Compiled 02/18/11 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1385.50 +$8.50 LME Copper Stocks 407,925 tons +725 tons Shanghai Deliverable stocks were 161,062 tons +16,865 SILVER MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CT) The silver market did manage a fresh new high for the move overnight and in the process silver prices reached a fresh 31 year high. Apparently silver and gold continue to get residual flight to quality buying interest off Middle East concerns, inflation expectations and perhaps even from technically orientated buying off the overnight upside breakout move. As suggested in the gold coverage, there appears to be divergent views on the inflation threat this week as precious metals markets saw this week's news to be inflationary, while the US Treasury market didn't seem to come away with that same view. With the US economic report slate empty today, that probably leaves the Middle East tensions as the main focal point of the silver trade today. An issue that might serve to temper some of the upside action in silver, is talk that some silver miners appear to have begun to hedge forward production, as investors have generally favored mining companies that give them exposure to higher metals prices. Comex Silver Stocks were 102.553 million ounces up 17,364 ounces. Silver stocks have declined 12 of the last 20 days. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CT) While equity markets in Asia were mixed during overnight trading, stock indices in Europe are generally weaker this morning. Early indications are for the US stock market to open with moderate losses this morning. The Dollar is slightly stronger against most of the major currencies during overnight trading, although posting a small loss against the Pound. The Chinese central bank raised reserve requirements on banks in China by 0.50%, the second hike this year and the eighth since the beginning of last year. Euro zone emergency overnight borrowing was more than 16 billion Euro, the second day in a row that figure has been much higher than normal levels and the highest amount since the middle of 2009. German PPI during January was up 5.7% year-on-year, higher than expectations. UK Retail Sales during January were up 1.9%, much higher than forecasts. A French Business Confidence survey during February was at 106, weaker than expected. There are no major US economic numbers to be released this morning. However, Fed Chairman Bernanke will give a speech during the session.