Compiled 11/17/11 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,756.00 -17.00 LME Copper Stocks 399,625 tons -1,300 tons GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) Despite a series of potentially supportive gold demand forecasts from the World Gold Council overnight, gold prices have started the Thursday US trade action off on a definitively weaker price track. Not surprisingly, the WGC reiterated the potential for Chinese gold demand to rise sharply and ultimately for that reading to reach the 750 ton mark this year. The WGC also pegged Indian 2011 gold demand to reach 960 tons and those readings should also serve to underpin gold prices slightly today. It is a little surprising that the gold market wasn't able to draft more support off comments from the WGC that central bank gold demand in the 3rd quarter, doubled the prior quarter, especially since those figures were much stronger than many traders and analysts had expected. While the gold market doesn't seem to be benefiting from the latest Euro zone flap, the WGC suggested that gold prices were likely to garner some support next year from the Euro zone debt crisis. Given the intense focus on the ebb and flow of Euro zone troubles, the gold market might not see much of a reaction to a rather active slate of US economic data today and therefore it is also possible that US Fed dialogue around mid session will have little lasting impact on gold prices. At least to start today, the gold market is behaving like a classic physical commodity market, facing an ongoing threat of slowing. Comex Gold Stocks were 11.237 million ounces up 1,351 ounces. Gold stocks have declined in 11 of the last 20 days. Comex Gold stocks are at their highest levels in the past 10. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) While equity markets in Asia were mixed during overnight trading, stock indices in Europe are generally lower this morning. Early indications are that US equity markets will open close to unchanged levels later on today. The US Dollar is moderately stronger against most of the major currencies this morning. A major credit ratings agency warned yesterday that US banks could see a downgrade due to their exposure to European markets. UK Retail Sales during October were up 0.6%, higher than market expectations. Major US economic numbers to be released this morning include Weekly Jobless Claims and October Housing Starts at 7:30 AM, and the Philly Fed manufacturing survey at 9:00 AM. In addition, Fed Regional Presidents Pianalto and Dudley will speak during the session.