Compiled 04/18/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,646.50 -$5.50 LME Copper Stocks 261,150 tons +75 tons SILVER MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CT) While the May silver contract has managed to carve out some initial positive action this morning, there doesn't appear to be a definitive risk on bias in place to start today. The US economic report slate today is nearly empty, but there could be some official dialogue from the US Treasury, the World Bank and or the IMF today, as there are a series of conferences and meetings scheduled today. However, the main focus of the silver trade will probably be on the US economy and perhaps not as much on the IMF/European situation. A major Mexican silver producer overnight suggested that silver production was likely to meet forecasted expectations, with a new mine actually producing ahead of schedule. Fortunately for the bull camp in silver, the focus of the silver trade has been on demand, instead of supply, but even the demand side of the equation has been somewhat suspect recently. A steady rise in open interest might be seen as a sign of accumulation by the bulls, but the pattern of lower highs on the charts might leave some buyers fearful of further price erosion ahead. Like gold, the silver market needs improved macro economic views, the promise of easing, or sharply higher equities to countervail a pattern of weakness on the charts that has been in place since late February. Comex Silver Stocks were 140.121 million ounces up 574,790 ounces. Stocks have increased 13 of the last 20 days. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CT) Asian equity markets were stronger overnight, with Chinese investors relieved with the lack of disconcerting news flow from Europe. The Asian trade might also have seen some lift off US earnings news and there also seemed to be some ongoing hopes of easing from the PBOC. European markets were weaker to start today on what appeared to be a classic profit taking setback. Early in the US trade today share prices were mixed, with the markets somewhat disappointed by tech sector earnings news yesterday afternoon. The US economic report slate today is rather thin, with a weekly mortgage application survey released early in the trade and little else on the docket. There will be a series of comments from the US Treasury Secretary and World Bank officials today.