Compiled 04/16/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,648.25 -$22.25 LME Copper Stocks 261,700 tons -2,700 tons SILVER MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CT) Like gold, the silver market has started out weaker with an initial slide down to the $31.17 level in the May silver contract. Silver did see evidence of rising quarterly silver production from a Russian miner overnight but that news might have been countervailed by a somewhat bullish silver price forecast from Citi Bank. The margin reduction at the end of last week for silver, might be providing some support to silver prices today but with equities starting out higher and expectations for the retail sales report somewhat positive, the bull camp in silver doesn't appear to be fully embracing positive outside market conditions. As in gold, the silver trade isn't easily embracing positive economic views and therefore it isn't surprising to see many physical commodity markets starting out softer this morning. Comex Silver Stocks were 141.594 million ounces up 985,437 ounces. Comex Silver Stocks are now at the highest levels since 08/06/2008. The Commitments of Traders Futures and Options report as of April 10th for Silver showed Non-Commercial traders were net long 21,359 contracts, a decrease of 1,994 contracts. The Commercial traders were net short 30,452 contracts, a decrease of 5,142 contracts. The Non-reportable traders were net long 9,093 contracts, a decrease of 3,148 contracts. Non-Commercial and Non-reportable combined traders held a net long position of 30,452 contracts. This represents a decrease of 5,142 contracts in the net long position held by these traders. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CT) Asian equity markets were weaker overnight, as traders in the Shanghai market decided to bank profits from a recent string of gains. However, the Japanese market was down apparently off lingering Euro zone fears. Surprisingly, European markets were higher to start, as the favorable start to the US earnings cycle last week seemingly prompted some initial gains in that market. Early in the US Monday trading session, share prices were higher with as many as 1/5th of the S&P 500 scheduled to report earnings this week. The US economic report slate today could be important with March retail sales due out and expectations calling for a minimal gain in that report. Also due out today are an Empire State Manufacturing survey, Treasury Capital flows, NAHB April housing index and Business Inventories. Many of the secondary reports are expected to be slightly lower and or unchanged, but it is possible that the brunt of the focus today will be on the US retail sales figures. The markets might also take some direction from Citi Group earnings this morning, which are due out prior to the Wall Street open.