Compiled 02/23/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,776.50 +$24.50 LME Copper Stocks 304,875 tons -850 tons GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) The bull camp in gold has to be somewhat emboldened after the market managed to throw off significant weakness yesterday morning, especially with it eventually managing to carve out a fresh upside breakout on the charts. Gold might be drafting some fresh support from a stronger than expected German Ifo survey, but some bulls might be moving into gold because of rising oil prices. Some buyers think the odds of inflation are on the rise with the increase in energies, while others think that gold deserves to rise because of the failed talks between the UN and Iran. It is also possible that gold has seen some lift this week from hope of US tax reform, which some players hope will help the US get its deficit under control without seriously derailing the economy. Given gold's recent physical commodity market track, the initial claims figures could undermine gold prices temporarily this morning, as expectations are calling for a slight rise in jobless claims. With April gold from last week's lows rising as much as $76 an ounce, it would seem like the market is feeding higher off positive global macroeconomic hopes, Iranian fears and also because of supportive currency market action. Comex Gold Stocks were 11.425 million ounces down 6,477. 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) Asian equity markets were mixed overnight, with Hong Kong lower and Shanghai managing its 5th straight higher close. European equity markets started off higher and were given an added boost by a stronger than expected German Ifo reading. Some European markets were put off balance in the wake of talk that Euro zone growth was probably going to continue to contract. The US equity markets are showing a higher early track today. The view toward the Euro zone is mostly positive, and somehow the US markets have managed to spin recent US data into a positive. However, the metals markets could be tested today by a rather active flow of US scheduled data. The main release of the day might be US Initial Claims, which are expected to post a minor rise.