Compiled 02/28/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,774.75 +$9.75 LME Copper Stocks 298,850 tons -1,625 tons SILVER MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CT) Surprisingly the silver market seems to have a more impressive chart setup than the gold market to start the Tuesday US trade. In fact, March silver almost retested the old high and in turn has spent a moderate amount of time this morning trading above the prior session's closing level. Silver and copper seem to be garnering some lift from weaker oil prices, as that in turn has tempered the fear of restricted consumer spending activity ahead. It is also possible that silver is garnering some lift from anticipation of a risk on wave in the wake of the upcoming European LTRO. A minor increase in silver derivative holdings might be lending some support to silver prices but the main focal point of the silver trade today, might be the US durable goods reading. However, expectations for US durable good report call for a contraction and that could at least temporarily undermine silver and other physical commodity prices. On the other hand, equities are higher, the Euro is stronger and attitudes toward the Euro zone situation are generally positive in the wake of lower Italian debt yields overnight and that should give the bull camp some capacity to stand up to the initial US scheduled data flows. Comex Silver Stocks were 129.457 million ounces up 562,470 ounces. Comex Silver stocks are now at their highest levels in the past 10 sessions. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CT) Asian equity markets were higher overnight ahead of the upcoming European LTRO and also because of gains in Chinese banking shares off ideas that the PBOC might be poised to ease further. European equity markets were getting a fresh lift off favorable Italian debt auction results, which in turn provided the trade with a fresh measure of confidence. It is also possible that favorable German and Euro zone confidence readings contributed to the mostly positive tone this morning. In looking ahead to the US trade today, the markets will be bracing for a US Durable goods report, a private home price survey and consumer confidence readings. In general, the trade seems to be embracing a modest risk-on vibe early this morning, but it could take better than expected US scheduled data to keep that sentiment in place through the US data window later on this morning. The markets will also see at least two Fed speeches today, one of which is expected to be focused on the US housing sector and that dialogue could become a noted impact on metals prices later this morning.