by Alasdair MacLeod
The dramatic sell-off of the last few weeks ended on Monday morning when gold spiked down to an intraday low of $1765 (silver $21.90). But in morning trading today in the European time zone gold was at $1843, up $56 from last Friday’s close, and silver at $24.28, up $1.65 on the same timescale.
The sell-off in paper gold was a repetition of events every November and December bar one since 2015, and the cause appeared to be the same. In the run-up to the year end, the bullion banks manage prices in a book squaring exercise, using the expiry of the December contract to squeeze out the bulls. The only exception was 2018, when they failed to push prices lower, but they still rose strongly into 2019.
This time, an estimated 150,000 gold call options expired worthless, representing 467 tonnes of gold.