Compiled 02/03/11 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1332.50 -$4.50 LME Copper Stocks 394,475 tons +700 tons GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) The gold market comes into the Thursday trade sitting near the lower end of the last two weeks consolidation pattern. Apparently gold isn't getting a distinct lift from inflation talk, as two noted fund managers overnight (Rodgers and Farber) suggested that inflationary pressures are on the rise. The gold market yesterday didn't seem to get much lift from much stronger than expected US private payroll readings and that suggests that gold isn't locked in on the ebb and flow of economic activity. The gold market also didn't seem to get much support yesterday from news that Indian gold imports for January jumped to 40 tons, even with expectations that next month's Indian gold import tally could also be strong due to seasonal influences. With the Dollar from this week's high, sitting as much as 100 points lower and the trade fearful that the ECB might threaten to raise rates and stem inflation, one might have expected gold prices to have garnered some support from the currency market action this week. However, with favorable UK and US data this week, portions of the trade still think that an improving global economy is partially undermining the gold market. The gold market could garner some support from news overnight of a decline in Russian 2010 gold production, which showed a drop of slightly less than 1.5% versus 2009. The market also saw news of an increase in Turkish gold imports for the month of January, but that news doesn't seem to have offset concerns that an improving global economy might make gold a less attractive holding. While the gold market this week hasn't played up the fear of rising rates as was seen in the mid January gold slide, it would seem like favorable economic readings and or hawkish dialogue from the ECB meeting could favor the bear camp in the gold trade today. Comex Gold Stocks were 11.402 million ounces down 2,898 ounces. Stocks have declined 12 of the last 20 days. Comex Gold stocks are at the lowest in the past 10 readings. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) While equity markets in Asia and Europe were mixed during overnight trading, early indications are for the US stock market to open near unchanged levels this morning. The Dollar is slightly stronger against most of the major currencies during overnight trading, although posting a loss against the Pound. Supporters of President Mubarak continue to clash with Egyptian protestors, with the Muslim Brotherhood now calling for a national unity government to replace Mubarak. Cyclone Yasi made landfall on the Queensland coast of Australia, and was expected to move well inland before losing much of its power. The UN's Food Price Index reached a record level during January, with projections for even higher levels ahead due to bad global weather. The European Central Bank is expected to keep benchmark Euro zone interest rates unchanged at their monetary policy meeting today. Euro zone Retail Sales during December were down 0.6%, lower than expectations. Major US economic numbers to be released this morning include Weekly Jobless Claims and fourth quarter Non-Farm Productivity at 7:30 AM, December Factory Orders as well as a private survey of US non-Manufacturing Business Activity at 9:00 AM, and a private survey of US employment released before the opening. In addition, Fed Chairman Bernanke will give a speech during the session.