Friday, May 21, 2010

Pandemic Palladium

From Kitco:

Platinum, Palladium Suffer Serious Technical Damage This Week - Kitco News, May 20 2010 10:22AM

Palladium Has Biggest Two-Day Drop in 12 Years; Platinum Falls - Businessweek, May 20 2010 3:45PM
Europe’s debt crisis and slowing growth in China may erode consumption of the metals used mostly for pollution-control devices in cars. Ford Motor Co.’s deliveries in main European markets fell 17 percent in April, the first drop in 11 months. In two days, palladium dropped 19 percent, the most since May 1998. Before this month, the price surged 36 percent in 2010.


“People should make sure they’re the first out of the exit and not the last,” Sorrentino said.

Prices gained for 12 straight months through April. The introduction of an exchange-traded fund backed by the metal in January boosted demand, Selkin of National Securities said. An ETF for platinum was also launched in New York this year.

“There’s very high speculative interest” in the metals, said Walter de Wet, an analyst at Standard Bank Plc in London. “With risk as high as it has been, we expect to see some liquidation.”
Last not least, Jesse on Gold options/futures:
Gold and silver spot was holding the exact levels where I would have expected them to find something to hang on. Let's see stocks go into option expiration tomorrow. There are a lot of calls that are going to be expiring worthless. I wonder if they will try and jam the puts for a little whipsaw action.

I will be a little surprised if they let gold up for air before its own expiration next week.
The market is rallying sharply now, and if it can retake the old support, now resistance, around 1105 it has a good chance of setting a new uptrend back to the top of the channel. This could just be a bounce. I was looking at some of the indicators last night, and they were at record oversold levels going back at least four years, including the crash.

Was all this a trading gambit mixed with petulance over the financial reform package? In a normal market I would say "nonsense." But this market is thin, like a Ponzi scheme, driven by high frequency trading and artificial liquidity. The few genuine investors are being chased and shot down like the human beings in The Planet of the Apes. The Wall Street gorillas have all the horses, nets and rifles, courtesy of the government, the regulators, and the Fed.

The smackdown in gold and silver ahead of option expiration next week, and the miners' option expiration today, was some of the most blatant and heavy handed market manipulation I have seen in a long time.

The Open Interest on the June Gold contract on May 20 increased from 216,811 to a whopping 273,541 contracts on a sharp decrease in price. This was some viciously aggressive short selling intended solely to drive down price, taking the miners down and out of the hands of the public, and weakening the resolve of the Comex gold bulls. There were roughly 18,000 call options sitting at Gold 1200 earlier this week representing 18 million ounces of gold.

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