Compiled 03/05/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,698.00 -$16.50 LME Copper Stocks 285,825 tons -3,175 tons Shanghai Copper stocks +5,401 tons to 221,487 tons SILVER MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CT) Like gold, the silver market is at least partially undermined by the fear of sub-par growth in China. In looking at the positioning reports released after the close on Friday, the bear camp might suggest that the silver market was somewhat overbought technically and vulnerable to technical selling pressure. With the rest of the metals complex starting out weaker, equities showing early declines and a host of physical commodity markets showing initial weakness, the bear camp in silver might feel like they have a headline edge today. In fact, expectations for softer US scheduled data later this morning might be another element providing the bear camp with some fresh confidence this morning. Traders should be on the look out for an afternoon impact on silver prices from a series of Fed speeches but the Fed has recently seemed to favor the bear camp. Comex Silver Stocks were 130.439 million ounces up 21,758 ounces. Stocks have declined 11 of the last 20 days. The Commitments of Traders Futures and Options report as of February 28th for Silver showed Non-Commercial traders were net long 35,562 contracts, an increase of 5,811 contracts. The Commercial traders were net short 51,472 contracts, an increase of 8,448 contracts. The Non-reportable traders were net long 15,910 contracts, an increase of 2,637 contracts. Non-Commercial and Non-reportable combined traders held a net long position of 51,472 contracts. This represents an increase of 8,448 contracts in the net long position held by these traders. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CT) Asia equity markets were lower off profit taking in the wake of slower growth projections from the Chinese leader at the NPC meeting in Beijing. European equity markets were also weaker in the wake of soft European February PMI readings, a softer Chinese economic outlook and also because of concerns toward the next Greek aid tranche. Not surprisingly, the US equity markets also look to start the new trading week marginally lower because of the slower Chinese growth talk and also because of residual Greek debt concerns. The US economic report slate today is somewhat active, with On-line help wanted, ISM Non manufacturing and Manufacturers shipments due out in the morning trade and at least three Fed speeches scheduled for later in the trading session. Expectations generally call for minor contraction in both the ISM and manufacturing shipments data and that could combine with the early risk-off vibe for a bearish physical commodity market environment.