Compiled 02/28/11 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1409.75 +$24.25 LME Copper Stocks 421,000 tons +4,175 tons GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) Talk that unrest was being seen in Oman overnight apparently added to the uncertainty flowing from the Middle East and that in turn seems to have provided the gold market with an initial lift this morning. Rumors that Egypt banned the export of gold haven't been officially confirmed but that type of talk in conjunction with news that Vietnam might move to ban gold bullion trading, seems to reconfirm the safe haven importance of the yellow metal in the current environment. Some traders think that gold prices will be lifted in the wake of a rather robust US Personal Spending figure this morning, while others think that soft US data from other US reports today will serve to keep macro economic sentiment confusing. Many in the trade are looking ahead to upcoming dialogue from the US Fed Chairman, as the turmoil in the Middle East might prompt the Fed to go ahead and deploy the remainder of QE2 rather than risk slowing at the hands of high oil prices. Comex Gold Stocks were 11.077 million ounces down 3,036. Stocks have declined 13 of the last 20 days. The Commitments of Traders Futures and Options report as of February 22nd for Gold showed Non-Commercial traders were net long 213,250 contracts, an increase of 13,825 contracts. The Commercial traders were net short 266,791 contracts, an increase of 19,614 contracts. The Non-reportable traders were net long 53,541 contracts, an increase of 5,790 contracts. Non-Commercial and Non-reportable combined traders held a net long position of 266,791 contracts. This represents an increase of 19,615 contracts in the net long position held by these traders. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) While equity markets in Asia were mixed during overnight trading, stock indices in Europe are generally weaker this morning. Early indications are for the US stock market to open today's session with slightly weaker. The Dollar is weaker against most of the major currencies during overnight trading, although posting a small gain against the Yen. President Gaddafi of Libya has continued to hold power, even with rebel forces in control of additional cities over the weekend. The new ruling coalition in Ireland will attempt to renegotiate the terms of their recent EU bailout. Euro Zone inflation during January was up 2.3% year-on-year, lower than expectations. Japanese Industrial Output during January was up 2.4%, lower than forecasts. Major US economic numbers to be released this morning include January Personal Spending and Income, a PCE Deflator at 7:30 AM, a private survey of Chicago Purchasing Managers at 8:45 AM, and a private survey of Pending Home Sales at 9:00 AM. In addition, Fed Regional Presidents Dudley and Rosengren will give speeches during today's session.