Compiled 04/12/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,655.50 +1.50 LME Copper Stocks 266,075 tons -1,075 tons SILVER MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CT) A pattern of lower highs in silver this week haven't prevented the silver trade from carving out periodic price gains in the early Thursday US action. Silver also seems to have discounted news of higher/record silver production from a Canadian miner in their 1st quarter results. However, initial gains in silver, platinum and copper prices suggest that macro economic sentiment is somewhat positive today and that view is given added credence by initial gains in US equities. The bulls are probably relieved that Italian debt auctions haven't tripped up macro economic sentiment today, but it could take signs of improvement in US claims to provide additional buying interest in physical commodities like silver. As in gold, the silver market will see a number of Fed speeches today, but the recent company line from the Fed has been that they will ease if needed and they will tighten if it becomes apparent that the US economy is recovering faster than expected. In order to see silver and other physical commodities drift into a risk-on environment, probably requires positive economic readings and or positive corporate earnings news from the US. Comex Silver Stocks were 139.682 million ounces up 71,209 ounces. Silver stocks have increased 13 of the last 20 days. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CT) Asian equity markets were higher overnight, with the trade still tossing around the idea of upcoming Chinese easing, but there also seemed to be some hope that Chinese GDP readings tonight would come in positive. The European markets were softer, as they marked time ahead of Italian debt auction results, but it also seemed as if fears of slowing in the Euro zone were still being discussed. On the other hand, expectations of ongoing ECB bond buying activity and an eventual acceptable auction yield from Italy, should tamp down European economic anxieties temporarily. At least in the early US trade, equities were slightly higher, but the market will be presented with a fairly active report flow later today. Early in the session, the market will see a Fed speech from Dudley and that will be followed by PPI for March, Initial and Ongoing claims, International Trade figures and a mid morning speech from the Fed's Lockhart. There will also be speeches from the Fed's Plosser and Raskin in the early and late afternoon action.