Compiled 02/02/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,747.50 +$3.50 LME Copper Stocks 328,675 tons -625 tons GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) At least to start today, the gold market appears to lack a definitive opinion, even though Asian stocks were higher and the S&P seemed to have somewhat positive views toward the potential track of the European economy. In fact, S&P suggested that the odds were tilted in favor of a mild European recession/slow recovery and that is certainly a better proposition than the hard landing or worse fears that dominated the European landscape off and on for the last 12 months. Gold might have been partially undermined by predictions of a slight decline in Indian gold imports for the month of January versus year ago levels, especially after the Indian gold price peg was lifted earlier this week. However, gold reportedly saw some improved demand in Asia overnight but that might have been catch up action to the gains forged in the US Wednesday gold trade. Some traders think the $1,750 level has become a pivot point in the April gold contract, but others think gold will need to see more gains in the Euro and or gains in US equities today just to put the bull camp in definitive control of gold prices. It would seem like gold prices have continued to mostly track physical commodity market fundamentals and therefore the claims figures today might serve to set the tone of prices for the Thursday morning US trade. Comex Gold Stocks were 11.493 million ounces down 964 ounces. Gold stocks have declined in 12 of the last 20 days. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) Asian equity markets were generally stronger this morning, off mostly up beat data flows. However, European equities were mixed to slightly weaker overnight off some softer than expected guidance from a couple multinational heavyweights. In the early action today, US equities were showing mixed action, and it would appear that the US market is looking for some guidance from scheduled data or perhaps from a series of Fed speeches later today. From the US scheduled data front, the markets will be presented with a private layoff report early on and that will be followed by weekly claims figures, which are expected to post a minor decline. While the market will also see a US Productivity reading, the trade doesn't think that today's Productivity readings are likely to have a noted impact on Fed policy. It is also possible that a series of Fed speeches/testimony could have an impact on precious metals and physical commodity markets during the session today. A portion of the trade thinks the Fed will hint at more assistance for the US economy.