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Gold Sadly Moves to Six-Week Lows

Commentary for Friday, April 24, 2015 ( www.golddealer.com) – Gold closed down $19.20 on the Comex today at $1175.20. The market got weaker overnight in London and Hong Kong and the downward move accelerated in the domestic market.

I don’t know what to makes of this latest weakness – it looks like just more technical selling into the weekend. In a downdraft – if sell stops are hit the market develops a momentum of it’s own. We don’t see any large gold transaction selling across the counter and there was the usual bargain hunting with cash visitors to the store.

The dollar was choppy so not much of a price influence on gold today. The Dollar Index traded between 96.76 and 97.56 – and now stands at 96.94. The euro was stronger today – perhaps the new quantitative easing program is producing benefits.

Today’s price action in gold is a good example of my “don’t jump out the window – just yet” thinking. You already know that gold has been on the longer term a technical underdog. And since the beginning of April when we were nicely over $1200.00 an ounce and the world was worried about Europe – since then news has been neutral to negative. And I have said over the past few weeks that traders are waiting for the other shoe to drop.

It’s clear that the paper trading dogs have been testing the bullish resolve with bear market raids looking for that much talked about breakdown in the price of gold. ETF holdings have generally been trending lower although there have been some up weeks when the international situation is stressed or talk of Greek default comes back into view and outflows reverse.

So today did gold fall off the price cliff? Like I said it is still too soon to tell because if you push aside all the negative press and look at the 30 day price chart you will see gold has traded pretty much between $1185.00 and $1210.00. With all the “on-again” “off-again” gold news of late that only presents a $25.00 range – so professionals would claim “a range bound market”.

The better long term picture is presented in the 6 month chart. During the last six months gold has traded between $1140.00 and $1300.00. We obviously are at the lower end of that rather wide range but today’s closing price ($1175.20) indicates that while the short paper is still testing - gold has solid support at $1140.00 going back to November of last year.

So am I happy? Of course not - gold is not holding a strong hand – the stock markets of the world are roaring – the Fed looks like it will raise interest rates – the housing market has a new swagger – and spec “hot” money is looking elsewhere.

On the other hand – ask yourself why the central banks of the world continue to add to their holdings or why China and India are on a mission when it comes to physical gold ownership. Even the most pessimistic gold observer would admit that the price of gold is looking for a bottom. I like the gold market – up or down but believe we are now approaching that bottom.

It might even take a year or two for the inflation numbers or some other blow-up financial event to once again turn a spotlight on gold bullion. In the meantime buy the dips and take advantage of cheaper prices. In the end you can’t beat the hedge value in a fiat world.

Silver closed down $0.19 at $15.63. A pop in the physical action across the counter in silver bullion today but nothing to write home about - considering the discount to old highs. The high o silver this year (2015) was $18.34 in January – a return to that number would mean a 17% gain from current numbers so I can’t figure out why investors are not lining up.

Platinum closed down $16.00 at $1120.00 and palladium closed up $1.00 at $770.00. Platinum’s discount to gold is now $55.00 and we are seeing some trading of gold bullion for platinum bullion but not what I would have expected given the big discount.

Our Patented Employee Survey – Gold's Direction Next Week?

Of course it's not really patented but we do have some fun along the way. This is what the GoldDealer.com employees think – 7 believe gold will be higher next week – 4 think gold will be lower and 2 believe it will be unchanged.

Our Patented Customer Survey – Gold's Direction Next Week?

Like the employees our customers were given three choices – up – down – unchanged. We limited the survey to a random sampling of 100 transactions – unscientific but worth considering because these people took action: 34 people thought the price of gold would increase next week – 45 believe the price of gold will decrease next week and 21 think prices will remain the same.

Precious Metal Closes & Dollar Strength – April 20 – April 24

This from James Hyerczyk ( FX Empire) – Crude Oil Slides as Inventories Hit 80-Year High “Crude Oil futures weakened on the news that Saudi Arabia would curtail its military activity in Yemen and following the release of a greater-than-expected weekly supply number.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, commercial inventories rose by 5.3 million barrels from the previous period. Traders were looking for an increase of 3.2 million barrels. The increase in weekly supply brought total inventory to 489 million barrels. This is an 80 year high for this time of the year.”

Oil metrics always lag – so it takes a while to affect price change but the past 30 days crude has moved from around $40.00 to around $58.00. Still the chart looks like a mountain so the technical picture may have a great deal of air in the price. Steady to lower oil prices translates into more consumer money and continued improvement in the economy. All of this of course depends on whether you spend your money – lately consumers have been cautious. Still lower oil portends continued low inflation which does not help the price of gold but makes you feel better at the pump.

This from Bloomberg Business - Swiss Gold Exports Show Asia Buying More as Investors Sell Bars - China and India helped buy up investors’ biggest gold sales in more than a year.

Gold exports to China from the refining hub of Switzerland almost doubled to 46.4 metric tons in March, the most among monthly data starting in January 2014, according to the Swiss Federal Customs Administration. Shipments to India more than doubled to 72.5 tons as imports from the U.K. climbed six fold.

That’s an indication that gold bars are leaving U.K. vaults for Switzerland, where they’re refined and sent to Asia. India and China, the biggest buyers, boosted purchases in 2013 when investors dumped the metal amid the biggest price rout in three decades. Global sales from gold-backed funds totaled 55.7 tons in March, the most since 2013, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“The big investor outflows from the U.K. via Switzerland to China and India is a continuation of the flow of metal from West to East,” Matthew Turner, an analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd., said by phone from London. “Short-term, it is a sign of weakness, not of strength in the market.”

Investors returned to selling the metal in March after adding to holdings in January and February. Prices declined 2.4 percent in London last month and reached the lowest since December on March 17. Bullion is little changed this year on speculation the first U.S. interest rate increases since 2006 will be gradual. Higher borrowing costs curb gold’s appeal because the metal generally only offers returns through price gains.

Swiss Exports - Swiss gold exports to China climbed from 23.6 tons in February, while those to India, last year’s largest buyer, rose to a four-month high from 27.1 tons, online customs data showed on Thursday. Shipments to Hong Kong fell 26 percent to 30 tons.

Trading volume for bullion of 99.99 percent purity in China, the benchmark spot contract, jumped about 60 percent from the previous month to a record in March, Shanghai Gold Exchange data show. Flows to India rose before this month’s Akshaya Tritiya festival, which is considered a traditional day to buy precious metals.

Switzerland imported 97.2 tons from the U.K. last month, up from 14.7 tons in February and the most since November. Total Swiss gold exports increased 65 percent to 223.3 tons, the highest since at least 2013.”

The walk-in cash trade was somewhat active with most action mixed between buying and selling. The phones were active in the morning and quiet in the afternoon.

The GoldDealer.com Unscientific Activity Scale is a “ 4” for Friday. The CNI Activity Scale takes into consideration volume and the hedge book: (Monday – 3) (Tuesday – 5) (Wednesday – 5) (Thursday – 4). The scale (1 through 10) is a reliable way to understand our volume numbers. The Activity Scale is weighted and is not necessarily real time – meaning we could be busy and see a low number – or be slow and see a high number. This is true because of the way our computer runs what we call the “book”.

Our “activity” is better understood from a wider point of view. If the numbers are generally increasing – it would indicate things are busier – decreasing numbers over a longer period would indicate volume is moving lower.
When buying or selling you will receive an email confirmation. This includes a PDF File to confirm your invoice or purchase order and includes forms of payment and bank wire instructions. When doing business please check to see if your current email has been entered into the new system and check to see if your computer will accept our email (no spam).

We always appreciate you keeping us up to date when moving or changing your email.

We believe our four flat screens downstairs with live independent pricing (BullionDesk.com) are unique in the United States. The walk-in cash trade can see in an instant the current prices of all bullion products and a daily graph illustrates the range of the markets on any given day.

Yes - you can visit the store with cash and walk away with your product. Or you can bring product to the store and walk away with cash. We will even wire funds into your account that same day for a small service fee ($25.00) if you are in a hurry.

In addition to our freshly ground coffee we offer complimentary cold bottled water, Cokes and Snapple. We also provide fresh fruit in a transparent attempt to disguise our regular junk food habits as we sneak down the block for the best donuts in the world (Randy’s).

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CNI_golddealer. Sal is now in charge of our Facebook page and he is a self-proclaimed expert on gold conspiracy theory. He would be happy to respond to even the most ridiculous conspiracy assertion on our Facebook page so why not join the fun?

Thanks for reading – we appreciate your business and enjoy your weekend!

Disclaimer – The content in this newsletter and on the GoldDealer.com website is provided for informational purposes only and our employees are not registered financial advisers. The precious metals and rare coin market is random and highly volatile so it may not be suitable for some individuals. We suggest before deciding on a course of action that you talk with an independent financial professional. While due care has been exercised in development and dissemination of our web site, the Almost Famous Gold Newsletter, or other promotional material, there is no guarantee of correctness so this corporation and its employees shall be held harmless in all cases. GoldDealer.com (California Numismatic Investments, Inc.) and its employees do not render legal, tax, or investment advice.

Gold Mildly Higher and Back to Watching the Dollar

Commentary for Thursday, April 23, 2015 ( www.golddealer.com) – Gold closed up $7.50 today on the Comex at $1194.40 in what I call ho-hum trading and is now around 3 week lows so there is not much enthusiasm in the precious metals market.

Look at the Gold Exchange Traded Funds: Total as of 4-15-15 was 52,017,908. That number this week (4-22-15) was 52,244,163 ounces so over the last week we gained 226,255 ounces of gold. The all-time record high for all gold ETF's was 85,112,855 ounces in 2013. The record high for Gold ETF's in 2015 is 53,901,867 and the record low for 2015 is 51,057,082.

It’s easy to see on the short term ETF physical gold holdings have moved higher – the broader picture tells a different tale. Compare the most current number (52,244,163 ounces) with the highest ETF level we have seen in 2015 (53,901,867 ounces). Our net position for 2015 is moving in the wrong direction even though we had a surge in prices early in the year.

Let’s also look at the close today ($1194.40) and compare it to gold’s moving averages – 50 DMA ($1194.00) – 100 DMA ($1212.00) – 200 DMA ($1225.00). We are under the 100 and 200 DMA’s but right at the 50 DMA so while things are not looking good technically it’s not the end of the world and we are still waiting to see how physical demand from India and China will shake out while waiting on Europe and the results of their quantitative easing program.

Here are the trading volume numbers for the last five days for the June Gold Contract, from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange: Thursday 4/16 (264,688) - Friday 4/17 (264,542) - Monday 4/20 (265,080) - Tuesday 4/21 (261,646) - Wednesday 4/22 (266,726). These numbers remain consistently high so there is plenty of action in both directions.

Gold was modestly higher today also because the dollar dipped in early trading. The Dollar Index range was 97.31 through 98.43 – as of this writing we are 97.46 so somewhat weaker probably selling off over Wall Street’s weaker earnings.

This latest bump to the upside does not look like bargain hunting to me but there could be some short covering here as some reports seem to indicate the physical gold market in India is picking up during this current festival season.

And I also think the DOW should be watched more carefully. Three or four days ago there was a selloff in the index which pushed the DOW to the 17,800 mark – since then it has recovered and is strong on either side of 18,000. That is not gold’s only trouble – the NASDAQ is hot moving above the 5000 mark – a high point which has not been seen since the year 2000. And the Japanese Nikkei is just has hot – rising to its highest level in 15 years and once again above 20,000. All of the above creates “hot” action for loose speculative money which now is not available in gold trading circles.

Silver closed up $0.03 at $15.82. I am still waiting for that rush in across the counter silver bullion business because prices have dipped. I will let you know if the bus shows up.

Platinum closed up $6.00 at $1136.00 and palladium was up $14.00 at $769.00. This might be interesting to platinum bullion players – the premium on the US American Platinum Eagle 1 oz coin is now all over the place. The usual scenario was as follows – the US Mint is not currently producing the American 1 oz Platinum Eagle – they claim because demand is soft. Other equally good platinum bullion coins, while not overly plentiful are available with some patience. Because the US market likes US Mint products the premium on the US American Platinum Eagle creeps higher to almost $200.00 over spot.

Then in one day premiums on this coin drop like a rock – down more than $100.00 – so what gives? Either a large quantity of coins have hit the market (unlikely because there were never enough platinum Eagles to go around) or there is a rumor among dealers that the US Mint is going to one again begin production.

This from David Stockman - This Is Nuts - $5.3 Trillion of Government Bonds Now Have Negative Yields - The level of complacency in world financial markets is downright astounding - even stupid. Today there are two more signs of extreme mania - a brokerage firm calculation that there are now $5.3 trillion of government bonds trading at negative yields and the cross-over of eurolibor into the nether world of negative yields, as well.

These deformations cannot be explained with reference to macroeconomic conditions—–such as weak growth or a temporary spot of minimal CPI gains. Instead, they are the destructive work of central banks and a few hundred monetary mandarins who have literally usurped control of the entire world economy.

And they have done it through a deft maneuver. That is, by disabling the pricing system in financial markets entirely and displacing market forces with central command and control in the form of pegged money market rates, manipulated yield curves, invitations to speculators to front-run massive central bank bond buying programs and both implied and explicit promises that rising risk asset prices will be favored and facilitated at all hazards.

All of this monetary mayhem is being done in the name of an astoundingly primitive Keynesian premise. Namely, that there is insufficient “aggregate demand” in the world and too little inflation in consumer goods and services as measured by the CPI and other consumption deflators; and that these insufficiencies can be magically remedied by ZIRP, massive government debt monetization and the rest of the easy money tool kit .

How? Why by inducing businesses and households to borrow more and spend more when they are otherwise not inclined to spend income they don’t have; and to rid them of a purported reluctance to spend even what they can afford because the price of toilet paper, tonic water, TVs and trips to the mall may be going down tomorrow.

Here’s the thing. Both of these alleged barriers to spending are postulates of Keynesian economic models, not conditions extant in the real world. Upwards of 85% of US households, for example, are not borrowing because they are already tapped out and trapped in “peak debt”. Even the borrowing rebound that has happened since the 2008 crisis has occurred for reasons that are irrelevant to the central bankers’ Keynesian predicate.

The only debt that has surged in traditional recovery cycle fashion is student debt and auto paper. The former has nothing to do with ZIRP or any other Fed machination. As a practical matter, the $1.3 trillion of student loans outstanding represent the largesse of the state, not the workings of the credit markets - since the entire mountain of student debt is either government funded or guaranteed and there is no credit analysis whatsoever.

In fact, 45% of student debt outstanding is in non-payment status, meaning that it functions as a cash stipend. Moreover, nearly one-third of the loans which are in payment status - that is, owed by borrowers who have run out of ways to prolong their “student” status - are delinquent. That the tens of millions of former student debt serfs can’t and won’t pay will become a huge political issue and social policy questions, but it has nothing to do with the machinations emanating from the Eccles Building.

The surge of auto loans - more than 30% of which are subprime - is consequent to Fed policy, but not in a good way. Through massive and sustained financial repression, the Fed and other central banks have produced a mindless and almost panicked stampede to “yield” among bond managers and homegamers alike.

This has generated a 40% gain in outstanding auto paper - from $700 billion at the post-recession bottom to nearly $1 trillion at present - but, again, none of it is based on credit analysis in the traditional sense. The entire boom in auto paper is being sold to yield starved investors based on temporarily low default rates and exaggerated collateral values for the new and used cars being hocked. The latter assume, however, that there will never be another recession or that when interest rates eventually normalize that there will be enough new credit extension to support prices for the massive tranches of used vehicles which will be coming off leases and loans after 2015.

That is never going to pan out. There will be another subprime loan collapse - this time in the auto market. And, in any event, the whole credit channel of monetary policy transmission is broken and done owing to peak debt. The central banks are just mechanically and blindly pushing on a string of monetary expansion that is levitating not the main street economy but only financial asset prices in the canyons of Wall Street.

Likewise, there is not a shred of evidence that consumers are hoarding cash and waiting for plummeting prices in order to spend themselves silly. The fact is, 50% of US households have no savings at all and live hand-to-mouth, paying the lowest prices they can find at the moment; and another 35% are spending what they can afford and need without regard to phony policy metrics like the PCE deflator less food and energy.

For crying out loud, the whole idea of hoarding among the 85% of households not invested in the casino is just plain implausible. In pretending they are attacking the phony scourge of “deflation” and “low-flation”, therefore, the central bankers are either engaging in a deliberate ruse or they have fallen victim to ritual incantation.

The real victim, of course, is the world’s financial system and economy. The central banks have now succeeded in generating a planet wide mania. Since the turn of the century that have expanded their collective balance sheets from $2 trillion to $22 trillion, causing the greatest falsification of financial prices in recorded history.

This has made cowards and crooks out of the political class and reckless gamblers out of the financial class. That’s the real meaning of the absurd position that banks with spare cash must pay another bank to assume their excess monetary digits or that governments should be paid for the privilege of issuing debt that they can never repay.

In short, the financial system has gone nuts owing to the destructive domination of central banks and the tiny posse of Keynesian academics and apparatchiks which run them. Self-evidently, the power intoxicated central bankers of the world have no intention of stopping - meaning that only an eventual thundering crash of the system will bring their madness to an end.”

The walk-in cash trade was slow and we had to check to see if we paid the phone bill – that’s how quiet the phones were for most of the day. There is no buzz out there and our generally higher Activity Scale is a matter of a few very large orders not a general trend relative to the average American investor.

The GoldDealer.com Unscientific Activity Scale is a “ 4” for Thursday. The CNI Activity Scale takes into consideration volume and the hedge book: (last Friday – 2) (Monday – 3) (Tuesday – 5) (Wednesday – 5). The scale (1 through 10) is a reliable way to understand our volume numbers. The Activity Scale is weighted and is not necessarily real time – meaning we could be busy and see a low number – or be slow and see a high number. This is true because of the way our computer runs what we call the “book”.

Our “activity” is better understood from a wider point of view. If the numbers are generally increasing – it would indicate things are busier – decreasing numbers over a longer period would indicate volume is moving lower.

When buying or selling you will receive an email confirmation. This includes a PDF File to confirm your invoice or purchase order and includes forms of payment and bank wire instructions. When doing business please check to see if your current email has been entered into the new system and check to see if your computer will accept our email (no spam).

We always appreciate you keeping us up to date when moving or changing your email.

We believe our four flat screens downstairs with live independent pricing (BullionDesk.com) are unique in the United States. The walk-in cash trade can see in an instant the current prices of all bullion products and a daily graph illustrates the range of the markets on any given day.

Yes - you can visit the store with cash and walk away with your product. Or you can bring product to the store and walk away with cash. We will even wire funds into your account that same day for a small service fee ($25.00) if you are in a hurry.

In addition to our freshly ground coffee we offer complimentary cold bottled water, Cokes and Snapple. We also provide fresh fruit in a transparent attempt to disguise our regular junk food habits as we sneak down the block for the best donuts in the world (Randy’s).

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CNI_golddealer. Sal is now in charge of our Facebook page and he is a self-proclaimed expert on gold conspiracy theory. He would be happy to respond to even the most ridiculous conspiracy assertion on our Facebook page so why not join the fun?

Thanks for reading – we appreciate your business and enjoy your evening!

Disclaimer – The content in this newsletter and on the GoldDealer.com website is provided for informational purposes only and our employees are not registered financial advisers. The precious metals and rare coin market is random and highly volatile so it may not be suitable for some individuals. We suggest before deciding on a course of action that you talk with an independent financial professional. While due care has been exercised in development and dissemination of our web site, the Almost Famous Gold Newsletter, or other promotional material, there is no guarantee of correctness so this corporation and its employees shall be held harmless in all cases. GoldDealer.com (California Numismatic Investments, Inc.) and its employees do not render legal, tax, or investment advice.

Should You Invest in Rhodium?

Rhodium is one of the rarest precious metals on the planet. A member of the platinum group metals (PGM) together with platinum and palladium, rhodium is a key component in the car industry as well as in electrical connections and in aircraft turbine engines. The rarity of rhodium combined with increasing production demand has made it one of the most popular precious metal investments. However, because of the small size of the market and its volatile price movements, it is not advisable to actively trade rhodium. Instead, purchase rhodium bullion bars and either take profits at a pre-determined level or hold for a pre-determined period of time before reassessing the market.

California Numismatic Investments is proud to offer the Baird Rhodium Bar 1 oz. Because this bar is an accepted bullion product its premium over spot is small and attractive to bullion investors. The size of the rhodium bullion bar also allows investors more options when buying or selling compared to larger bars, and smaller rhodium bars are not reportable on Form 1099B. If you have any questions about investing in rhodium, call CNI toll-free at (888) 880-7101.

Gold Sinks as Home Sales Vault to 18-Month High

Commentary for Wednesday, April 22, 2015 ( www.golddealer.com) – Gold closed down $16.00 at $1186.90 on solid home sales data indicating the economy may be back on track after some data setbacks created by the winter cold snap.

So we are now trading significantly below the $1200.00 level and the technical picture has turned dark as gold trades at levels not seen since the end of March. The Dollar Index has been relatively steady these past 5 days holding around 98.00. The DOW is holding steady today around 18,000 – an important mark to watch. Any hiccup here could help or hurt gold.

Gold flattens out in the after-market around $1185.00 which is also important. It’s not time to jump out the window just yet – looks at the 30 day chart and you will see a great deal of support in this range. And while the technical picture belongs to the bears remember since October of last year gold has put in a solid double bottom at $1150.00.

All of this as Greek worries are, once again ignored as few expect Greece to default on money owed to the European Union. They are looking for another $7 billion euros but are

holding tight to new political desires to limit austerity. This all has to end terribly.

And expected solid physical demand for gold in India may turn out to be weak. ( Reuters) - Gold purchases in India started slowly on Tuesday, a festival day, despite a fall in local prices, as hard times in rural areas have hit demand and many buyers are holding back because they expect prices to fall even further.

Indians are the world's biggest consumers of bullion and Akshay Tritiya celebrated on Tuesday is usually one of the busiest gold-buying festivals along with Diwali and Dhanteras. Gold imports more than doubled in March to 125 tonnes from 60 tonnes a year before as traders anticipated healthy demand.

Those hopes looked misplaced early in the day, with most salesmen at shops in Mumbai's Zaveri Bazaar hanging around talking to each other rather than trying to agree prices with would-be customers.

"I have sold just five gold coins so far but I expect sales to improve by the evening. Footfall was much higher last year compared to this year," said Vrishank Jain, third-generation owner of Umedmal Tilokchand Zaveri at the bazaar.

Silver closed down $0.21 at $15.79 - cheap enough but no cigar as sales over the net and across the counter slump. The public is getting very good at showing patience on these dips into lower territory with silver. Unless they perceive prices are really cheap they are reluctant to add to their positions. This resolve will stay in place until the price of silver makes a sustained turnaround and higher prices are once again seen relative to old highs. Today prices are more related to recent lows and so the public remains cautious.

Platinum closed down $22.00 at $1130.00 and palladium closed down $19.00 at $755.00. A small group of American Platinum Eagles 1 oz just sold for $190.00 over spot – remember these coins are not being produced and the US Mint claims future production unlikely because according to them demand does not justify another run. We are selling the Canadian Platinum Maple Leafs 1 oz and the platinum Platypus 1 oz for about $80.00 over spot delivered. Supplies of both of these platinum bullion coins remain thin but available.

This from Reuters - Home sales vault to 18-month high as supply improves - U.S. home resales surged to their highest level in 18 months in March as more homes came on the market, a sign of strength in housing ahead of the spring selling season.

The fairly upbeat report from the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday implied the economy was regaining some momentum after hitting a speed bump at the start of the year.

But tepid retail sales and weak factory data suggested the growth rebound will probably be insufficient to convince the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in June.

"It's consistent with strong growth in the second quarter. We should have a solid spring selling season and should see the housing market continuing to improve through 2015," said Gus Faucher, senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh.

Existing home sales increased 6.1 percent to an annual rate of 5.19 million units in March, the highest level since September 2013. The percent rise was the largest since December 2010. Last month's sales outpaced economists' expectations for a 5.03 million-unit rate.

The outlook for the spring selling season, which runs from April through August, was also boosted by a separate report from the Mortgage Bankers Association showing applications for loans to purchase homes jumped 5 percent last week to the highest level since June 2013.

It was the fourth time in five weeks that purchase applications rose and economists attributed this to moves by the government to ease credit conditions for first-time buyers.

Home sales have been constrained by a shortage of properties on the market, which has pushed up home prices and limited choice for potential buyers. Fewer homeowners are defaulting on their mortgages, meaning fewer foreclosed properties in the pipeline to boost supply.

As such, builders would have to break more ground on new housing units to boost inventories. D.R. Horton Inc (DHI.N), the largest U.S. homebuilder, on Wednesday reported a 30 percent jump in orders.

Despite the sturdy home resales report, the housing index .HGX fell more than 1 percent. The dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies while prices for U.S. Treasury debt fell.

Supply Improving - In March, the inventory of unsold homes on the market increased 5.3 percent from a month ago to 2 million units, the highest level since last November. However, supply was up only 2 percent from a year ago.

Realtors and economists say insufficient equity and uncertainty about the economy's strength were forcing potential sellers to stay longer in their homes. A recent survey by the Realtors association showed homeowners on average staying in their homes for 10 years instead of the typical seven years.

At March's sales pace, it would take 4.6 months to clear houses from the market, down from 4.7 months in February. A supply of six months is viewed as a healthy balance between supply and demand. With supply still tight, the median price for a previously owned home increased 7.8 percent from a year ago to $212,100.

That was the largest percentage gain since February 2014 and suggested that the pace of home price increases, which had been slowing after double-digit growth for much of 2013, appears to be reaccelerating.

"It looks like the combination of limited available inventory and a decline in the share of distressed sales in the market continue to put upward pressure on prices," said Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York. First-time buyers accounted for 30 percent of transactions last month, well below the 40 percent to 45 percent share that economists and realtors say is required for a strong housing recovery.

This is our usual ETF Wednesday information – these metrics are important to individual physical investors because they provide clues as to whether the physical market is enthusiastic and adding metals or is disappointed and selling metals.

Gold Exchange Traded Funds: Total as of 4-15-15 was 52,017,908. That number this week (4-22-15) was 52,244,163 ounces so over the last week we gained 226,255 ounces of gold.

The all-time record high for all gold ETF's was 85,112,855 ounces in 2013. The record high for Gold ETF's in 2015 is 53,901,867 and the record low for 2015 is 51,057,082.

All Silver Exchange Traded Funds: Total as of 4-15-15 was 619,088,285. That number this week (4-22-15) was 620,072,995 ounces so over the last week we gained 984,710 ounces of silver.

All Platinum Exchange Traded Funds: Total as of 4-15-15 was 2,565,405 ounces. That number this week (4-22-15) was 2,562,208 ounces so over the last week we dropped 3,197 ounces of platinum.

All Palladium Exchange Traded Funds: Total as of 4-15-15 was 2,887,325 ounces. That number this week (4-22-15) was 2,911,049 ounces so over the last week we gained 23,724 ounces of palladium.

This from Bloomberg/MineWeb (Ng - Deaux - Van Der Walt) - The mystery of China’s gold stash may soon be solved - China’s push to challenge US dominance in global trade and finance may involve gold - a lot of gold. While the metal is no longer used to back paper money, it remains a big chunk of central bank reserves in the US and Europe. China became the world’s second-largest economy in 2010 and has stepped up efforts to make the yuan a viable competitor to the dollar. That’s led to speculation the government has stockpiled gold as part of a plan to diversify $3.7 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves.

The People’s Bank of China may have tripled holdings of bullion since it last updated them in April 2009, to 3,510 metric tons, says Bloomberg Intelligence, based on trade data, domestic output and China Gold Association figures. A stockpile that big would be second only to the 8,133.5 tons in the US.

“If you want to set yourself up as a reserve currency, you may want to have assets on your balance sheet other than other fiat currencies,” Bart Melek, head of commodity strategy at TD Securities, said by phone from Toronto. Gold is “certainly viewed as a viable store of value for an up-and-coming global power,” he said.

China may be preparing to update its disclosed holdings because policy makers are preparing to add the yuan to the International Monetary Fund’s currency basket, known as the Special Drawing Right, which includes the dollar, euro, yen and British pound. The tally may come before the IMF’s meetings on the SDR next month or in October, Nomura Holdings Inc. said in an April 8 report.

Monetary Role - Gold played a central role in the international monetary system until the collapse of the Bretton Woods framework of fixed exchange rates in 1973, according to the IMF. While the role of bullion has diminished since then, the fund still holds 2,814 tons and most central banks have some on their balance sheets. Russia more than tripled its holdings since 2005.

China is the world’s largest gold producer and ranked behind only India among top consumers last year, but the amount of metal its central bank last reported holding in 2009 accounts for just 1% of foreign-exchange reserves, which have surged more than fivefold in a decade and are the biggest in the world. Most of that is in dollars.

The IMF estimates the dollar makes up 63% of world central bank holdings, while the No. 2 currency, the euro, accounts for 22%. Data from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication show the US currency was used for 43% of global payments in February.

Approved Programs - While China is promoting the yuan internationally, Swift data show the currency was used for only 1.8% of international payments in February. Private investors — both Chinese and non-Chinese — can move their money in and out of the country only through approved programs and in limited amounts, and changes in the currency’s value are only permitted in limited ranges.

Adding gold and other assets would ease China’s reliance on the dollar, said Nathan Chow, a Hong Kong-based economist at DBS Group Holdings Ltd.

It may bolster the view China has “a currency that’s well backed by a range of different assets,” said Steven Dooley, a Melbourne-based currency strategist at Western Union Business Solutions for Asia-Pacific. “The most-liquid currencies tend to have a wide range of foreign-exchange reserves.”

Market Mystery - With China disclosing so little about its hoard, finding out how much the central bank has in its vaults is of increasing interest to traders. Confirmation of bigger holdings would signal the importance of the metal as a reserve asset and boost market sentiment, TD Securities’ Melek said. At a time when prices are languishing, the buying could give support, said Suki Cooper, director of commodities at Barclays Plc in New York.

Bullion climbed from $882.05 an ounce at the end of 2008 to a record $1,921.17 in 2011 as investors sought safety from currency depreciation and the threat of inflation. Prices plunged 28% in 2013 as rallying stocks and a rebounding economy eroded the appeal of the metal, which closed at $1,204.22 on April 17.

China may not have expanded holdings by much. The dollar has strengthened since the middle of last year on expectations the Federal Reserve will boost interest rates, making the US currency more attractive than bullion, which generally offers returns only through price gains.

In a rare comment on gold, Yi Gang, the central bank’s deputy governor, said in March 2013 that the country could only invest as much as 2% of its foreign-exchange holdings in gold because the market was too small. The press office of the People’s Bank of China in Beijing didn’t respond to a fax seeking comment sent on April 14.

More Scope - “I wouldn’t expect a huge jump in gold holdings,” said Andy Ji, a currency strategist and China economist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Singapore.

Ashish Bhatia, the World Gold Council’s director, central banks and public policy, in New York, said there’s a lot of room for China to expand. It’s ideal for central banks to have 4% to 10% of assets in gold, he said. The PBOC may already hold at least 3,000 tons, said Warren Hogan, chief economist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Sydney.

“Gold has always been, through the history of China, a way to project power,” Kenneth Hoffman, a metals and mining analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, said in an interview on April 9. “They are thinking about how to make the yuan more international, and so this is a possible reason why they are buying so much gold.”

The walk-in cash trade was active today and so were the phones but the action seems slow considering a “5” on our Activity Scale. The public in general does not seem too excited about lower prices – usually a plus with the over-the-counter crowd. So the higher activity rating may be the result on a few larger buys and not a generally higher interest because of lower prices.

The GoldDealer.com Unscientific Activity Scale is a “ 5” for Wednesday. The CNI Activity Scale takes into consideration volume and the hedge book: (last Thursday – 2) (last Friday – 2) (Monday – 3) (Tuesday – 5). The scale (1 through 10) is a reliable way to understand our volume numbers. The Activity Scale is weighted and is not necessarily real time – meaning we could be busy and see a low number – or be slow and see a high number. This is true because of the way our computer runs what we call the “book”.

Our “activity” is better understood from a wider point of view. If the numbers are generally increasing – it would indicate things are busier – decreasing numbers over a longer period would indicate volume is moving lower.

When buying or selling you will receive an email confirmation. This includes a PDF File to confirm your invoice or purchase order and includes forms of payment and bank wire instructions. When doing business please check to see if your current email has been entered into the new system and check to see if your computer will accept our email (no spam).

We always appreciate you keeping us up to date when moving or changing your email.

We believe our four flat screens downstairs with live independent pricing (BullionDesk.com) are unique in the United States. The walk-in cash trade can see in an instant the current prices of all bullion products and a daily graph illustrates the range of the markets on any given day.

Yes - you can visit the store with cash and walk away with your product. Or you can bring product to the store and walk away with cash. We will even wire funds into your account that same day for a small service fee ($25.00) if you are in a hurry.

In addition to our freshly ground coffee we offer complimentary cold bottled water, Cokes and Snapple. We also provide fresh fruit in a transparent attempt to disguise our regular junk food habits as we sneak down the block for the best donuts in the world (Randy’s).

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CNI_golddealer. Sal is now in charge of our Facebook page and he is a self-proclaimed expert on gold conspiracy theory. He would be happy to respond to even the most ridiculous conspiracy assertion on our Facebook page so why not join the fun?

Thanks for reading – we appreciate your business and enjoy your evening!

Disclaimer – The content in this newsletter and on the GoldDealer.com website is provided for informational purposes only and our employees are not registered financial advisers. The precious metals and rare coin market is random and highly volatile so it may not be suitable for some individuals. We suggest before deciding on a course of action that you talk with an independent financial professional. While due care has been exercised in development and dissemination of our web site, the Almost Famous Gold Newsletter, or other promotional material, there is no guarantee of correctness so this corporation and its employees shall be held harmless in all cases. GoldDealer.com (California Numismatic Investments, Inc.) and its employees do not render legal, tax, or investment advice.

Gold Higher as Greek Worries are Back on Deck

Commentary for Tuesday, April 21, 2015 ( www.golddealer.com) – Gold closed up $9.40 on the Comex today at $1202.90. This looks like some safe-haven buying as the Greek default possibility is once again considered.

This entire debt mess is turning into wonderment – even the EU deep thinkers can’t solve this mess. So for now gold is the beneficiary but believe me Greece is small change relative to problems in the US and Europe. These massive inequities create no public heat at all and so it’s amazing that this small country moves the gold price needle.

There was also some short-covering here in the paper market which is good because it keeps the wolf at bay during the beginning of the soon to be EU quantitative easing fiasco.

Now consider a much more important metric: the central banks of the world continue to accumulate gold when the public and paper traders think the price of gold is moving lower. Reports have the Russians buying 1 million ounces of gold in April bringing their estimated total holdings to 39.8 million ounces (1237 tonnes). The US holds 8,000 tonnes of gold and the world central banks have been net buyers for 14 quarters. The Royal Bank of Canada claims central bankers purchased 409 tonnes in 2014 – the second largest yearly accumulation in 50 years.

As far as gold bullion sales across the counter – generally things have been slow until late yesterday when a number of whales showed up. Now certainly a few large 6 figure buys does not make a trend but this is first of the big boy buys we have seen in a while.

The dollar was also a bit weaker in late trading which helped firm gold up on the short term. The Dollar Index range today was 97.64 through 98.46 and is 97.95 as of this writing – so we are moving lower on the daily range. There is also some credible commentary indicating the big push to higher ground in the dollar may be coming to an end. I am not sure at this point but if true it would certainly support gold above $1200.00.

Silver was higher by $0.12 at $16.00 with no real big action to report across the counter.

Here we go again! The Canadians are minting a small silver coin with a face value of either $100.00 or $50.00 and selling the product for its face value. Anytime you are paying a big premium for a bullion coin hold on to your wallet. This interesting take on legal tender coins is almost as old as I am – they tried it a number of times in the past 30 years. And they aren’t the only ones – the Japanese have also played this goofy card. The problem is that after these coins are sold for their “face value” to consumers there seems to be no reliable way cashing them in for “green”. The idea has been a flop in the past and there is no reason to believe things will change.

Platinum was up by $4.00 at $1152.00 and palladium was up $2.00 at $774.00. Things have quieted down here too but we still see the occasional trade of gold bullion for platinum bullion.

This from Reuters - The dollar held gains on Tuesday, drawing support as the euro slid overnight on increasing worries that Greece could default on its debt and eventually exit the single currency.

Athens is in negotiations with its Eurozone partners and the International Monetary Fund over reforms required to unlock remaining bailout funds. Public sector entities have been ordered to transfer idle reserves to the central bank to help with a cash squeeze.

The Greek crisis would have typically boosted safe-haven appeal for bullion, but the strength in the dollar, along with a sharp rally on Wall Street on Monday, offset any such bids.

Asian stocks were firm after China's latest step to prop up its faltering economy lifted global equities.

Another focus will be U.S. economic data and a Federal Reserve policy meeting later this month for clues on when the U.S. central bank could start raising interest rates.

Russia's gold reserves rose to 39.8 million troy ounces as of April 1 from 38.8 million ounces a month earlier, the central bank said on Monday.

Bullion investors were also watching physical demand in top consumer India, which on Tuesday celebrates the Akshaya Tritiya festival, considered one of the most auspicious days to buy gold.

Supply of the yellow metal into India has risen sharply in the build-up to Akshaya Tritiya, although it remains to be seen if consumers will lap up gold products with their usual enthusiasm, after a drop in gold prices.

The walk-in cash trade was steady today and so were the phones.

The GoldDealer.com Unscientific Activity Scale is a “ 5” for Tuesday. The CNI Activity Scale takes into consideration volume and the hedge book: (last Wednesday – 2) (last Thursday – 2) (last Friday – 2) (Monday – 3). The scale (1 through 10) is a reliable way to understand our volume numbers. The Activity Scale is weighted and is not necessarily real time – meaning we could be busy and see a low number – or be slow and see a high number. This is true because of the way our computer runs what we call the “book”.

Our “activity” is better understood from a wider point of view. If the numbers are generally increasing – it would indicate things are busier – decreasing numbers over a longer period would indicate volume is moving lower.

When buying or selling you will receive an email confirmation. This includes a PDF File to confirm your invoice or purchase order and includes forms of payment and bank wire instructions. When doing business please check to see if your current email has been entered into the new system and check to see if your computer will accept our email (no spam).

We always appreciate you keeping us up to date when moving or changing your email.

We believe our four flat screens downstairs with live independent pricing (BullionDesk.com) are unique in the United States. The walk-in cash trade can see in an instant the current prices of all bullion products and a daily graph illustrates the range of the markets on any given day.

Yes - you can visit the store with cash and walk away with your product. Or you can bring product to the store and walk away with cash. We will even wire funds into your account that same day for a small service fee ($25.00) if you are in a hurry.

In addition to our freshly ground coffee we offer complimentary cold bottled water, Cokes and Snapple. We also provide fresh fruit in a transparent attempt to disguise our regular junk food habits as we sneak down the block for the best donuts in the world (Randy’s).

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CNI_golddealer. Sal is now in charge of our Facebook page and he is a self-proclaimed expert on gold conspiracy theory. He would be happy to respond to even the most ridiculous conspiracy assertion on our Facebook page so why not join the fun?

Thanks for reading – we appreciate your business and enjoy your evening!

Disclaimer – The content in this newsletter and on the GoldDealer.com website is provided for informational purposes only and our employees are not registered financial advisers. The precious metals and rare coin market is random and highly volatile so it may not be suitable for some individuals. We suggest before deciding on a course of action that you talk with an independent financial professional. While due care has been exercised in development and dissemination of our web site, the Almost Famous Gold Newsletter, or other promotional material, there is no guarantee of correctness so this corporation and its employees shall be held harmless in all cases. GoldDealer.com (California Numismatic Investments, Inc.) and its employees do not render legal, tax, or investment advice.

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