Compiled 05/01/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,661.25 -$1.25 LME Copper Stocks 221,550 tons -6,800 tons GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) Apparently gold was lifted yesterday by supportive currency market action but others think gold was lifted by fresh ideas of US easing directly ahead. Therefore the gold market will be at least somewhat hopeful of a hint of fresh easing from today's ECB meeting, especially with the recent turmoil in Spain rekindling renewed fears of a return to recession in the region. Perhaps further discussion of a growth compact will serve to lift gold and other physical commodity prices, but only if the trade sees distinct signs of forward progress on that issue. With the focus shifting toward easing prospects, it is possible that the US gold trade will need to see something soft from the US scheduled report slate today, to carve out another higher high on the charts. In addition to an ISM Manufacturing report, which is expected to make a slight decline, the trade will also be presented with a US Construction Spending reading, that is expected to forge a minimal gain. The gold market might also be impacted by US domestic auto sales figures, which will be released throughout the trading session. Comex Gold Stocks were 10.895 million ounces down 104,803 ounces. Comex Gold Stocks are now at the lowest levels since 05/26/2011. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) Some equity markets in Asia remained closed for holiday, but the Australia market was stronger off rate cut news while the Nikkei actually forged a fresh 2 1/2 month low close. European markets were propped up by a slightly higher start in the FTSE, but May Day celebrations might have reduced regional activity somewhat. US stock markets were showing a mixed early trade, with the focus shifting back to a rather active US scheduled report slate later today. The markets will also see a series of US Fed Speeches today and given the increased focus on the prospect of easing, the trade will be parsing Fed dialogue rather extensively today.