This is an excerpt from Ed Steer’s latest commentary in his daily gold and silver newsletter (subscribe here). In it, he refers to Ted Butler’s weekly COT analysis which is accessible in Butler’s premium service on www.butlerresearch.com.
The Commitment of Traders Report for positions held at the close of Comex trading on Tuesday were about what I was expecting in silver, but rather disappointing in gold.
In silver, the Commercial net short position declined by a hefty 6,792 contracts, or 34.0 million troy ounces. The Commercial net short position is now down to 16,767 contracts, or 83.8 million troy ounces—and within spitting distance of its late May/early June record low.
For a change, it wasn’t the Managed Money traders in the technical fund category going short that caused the decline, as they actually covered 1,638 of their short contracts during the reporting week. It was the small traders [the Nonreportable category] that were involved, as their net long position declined by 4,702 contracts. Ted Butler says that it appears that the Managed Money is all full up on the short side — and all of this week’s improvements came from these Nonreportable futures contract holders, plus Non-Commercial traders other than the technical funds.
Ted Butler also mentioned that JPMorgan’s short position in silver is now down to about 11,500 contracts, their lowest short-side corner in the Comex futures market since taking over the silver short position of Bear Stearns in 2008. And not to be forgotten in all of this, is the equally extreme short-side corner in the Comex silver market held by Canada’s Scotiabank.
In gold, the Commercial net short position only declined by 11,924 contracts, or 1.19 million troy ounces. I was expecting around double that amount. The Commercial net short position in that precious metal now stands at 6.43 million troy ounces.
The big changes were in the Manged Money category, as they sold an additional 3,232 long contracts—and bought 6,933 short contracts. The small traders in the Nonreportable category also pitched 4,278 longs in addition to that.
Of course, standing there buying all the long positions offered in both metals, was JPMorgan et al.
Ted Butler was rather surprised to see that there was no change in JPMorgan’s long-side corner in the Comex gold market, as it remained around the 25,000 contract/2.5 million troy ounce mark. Ted also remarked that the Comex futures market showed major improvements in platinum, palladium, copper and crude oil, as ‘da boyz’ continue to game the technical funds into extreme positions on the short side. The only big exception is the dollar index, where the technical funds are holding monster long positions—and JPMorgan et al are mega short.
And, without doubt, we’ve seen more improvements in the internal structure of the precious metals since the Tuesday cut-off—and also without doubt, we’re back at, or below, the record lows set back in late May/early June. And we’ve exceeded those lows in both platinum and palladium, as those two metals have been savaged during the latest engineered price decline.
Once again we have to contemplate the subsequent actions of JPMorgan et al, as all these shorts look to cover during the next rally—and in the dollar index, it’s the opposite. Will they let the technical funds off easy once again, or will ‘da boyz’ just put their hands in their pockets?
And as Ted Butler and I have said countless times that, and only that, will determine not only how high price rise from here, but how fast they get they get there as well. Nothing else matters.
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