I suspect we are about to have a rather consequential week, therefore, here's a Sunday post to get you started.
There's certainly a lot of disgust and angst out there at the price action from Friday. Put me in that category, too. The U.S. unemployment rate rises from 7.5% to 7.6% and it's used as a rationale for a 2.5% selloff in the price of gold? Uhhhmm...yah...that makes a lot of sense. I guess what doesn't make sense is going over it all again as I made my frustration pretty clear in the previous post. In the end, the desperate scheme of The Bullion Banks to transfer as much short obligation onto the backs of the Specs continues unabated.
This week's CoT report showed next-to-nothing in terms of weekly changes to net bullishness or bearishness. The real action, though, sprang forth from the monthly Bank Participation Report. Again, it is this report that many analysts use to calculate the net long or short positions of the individual Bullion Banks...and this month's report is a doozy!
The report shows that not only are the major Bullion Banks no longer net short, they are actually NET LONG gold futures. I've seen one report that suggests this is the first time the Bullion Banks have been NET LONG since 2001. I've also seen a report suggesting that JPM itself is now net long as many as 50,000 contracts! IF this is true, and it's simply a matter of correctly interpreting the data (of course the DATA ITSELF has to be accurate), then there can be NO DOUBT that the precious metals are on the verge of a MAJOR BOTTOM followed by a ferocious rally.
The only thing I'd like to add to the discussion is the rationale for JPM's move into NET LONG territory. The shortages in their gold vaults has been well-documented and clearly this has much to do with it. But there seems to be a lot of curiosity this weekend as to how JPM can be net long so many gold contracts yet still be net short so many silver contracts. The answer likely lies in offshore and OTC positioning, but as this relates directly to The Comex, I think that part of the JPM gold position is actually a hedge against their remaining silver position. Huh? Let me explain.
As you know, I watch the OI and CoT levels pretty closely and I've been banging the drum pretty hard for months about the unusual and exceptionally large Comex Commercial GROSS LONG position. This gross level of Commercial long contracts has historically and consistently fluctuated between 30,000 and 45,000 for the past several years. At price peaks, the gross level would be close to 30,000 and, at price bottoms, the number would rise to somewhere near 45,000. Essentially, these "other commercials" added contracts at lows and then closed them out at highs, making a tidy profit from anticipating how JPM was going to once again fleece the Spec Sheep.
Well, something flipped with this last price cycle. At the lows of last August, the Commercials had again built up a large gross long base (47,797) and, by the time price was capped at the announcement of QE∞ in mid-September, this position had been trimmed back (32,206). During this entire Cartel operation in the nine months since, you would have expected that the Commercial gross long position would have grown again. But, would you have expected this?
DATE PRICE GROSS COMM LONGS
8/14/12 $27.78 47,797
9/11/12 33.46 32,206
10/23/12 31.66 35,786
11/27/12 34.03 42,525
12/31/12 30.29 45,415
2/5/13 31.79 46,293
3/12/13 29.13 51,929
4/9/13 27.97 61,060
5/7/13 23.94 65,703
6/4/13 22.52 66,857
OK, so what the heck does all this mean? I'll try to bring it all together in some sort of coherent form:
- Caught flatfooted and enormously short paper metal at the initiation of QE∞, a deliberate and calculated plan has been orchestrated by the major Bullion Banks, in particular JPMorgan.
- By driving price the price of gold almost $400 lower, The Gold Cartel has been able to reduce their general liability by nearly 80% (http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/blog/4750/speechless-turd) and, by virtue of the latest Bank Participation Report, some Bullion Banks have been able to move NET LONG for the first time in over a decade.
- If reports are correct the JPM has flipped from 50,000 net short to 50,000 net long, we must conclude that the operation to smash gold is close to complete.
- However, even though silver has been smashed a greater price percentage than gold, JPM has been been blunted in their attempts to completely cover their net short silver position as the "other commercials" (who at least on the surface don't appear to be JPM itself) have added at least 20,000 more longs than they have historically ever carried.
- And notice that the gross long position shown above has continued to rise, even in the face of sharply lower prices over the past eight weeks. These are some very deep pockets that, clearly, are not being shaken out. Instead of selling on further weakness, they continue to add.
- JPM could attempt to jam silver prices even lower in an increasingly desperate attempt to frighten these longs but at what cost? By doing so they lose big on their gold position and further exacerbate their already tenuous physical/deliverable gold position.
- And it is this "juggling act" that leads me to think that this entire operation, which began a brutally-long nine months ago, is nearly finished.
You see, by moving so deeply long in gold futures, JPM has effectively hedged much of the remaining silver short position that they've been unable to cover. At its most basic level...if they are forced to cover silver into a rising price, the potential losses they'd incur will be more than equaled by the gains they'd show in gold. (Just for fun...If you're long 50,000 contracts and price rises $500 back to the August 2011 highs, you make $2.5B!)
Now, all of this is well and good and NO DOUBT foreshadows much higher prices for both metals in the weeks ahead. However, none of this is going to matter much to the Spec HFTs which are expected to pounce on the metals this evening, particularly in silver. The fact that China is "closed" through mid-week will only serve to exacerbate the paper price volatility. However, IF I'm right about the ideas laid out above, price should show surprising resilience this week. Gold has been very well bought each and every time that attempts have been made to drive it down through $1350. Let's see if this continues. Silver, too, has hung tough around $22 and has bounced back twice from "shock lows" near $21.
So, I'll close this post the way I began. This is going to be a very consequential week for the metals...one that will tell us a lot about the short-term and intermediate trend for price as we head into summer. Nearly every indicator that I've traditionally followed is indicating that a bottom is near and trend change is coming. Let's see where we go from here.