Compiled 02/24/11 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1385.50 +$8.50 LME Copper Stocks 411,750 tons -50 GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) April gold held firm overnight, even briefly trading above yesterday's high. The market continues to be well supported by the events in Libya, which have sparked sharply higher oil prices and safe-haven buying in gold. Crude oil continued its rally overnight after busting through the psychological $100 level yesterday, and that has provided support to gold. The Saudi Oil Minister has stated that his nation will boost oil output to offset a loss in Libyan production, but that does not appear to have calmed the crude oil markets much. Overnight, gold miner Yamana reported a 26% increase in proven reserves as of the end of 2010, to 22.1 million ounces. If the US economic data comes in strong this morning on top of the better than expected European Consumer Confidence data overnight, we might see some easing of the flight to quality support to gold. But overall, it looks like the situation will remain volatile and that it will not take much to send gold back to the January (or even the contract) highs. Comex Gold Stocks came in at 11.144 million ounces, down 193. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) While equity markets in Asia were mixed during overnight trading, stock indices in Europe were generally weaker this morning. Early indications are for the US stock market to open with moderate losses. The Dollar was weaker against most of the major currencies during overnight trading. The situation in Libya remains uncertain, as forces allied with President Muammar Qaddafi have been fighting against a revolt in that nation. Chinese officials have indicated that higher oil prices will have more of an impact on limiting manufacturing growth than raising inflation levels. Euro zone Economic Sentiment during February was at 107.8, higher than expectations. A survey of French Consumer Confidence during February was at 85.0, in line with forecasts. Major US economic numbers to be released this morning include Weekly Jobless Claims as well as January Durable Goods at 7:30 AM, and January New Home Sales at 9:00 AM. The results of the final leg of the Treasury's monthly refunding, the 7-year note auction, will be announced at 12:00 PM. In addition, Fed Regional President Bullard will give a speech during today's session.