LBMA Silver Price Benchmark – Changes, but no Wider Participation

LBMA Silver Price Benchmark – Changes, but no Wider Participation On 21 September, ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA) announced that it will take over the administration of the daily LBMA Silver Price benchmark auction beginning Monday 2 October. This LBMA Silver Price auction is the successor to the former London Silver Fix auction. The auction takes the form of trading unallocated silver positions on an electronic platform. The resulting price from the daily auction provides a daily silver price reference rate or benchmark which is used widely throughout the global precious metals industry. It is also now a Regulated Benchmark, regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority.
Bizarrely, even though it has now been more than 3 years since this new LBMA Silver Price auction was launched, there are still only 7 direct participants in the auction, a fact which flies in the face of all the previous promises from the LBMA that the rejuvenated silver auction would allow dramatically wider auction participation. These 7 participants are HSBC, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of Nova Scotia – ScotiaMocatta, UBS Toronto Dominion Bank, and China Construction Bank.
Even more surprisingly, from 2 October, ICE states that only 5 of these 7 bullion banks, namely HSBC, JP Morgan, the Bank of Nova Scotia, Toronto Dominion Bank, and Morgan Stanley, will continue to participate, with UBS and China Construction Bank staying on these sidelines because they do not currently have the IT systems in place to process cleared auction trades, a clearing procedure which ICE will be introducing to the auction. Two other commodity trading companies INTL FCStone and Jane Street, will however, join the auction on 2 October. INTL FCStone and Jane Street also recently joined the LBMA Gold Price auction as direct participants.
Beyond the continued exclusion of the vast majority of global silver participants from the auction, the very fact that a new administrator has had to be drafted in to run this LBMA Silver Price auction is itself noteworthy, as is the ultra-secretive way in which ICE has been selected as the new auction administrator.

This post was published at Bullion Star on 28 Sep 2017.

Why Is The BIS Flooding The System With Gold?

A consultant to GATA (Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee) brought to our attention the fact that gold swaps at the BIS have soared from zero in March 2016 to almost 500 tonnes by August 2017 (GATA – BIS Gold Swaps). The outstanding balance is now higher than it was in 2011, leading up to the violent systematically manipulated take-down of the gold price starting in September 2011 (silver was attacked starting in April 2011).
The report stimulated my curiosity because most bloggers reference the BIS or articles about the BIS gold market activity without actually perusing through BIS financial statements and the accompanying footnotes. Gold swaps work similarly to Fed report transactions. When banks need cash liquidity, the Fed extends short term loans to the banks and receives Treasuries as collateral. QE can be seen as a multi-trillion dollar Permanent Repo operation that involved outright money printing.
Similarly, if the bullion banks (HSBC, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Barclays, etc) need access to a supply of gold, the BIS will ‘swap’ gold for cash. This would involve BIS or BIS Central Bank member gold which is loaned out to the banks and the banks deposit cash as collateral to against the gold ‘loan.’ This operation is benignly called a ‘gold swap.’ The purpose would be to alleviate a short term scarcity of gold in London and put gold into the hands of the bullion banks that can be delivered into the eastern hemisphere countries who are importing large quantities of gold (gold swaps outstanding are referenced beginning in 2010).

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on September 18, 2017.

Outlook for the dollar price of gold

Now that gold has become overbought on Comex, the price is vulnerable to being trashed, yet again, by the too-big-to-fail banks. It is a familiar operation in gold futures markets, where speculators buying contracts protect themselves with stop-losses. All the TBTF banks need is a pause in the speculator’s buying and a little good news (bad for gold). Ideally, the active contract will be running into maturity, so the speculators are forced to put up or shut up: in other words, sell the contract, roll it into another later maturity, or stand for delivery.
Bearing in mind these speculators are running highly leveraged positions, greed turns to fear on a sixpence. The TBTF banks will have supplied the speculators with their longs by going short. From the moment you go long, you are trapped in a trader’s version of Hotel California.
The TBTFs start off sitting on losses, not worrying for them, being TBTF. But they know how to turn it around. Just pick a quiet moment, sell a few billions-worth of contracts, and take out all those stops. It is a cycle of events that happens time after time, a money machine for the bullion banks. Just occasionally, it goes wrong, because the physical markets take back control of pricing away from futures markets. But what the heck, these guys will be bailed out by the Fed, or the Bank of England. Meanwhile their traders have made bonuses quarter after quarter.

This post was published at GoldMoney on September 14, 2017.

A2A with Chris Powell of GATA

Chris Powell and Bill Murphy formed the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee in 1998 and they’ve been stalwart allies in the fight against gold price suppression and manipulation ever since. What a pleasure it was today to get caught up with Chris and get his thoughts on the current state of the global market for gold.
As you listen, you’ll quickly be reminded that Chris is still one of the most informed and well-spoken advocates for our cause. Over the course of this webinar, he addresses a number of current issues including:
the most important lesson he’s learned in the 20 years he’s followed the gold market the strange occurrence of SecTreas Mnuchin visiting Ft Knox and the equally strange television interview of Terry Duffy, the CEO of the CME Group whether the US government would financially benefit from revaluing the price of gold how physical demand will paly a role in finally ending the tyranny of the central banks and bullion banks and much, much more!

This post was published at TF Metals Report on Thursday, August 31, 2017.

Market Report: Good advance above overhead supply

Gold and silver stormed through minor overhead supply this week, to mount an attack on the June highs at $1296 and $17.70 respectively. From last Friday’s close, gold rose from $1259 to $1285 in early European dealing this morning, having hit a peak in Asian markets last night of $1289. This was within $6 of breaking above the June high. Silver has some way to go, with the price this morning at $17.05, still 65 cents below its June high.
Silver is repeating gold’s action in its run-up to the August Comex contract expiry, when unusually the closing of short positions, evidenced by the fall in open interest, drove the price higher. Regular readers of this weekly report will know that at contract expiry, the price usually falls, as hedge fund managers are nearly always net long, and vulnerable to having their stops taken out by the bullion banks. In silver’s case, the active contract is September, so the same situation to that of gold last month, applies. The effect is illustrated in our next chart, of silver’s open interest and the price.

This post was published at GoldMoney on August 11, 2017.

Market Report: Classic bear squeeze conditions

Gold and silver recovered well this week, continuing a rally which is now two weeks old. Gold, priced in dollars, rose by another $13 to $1247.50 in early European trade this morning (Friday), up $31 from the lows of 7 July. Silver has now recovered $1.75 from the lows of the flash-crash two weeks ago, to $16.40 this morning.
Comex futures volume has been normal, but there’s something unusual happening, best exemplified by silver. We know that the bullion banks have shaken out the speculators (mostly hedge fund longs), and the flash-crash referred to above will have taken out the speculators’ stops, enabling the banks to close their short positions profitably. This (as of Tuesday, 11 July) left the managed money category (i.e. hedge funds) net short of 6,361 contracts, representing 31.8 million ounces. The extremeness of this position is shown in our next chart, only exceeded once, in mid-2015.

This post was published at GoldMoney on July 21, 2017.

So what’s happening to gold – and silver? — Lawrie Williams

What a difference a week or two makes in gold sentiment – and in silver which has fared even worse with the gold:silver ratio running close to 80 again at one point – a level which usually is at the top end of the comparison and would seem to signify a great buying opportunity for silver bulls – but is it? Gold sank to $1204 before making a small recovery, and silver to $15.07 before making a slightly larger one (in percentage terms at least.) Prices do seem to be clawing their way back upwards at the time of writing, but is this just a blip in a continuing downtrend? As I write, gold is at $1214 and silver at $15.60.
No doubt the dastardly bullion banks with their huge short positions in both precious metals are being seen as the principal culprits. Certainly trading volumes have been far higher than one would expect, particularly at the tail end of last week, but as usual these are paper gold (and silver) transactions driving the markets, but this time aided by sales of physical metal out of the big ETFs. Gold and silver bulls feel that the end-game is nigh and the big bullion banks (of which JP Morgan comes in for particular stick) will switch tack and drive prices back up again making mega profits on metal they have bought on the cheap. But is this just wishful thinking – no-one really knows. Second guessing the big banks is a mug’s game. JP Morgan, for example, always seems to come out on top in its trades – far more so than normal balanced financial markets would suggest. No wonder there is ever-continuing talk of blatant market manipulation by the big guys.

This post was published at Sharps Pixley

Bullion Banks line up in London to support LME’s Gold Futures

The London Metal Exchange (LME) and World Gold Council have just confirmed that their new suite of London-based exchange-traded gold and silver futures contracts will begin trading on Monday 10 July. These futures contracts are collectively known as LMEprecious.
The launch of trading comes exactly 11 months after this LMEprecious initiative was first official announced by the LME and World Gold Council on 9 August 2016. Anyone interested in the background to these LMEprecious contracts can read previous BullionStar articles ‘The Charade Continues – London Gold and Silver Markets set for even more paper trading’ and ‘Lukewarm start for new London Gold Futures Contracts’.
This 10 July 2017 launch is itself over a month behind schedule given that LMEprecious was supposed to be launched on 5 June but was delayed by the LME.

This post was published at Bullion Star on 7 Jul 2017.

Market Report: Speculators chicken out

Gold and silver continued to drift lower this week, with gold falling $20 from last Friday’s close to $1220 in early European trade this morning (Friday), and silver by 75c to $15.87. At this level, silver has lost almost all the gains of 2017, though prices bottomed last December.
The fall in prices has continued after the end of the half year, when the bullion banks have had a history of suppressing prices to window-dress their books. Doubtless a reason will be concocted to justify this price action, and favourite must be the deflationary effects of the Fed running off its mega-balance sheet. But this is to misread the current fragility of the system. We can state categorically that the US and global economies are simply debt junkies, needing increasing amounts of debt, or they die. Does anyone seriously think that the Fed and the other central banks will let this happen?

This post was published at GoldMoney on July 07, 2017.

Buy Gold Stocks Now

1. The latest gold price action is a near-perfect reflection of the current market fundamentals.
2. Please click here now. Double-click to enlarge.
3. Gold has arrived at my $1220 – $1200 conservative investor buy zone.
4. The market is seasonally soft in the summer months, but two key price drivers are poised to create the next rally.
5. The first is the US jobs report. It’s scheduled for release on Friday at 8:30AM. Market participants are going to be looking at wage price inflation as much as they are looking at the total number of jobs created.
6. Gold has a rough general tendency to soften ahead of this report, and then rally strongly following its release.
7. The $1220 – $1200 support zone is an ideal price area for gold bugs to buy in anticipation of a post jobs report rally!
8. Please click here now. Double-click to enlarge this seasonal spot gold chart, courtesy of Dimitri Speck.
9. This chart should be used by all gold bugs as a key reference chart to understand gold’s seasonality.
10. In a nutshell, the summer is the best time to accumulate gold, and February is a great time to book some profits.
11. The current price softness is seasonally normal, and it’s exacerbated by the decision of bullion banks to halt imports into India.
12. They decided to halt imports until they got clarification about applying the new GST regime to the gold market. It appears that June imports were only about five tons.

This post was published at GoldSeek on 5 July 2017.

Gold’s Pricing Power Moving East – Part 2

China excluded from the global gold price or arbitrage includes it?
China is unhappy that gold prices should be driven by U. S. and dollar concerns. But many state that because there is no free flow of gold in and out of China, China will remain a parochial market, not integrated into the global gold market. Nothing is now further from the truth.
The author has worked with successful arbitrageurs in London in the past, so we can clearly see that through the London and Shanghai Gold Exchanges via bullion banks such as ICBC/Standard, HSBC and many others, arbitrage in gold is not just feasible but practiced.
Any overweight London gold stocks can easily be sent to Shanghai from, in particular the ICBC/Standard branch in London that control two warehouses capable of holding 3,500 tonnes of physical gold. With this bank being a ‘market maker’ in London and a member of the LBMA price setting body, such a trading activity would be consistent with its normal functions.
As to gold leaving China, it is not permitted, but the export of Yuan is. So a sale in Shanghai of gold receives Yuan which can be exported to buy gold in London. This is, in essence, giving arbitrageurs the ability to lower prices in Shanghai and raising them in London.
Capital Controls in China do not pose a hurdle for this business. We believe that while capital exiting China is now heavily restricted, it is not withheld for the purchase and import of gold bullion.
What this trade does do, is to smooth out price differentials between Shanghai and London. With Shanghai’s physical gold prices being more representative of physical gold demand and supply [due to volumes of gold traded] it is inevitable that Shanghai becomes the leading gold Benchmark pricer in the future.

This post was published at GoldSeek

Is Bitcoin Standing In For Gold?

In a series of articles posted on http://www.paulcraigroberts.org, we have proven to our satisfaction that the prices of gold and silver are manipulated by the bullion banks acting as agents for the Federal Reserve.
The bullion prices are manipulated down in order to protect the value of the US dollar from the extraordinary increase in supply resulting from the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing (QE) and low interest rate policies.
The Federal Reserve is able to protect the dollar’s exchange value vis-a-via the other reserve currencies – yen, euro, and UK pound – by having those central banks also create money in profusion with QE policies of their own.
The impact of fiat money creation on bullion, however, must be controlled by price suppression. It is possible to suppress the prices of gold and silver, because bullion prices are established not in physical markets but in futures markets in which short-selling does not have to be covered and in which contracts are settled in cash, not in bullion.
Since gold and silver shorts can be naked, future contracts in gold and silver can be printed in profusion, just as the Federal Reserve prints fiat currency in profusion, and dumped into the futures market. In other words, as the bullion futures market is a paper market, it is possible to create enormous quantities of paper gold that can suddenly be dumped in order to drive down prices. Everytime gold starts to move up, enormous quantities of future contracts are suddenly dumped, and the gold price is driven down. The same for silver.

This post was published at Investment Research Dynamics on May 31, 2017.

‘WE ARE SEEING NO SELLING OF PHYSICAL GOLD OR SILVER’

Time and time again we are seeing fraud taking place in the precious metals’ market. Thousands of tonnes of paper silver and paper gold are being dumped over just a few hours or days. For anyone who doesn’t understand what is happening, let me categorically state that this has nothing to do with the real physical market in gold and silver. No, this is blatant manipulation by governments and bullion banks as well as speculators. And since governments are involved, it is sanctioned by them with no consequences for the traders who are rigging the market.
BULLION BANKS FEAR THE DAY THEY MUST TURN PAPER GOLD INTO PHYSICAL What is happening has nothing to do with real markets or real supply and demand. What we are seeing is governments trying to obfuscate their total mismanagement of the economy and the currency. So far, the bullion banks have been fortunate that gold and silver paper holders haven’t called their bluff and asked for physical delivery. Because we know and the banks know that the day they will need to come up with the real gold and silver bars, it is game over. Because they haven’t got physical gold or silver to cover even a fraction of their paper shorts. Between futures exchanges, bullion banks, including precious metals derivates contracts, there are hundreds of ounces of paper gold and silver outstanding for every ounce of physical backing.
The problem is that it is not only the bankers that are the culprits in this game. No, governments are just as culpable. Western banks officially hold 30,000 tonnes of gold. Virtually no Western central bank has ever had a physical audit of their gold. The US had their last audit during Eisenhower’s reign in 1953?
Western central banks have in the last few decades been liquidating a major part of their gold holdings. For example, he UK sold half of their gold holdings at the end of the 1990s and Switzerland sold over half. Norway sold ALL their holdings in the early 2000s.

This post was published at GoldSwitzerland on May 12, 2017.

Global Silver Production and Demand DROPS for the First Time in 14 Years

hat tip/Louis-smaulgld.com
For the first time since 2002 global silver mining/scrap production dropped. Silver is a direct reflection of electronics demand and manufacturing. Without silver our world would not be the same. The computer or phone you’re reading this on would not exist. The TV, wiring in your house, just for starters, would not work without silver. Silver is a great indication of how our economy – globally – is growing or contracting. It appears there was a contraction in 2016. Just remember, the economy is robust and growing, or so they say on TV.
What does it mean?
Well, according to what we have witnessed over the past three weeks with the rigged COMEX silver ‘price mechanism’ absolutely nothing. Could it be the criminals at the CME Group and bullion banks had an advanced copy of the Silver Institutes report and have been beating down silver in preparation of this news being released today? Anything’s possible.
Silver production declined 32.6 million ounces. This decrease was in both mine production and scrap. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that much of a drop, but in a market the size of the silver market it is a significant amount. With just over 1 billion ounces coming to market in 2016 this represents a 0.32% of the overall market.
Global silver mine production in 2016 recorded its first decline since 2002, largely the result of lower by-product output from the lead/zinc and gold sectors. Coupled with less silver scrap supply to the market, which posted its lowest level since 1996, as well as a contraction in producer hedging, total silver supply decreased by 32.6 million ounces (Moz) in 2016. Source

This post was published at SilverSeek on May 11, 2017.

Silver miners must know their market is rigged but are too afraid to protest — Bill Rice Jr.

As silver is again being pushed down hard and good for no market-related reason, I can’t help but wonder what the mining company executives are thinking. One thing we know. They won’t protest. Two reasons are typically given for this “grin and bear it’ attitude:
1) The bullion banks doing the rigging also provide the miners’ much-needed financing. The miners can’t get on the wrong side of these guys.
2) Governments supporting the rigging also can harm mining companies in any number of ways, such as permitting, environmental regulations, OSHA-type violations, audits, etc.
I’ve come to believe that the miners know that their markets are rigged but they are simply afraid to protest this. They fear retaliation. The governments and the bullion banks are bullies who threaten the existence of anyone who might challenge their goals or call them out.
Also, as top managers of mining companies are paid very well, they have even less of an incentive to take a chance and fight back. These people live very comfortably even as the price of their product is kept lower than it would be in a free market.

This post was published at GATA

Silver price manipulation, is regulation putting a stop to it?

Fear of regulation may impede bank’s from manipulating London’s silver benchmark
New regulations in 2018 have spooked bullion banks and silver fix operators Lack of liquidity in silver fix auction has lead to high volatility in the market Silver benchmark has strayed from spot price multiple times since 2016 No new silver benchmark operator lined up to take over in the Autumn No smoke without fire as actions point to silver price manipulation Silver remains suppressed and at a low price for investors stocking up ***
Simple economics tells us that markets and prices are driven by demand and supply. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case in the silver market. However, the threat of new regulations may be putting a stop to some bullion banks from fiddling the London silver benchmark.
Silver price manipulation is always a thorny issue and one that has been taken on by academics, lawsuits, by veteran silver analyst Ted Butler and by the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA). As we have reported previously, allegations of silver price manipulation are far past the point of rumours, in the last couple of years bullion banks have been called to account for their behaviour. Deutsche bank even agreed to settle out of court and pay $38m, in response to a class-action lawsuit.

This post was published at Gold Core on April 28, 2017.