Compiled 01/31/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,738.00 +$17.50 LME Copper Stocks 330,825 tons -2,300 tons GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) The gold market seems to have found its footing overnight and in the process the April gold contract managed to reach up to the highest level since December 8th. Apparently the gold trade wasn't put off balance by news of a fresh record in Chinese gold production in 2011, as that news was probably widely anticipated. One might have expected the news of an annual gain in gold production of almost 6% in China to have taken the edge off the overnight upward bias in gold, but traders also think that Chinese gold demand is capable of matching and perhaps exceeding increases in domestic production. In fact, there were some reports overnight of increased Chinese gold demand, following the end of the extended Chinese New Year holiday period. Perhaps the gold market was lifted in the wake of news that Turkey might require an increase in the share of gold, held in reserve rate requirements, as that in a sense points to increased central bank ownership of gold in that country. In the end, gold looks poised to finish a rather impressive month of gains and that in of itself might be something spurring on the bull camp in the early US gold trade today. However, gold will probably need to see something positive from the US scheduled data front in order to keep the mostly positive macro economic vibe in place. Comex Gold Stocks were 11.493 million ounces down 32,153 ounces. Gold stocks have declined in 12 of the last 20 days. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) Asian equity markets were higher this morning, but stocks in Australia and New Zealand were a touch lower. European equity markets were higher and seemed to be poised to finish up a rather positive month of trade. The Euro zone jobless rate was unchanged at 10.4% for December, while the German January adjusted jobless rate reading showed a minor decline to 6.7% from 6.8%. In looking ahead to the US action today, the markets will be presented with a US employment cost index, Chicago ISM manufacturing and Consumer Confidence readings, with expectations calling for minor gains in both the ISM and Confidence reports. Most traders don't expect to see much in the way of inflationary pressures from the US employment cost index report this morning. Also due out during the session today, will be a private home price survey, which many analysts expect will show another minor decline in US home prices