Compiled 07/17/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,595.00 +$11.00 LME Copper Stocks 252,900 tons +1,275 tons GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) The gold market overnight managed to claw out minor gains and in the process the August gold contract reached up to the highest level since July 10th. While the Asian gold trade saw some lift overnight from talk of a possible stimulus package from China, the market seems to be looking ahead to the prospect of fresh easing hints from the US Fed. Gold has apparently discounted news of another gold price forecast reduction for 2012, as the looming Fed testimony seems to be prompting a measure of buying the rumor. Some traders will suggest that gold could have as much as $40 an ounce of easing factored into prices already, but others suggest that gold would still see an additional pulse higher in the event that Bernanke brings the US Fed closer to action today. Talk in the marketplace is that Congressional members will attempt to get the Fed head to define what type of additional slowing will result in action and that could make the question period more important than the Chairman's initial remarks. From the action yesterday, it seemed as if gold weakened off weaker US retail sales figures and that in turn seems to argue against gold finding direct support this morning from US weak US data! Comex Gold Stocks were unchanged at 10.810 million ounces. Comex Gold Stocks are at the lowest levels since 09/20/2010. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) The Shanghai Composite managed a marginal gain overnight, but volume was low and hopes for fresh stimulus were not upgraded significantly. Similarly European shares were able to claw out some minor gains, perhaps in anticipation of the US Fed testimony later today. US equities were in an early positive track, with some players thinking another muted inflation reading (from CPI) could increased the expectation of easing hints from the Fed testimony. The markets will also be confronted with US industrial Production and Capacity utilization readings, which could be countervailing. The market will also see an NAHB housing index release that is expected to post a minor gain and that report could provide a slight lift to the risk-on crowd. Testimony from the US Fed Chairman is scheduled to begin at 9:00 am cst and that will be backed up by a speech from the Bank of Cleveland President at mid session.