Compiled 04/24/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,638.75 -$6.75 LME Copper Stocks 256,875 tons -1,975 tons GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) The gold market appears to be facing a marginally improved outside market environment today, as equities are generally higher and for the time being it would seem like anxiety toward the Euro zone debt situation is under control. Dutch debt auctions this morning failed to float all the debt offered, but the yields were acceptable and that was accompanied by a similar acceptable auction result from Italy. CDS rates were narrowing but many traders are suggesting that is merely the result of a significant ramping up of the CDS rates yesterday. With somewhat supportive currency market action and some gains in other metals prices this morning, the bear camp in gold doesn't have a number of other markets working in its favor today. The gold market might draft some support from news that Mexico and Russia increased their gold and currency reserves, but the real focus of the gold trade recently has been on world wide investor demand and perhaps not as much on central bank demand. From the gold production front, the news was mixed overnight as a couple sizable gold producers reported a decline in output, while a smaller producer reported an increase in quarterly gold production. Perhaps some of the improved attitudes overnight are in anticipation of the beginning of the US FOMC meeting, but skirting a series of European debt auctions, with acceptable results, has to favor the bull camp, as many markets were seemingly factoring in the prospect of serious trouble. In looking ahead, the US economic report slate today is rather active, with a private home price survey, New Home sales, Consumer Confidence and a Richmond Fed Manufacturing survey all due for release this morning. Home prices and Confidence are expected to be soft, while some economists think the home sales figures might be able to claw out a very minor gain. Comex Gold Stocks were 10.993 million ounces up 90,188 ounces. Stocks have declined 12 of the last 20 days. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) Equity markets in Asia were weaker to start, but the Hong Kong market eventually managed a minimal gain. European markets were a little higher to start today, as CDS rates in the region were coming down and debt auctions overnight failed to whip up anxiety again. However, European corporate earnings have generally continued to disappoint investors, especially when compared to year ago results. Early in the US trade today, share prices were modestly higher, with the markets apparently breathing a little easier in the wake of this morning's European debt news. However, the US economic report slate today is rather active, with the high points potentially coming from Consumer Confidence and Home sales figures. While the FOMC meeting officially begins today, the market doesn't expect any specific news from that front until early Wednesday afternoon.