In a move that is sure to raise the ire of the GIAMATT crowd, ( insert sarcasm here ), the CME announced a reduction in margin rates for gold by 7.7% as of the close of trading today ( Friday ). Speculative margins are now being lowered to $6,600 from the previous initial margin of $7,150. Maintenance margin drops to $6,000 from the current $6,500.
Silver margins are now cut 8.3%. Specs must put up $9,075 for an initial margin down from the current $9,900. Maintenance margins have been lowered to $8,250 from $9,000.
The recent range trade in both precious metals has resulted in lower volatility and that is being picked up in the exchange's computer program which measures that and either raises or lowers the margin requirements accordingly.
I am always amused by the reaction to these events by the GIAMATT crowd because inevitably, whenever the precious metals begin to make big trending moves ( in the upward direction ) , the swings in price begin to intensify. That ramp up in volatility, especially when gold is in a strong uptrend, can easily wipe out smaller, underfunded traders. The exchanges then respond in order to safeguard the Clearinghouse and to make sure that the process is protected. The perma gold bull camp then screeches to high heaven that it is all the more proof that the powers that be are manipulating gold by trying to force out the speculators.
Given the current low volatility by recent comparisons, this move by the exchange will actually make it easier for both longs and shorts, to increase the number of positions. If one is bullish, it actually makes it cheaper to increase the number of long positions in either metal. With the current positioning of the speculative community being net long, this benefits the bulls. Don't expect to hear a negative peep out of the GIAMATT crowd about this however. It is only when the exchanges raise the margins that they begin making noise.
One could easily make the equally bogus argument that the exchanges are making it much easier for specs to pad their current net long positions by lowering these margin requirements thus providing solid evidence that the exchange is working overtime to manipulate the price of gold higher, which is evidently a dastardly thing to do to the poor, friendless gold bears.
In overnight trading this evening, traders are expecting a victory in the Indian elections which is viewed as favorable for gold demand in that big consuming nation. Gold has popped up a few dollars as a result. The metal continues to hold above key support near the $1280 region.
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