.

Bullion traders have already been chaffing at the bit with both the Central Government and the Reserve Bank of India indicating measures in the offing that would help reduce the import of gold in the country, given the high current account deficit. Most jewellery houses are planning to shut shop as a form of protest.

“This is a move to destabilise the jewellery sector, which generates the highest employment. Do these mandarins sitting in Delhi (government) not realise that many people will be out of a job if they hike import duties on gold? Most small gold retailers will have to close down their business,” said an official of the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation.

He said jewellers across the country would definitely keep their shops closed for an indefinite period if the government does impose a duty hike.


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