[As a result of the furlough, the regulator is simply incapable of doing anything.]
It was precisely a month ago when, in "Vicious Gold Slamdown Breaks Gold Market For 20 Seconds" we wrote:
There was a time when, if selling a sizable amount of a security, one tried to get the best execution price and not alert the buyers comprising the bid stack that there is (substantial) volume for sale. Of course, there was and always has been a time when one tried to manipulate prices by slamming the bid until it was fully taken out, usually just before close of trading, an illegal practice known as "banging the close." It appears that when it comes to gold, the former is long gone history, and the latter is perfectly legal. As the two charts below from Nanex demonstrate, overnight just before 3 am Eastern, a block of just 2000 GC gold futures contracts slammed the price of gold, on no news as usual, sending it lower by $10/oz. However, that is not new: such slamdowns happen every day in the gold market, and the CFTC constantly turns a blind eye. What was different about last night's slam however, is that this time whoever was doing the forced, manipulation selling, just happened to also break the market. Indeed: following the hit, the entire gold market was NASDARKed for 20 seconds after a circuit breaker halted trading!
Moments ago it just happened again. As part of the already noted massive gold slamdown just before 9 am Eastern, when "someone" sold an epic 2 million ounces of gold in one trade, the CME just went dark for 10 seconds, blaming it on an appropriately named "stop logic" event.
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