Compiled 01/12/11 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1383.50 +$2.50 LME Copper Stocks 378,175 tons -1,475 tons SILVER MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CT) The March silver contract initially managed a fresh new high for the move and in turn they reached the highest price level since January 5th. Like gold, silver seems to have been slightly undermined by the news of a favorable Euro zone auction result, but with the markets facing a series of Euro zone debt auctions over the coming trading sessions, the trade might not be able to completely play down the flight to quality angle. However, silver might have benefited from more merger and buyout activity in the iron ore arena overnight, especially because the takeover involved Chinese interests and that could rekindle ideas that most physical commodities remain in vogue. While the Euro initially showed strength off the Portugal debt auction results, it was unable to maintain a distinctly positive track into the US Wednesday morning trade. Like gold, the silver market could take some direction from the action in the grain markets today but only if the government report this morning sparks widespread fears of sharply rising food prices. Comex Silver Stocks were 104.240 million ounces down 2,014 ounces. Silver stocks have declined in 11 of the last 20 days. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CT) While equity markets in Asia and Europe are generally stronger during overnight trading, early indications are for the US stock market to open moderately higher this morning. The Dollar is lower against most of the major currencies during overnight trading. An Australian Central Bank board member said that this month's flooding in Queensland could cut Australian GDP growth by up to 1%. Portugal will auction up to 1.25 billion Euros worth of 4-year and 10-year bonds this morning. An EU report has stated that a one-off tax on Euro zone banks could pay for the upcoming European Stability Mechanism. Euro zone Industrial Production during November was up 1.2%, higher than expectations. German GDP during 2010 was up 3.6% year-on-year, in line with expectations. The UK Trade deficit during November was 8.74 billion Pounds, larger than forecasts. Major US economic numbers this morning include December Import and Export Prices released at 7:30 AM, and a private survey of mortgage applications released before the opening. The latest version of the Federal Reserve's Beige Book will also be released at 1:00 PM. The second leg of the Treasury's monthly refunding, the 10-year note auction, will have the auction results announced at 12:00 PM. Treasury Secretary Geithner and regional Fed President Fisher will give speeches during the session.