The following provides an in-depth analysis of the COMEX futures options market for gold and silver.
Gold: Recent Delivery Month
Gold started June delivery with 22,394 contracts outstanding. This is below April and December, but above August, October, and February. It is about on par with last June.
Despite rising through the month, the Fed balance ended up shrinking slightly by $25 billion in May, even as it slightly increased its Treasury holdings.
This was the first monthly decline in the balance sheet since $220B of “Other” rolled off in July 2020. In that case, “Other” were repurchase agreements with foreign entities to provide liquidity and alleviate stress in the global markets.
The price analysis last month identified the near-term risk that gold could fall below $1880 and even $1850 despite a medium-term bullish outlook. The $1800 level was identified as a key marker for keeping the bull move intact. So far, that has held and produced a solid bounce back towards $1850 which becomes the next hurdle.
This analysis focuses on gold and silver within the Comex/CME futures exchange. See the article What is the Comex? for more detail. The charts and tables below specifically analyze the physical stock/inventory data at the Comex to show the physical movement of metal into and out of Comex vaults.
Tax revenues have been on the rise for about 18 months. As speculated previously, if this windfall was temporary, it would have shown up with a deficit in April due to a higher than normal tax returns surge. April is historically a positive month for the Treasury, but a surge in tax returns leading to a deficit would have suggested the past year was potentially a fluke.
The latest seasonally adjusted inflation rate for April came in higher than expectations at 0.34% MoM and 8.28% YoY. The main driver for the MoM slowdown was a fall in Energy prices.
According to the BLS, the economy added 428k jobs in April. This exactly matched the March number after it was revised down by 3k. The unemployment rate stayed flat at 3.6%. The Labor Force Participation rate dropped from 62.4% to 62.2%. YoY, this April is up 165k jobs compared to last April.
The Treasury reduced the total debt by $27B in April. This is not atypical since Tax Day falls in April. In April 2016 and 2018, the debt shrunk $78B and $21B respectively. April 2017 and 2019 were both flat due to a debt ceiling saga. 2020 and 2021 were exceptions because the tax deadline was extended.