Compiled 01/18/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,657.00 -$5.00 LME Copper Stocks 365,375 tons -1,525 tons SILVER MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CT) Silver appears to be content to consolidate around the $30.00 level on the charts. In general, there would appear to be a risk on environment in place to start and that has probably lent some support to silver prices. A weaker dollar and initially higher US equity market action are also issues favoring the bull camp to start. However, the bear camp is probably holding out hope that debt restructuring talks in Greece will break down or perhaps the bears are simply hopeful that US debt ceiling issues will weigh on silver and physical commodity prices later today. However, expectations are calling for generally positive US scheduled data and that might serve to underpin the bull camp. While the silver market hasn't paid that much attention to classic physical supply news lately, a large international silver miner Fresnillo managed to beat its annual silver production target. Some traders think that silver has seen some drag on prices from recent Indian duty changes, while others think that silver is destined to take most of its near term direction from the direction of equities. Comex Silver Stocks were 125.639 million ounces down 340,560 ounces. Silver stocks have increased 15 of the last 20 days. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CT) Equity markets in Asia were generally mixed overnight. European stocks were also mixed but early US equity market action was positive. Overnight the market saw talk that the IMF might be poised to expand its lending capacity by as much as $1 trillion and that might increase confidence in the IMF capacity to assist the Euro zone in its debt battles. The markets saw well attended debt auctions from Germany and Portugal overnight and that looks to have fostered some optimism, which in turn could provide some support to physical commodity markets. The US Dollar has started out weaker against the euro and it was also generally weaker against most of the actively traded currencies. In looking ahead, the US markets will see a PPI report, Industrial Production, Capacity Utilization and a NAHB housing index report. Expectations for the US data call for generally positive readings today but that optimism could be countervailed in the face of debt restructuring efforts in Greece. It is also possible that US debt ceiling wrangling might find its way into the headlines as an influence on metals, but unless there is a surprise extension of the US debt ceiling, that issue might be difficult to shape into a positive for physical commodity markets.