Compiled 02/24/11 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1385.50 +$8.50 LME Copper Stocks 411,750 tons -50 SILVER MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CT) Like gold, March silver is finding safe haven support from the unrest in the Middle East North Africa region (MENA), especially Libya. So far silver has shrugged off concerns that the threat to the worldwide economy posed by soaring crude oil prices will hurt industrial silver demand. Instead, silver is playing the role of a precious metal. However, the market been unable to move outside of the wide range it posted on Tuesday, when it traded to its highest level since the 1980s. Comex Silver Stocks were 102.365 million ounces up 7,259. Stocks have declined 12 of the last 20 days. March silver is consolidating within Tuesday's wide range ($1.94), and it appears that it will take another dramatic development to shake it out of this pattern today. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CT) While equity markets in Asia were mixed during overnight trading, stock indices in Europe were generally weaker this morning. Early indications are for the US stock market to open with moderate losses. The Dollar was weaker against most of the major currencies during overnight trading. The situation in Libya remains uncertain, as forces allied with President Muammar Qaddafi have been fighting against a revolt in that nation. Chinese officials have indicated that higher oil prices will have more of an impact on limiting manufacturing growth than raising inflation levels. Euro zone Economic Sentiment during February was at 107.8, higher than expectations. A survey of French Consumer Confidence during February was at 85.0, in line with forecasts. Major US economic numbers to be released this morning include Weekly Jobless Claims as well as January Durable Goods at 7:30 AM, and January New Home Sales at 9:00 AM. The results of the final leg of the Treasury's monthly refunding, the 7-year note auction, will be announced at 12:00 PM. In addition, Fed Regional President Bullard will give a speech during today's session.