Compiled 07/18/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,579.50 -$15.50 LME Copper Stocks 253,575 tons +675 tons GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) With August gold starting the Wednesday trade in the lower quarter of the prior session's trading range, adverse currency market action and weaker US equities, the bear camp probably feels like they have the advantage to start today. While the gold market hasn't paid that much attention to classic supply side developments lately, the trade might feel some pressure from news of an 18% increase in 1st half gold production from a Russian gold miner. In fact, the supply side of the equation today might be given added importance by news overnight of another gold miner moving to up its forward gold production targets. From the demand side of the equation, China announced the start of Interbank Bank gold trading, which could lend some support to gold prices going forward. However, gold prices in Asia overnight were initially weaker as if the US Fed stance was slightly disappointing to those traders and investors. In looking ahead to the US report slate today, the markets are expecting a mixed result from US housing starts and Permits report, but there also seems to be a little fear that the Fed Beige Book will dredge up fresh US slowing fears in the early afternoon action. Comex Gold Stocks were 10.800 million ounces down 10,589 ounces. Comex Gold Stocks are at the lowest levels since 09/14/2010. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) Share prices in China were mixed to weaker despite a recovery in Chinese home price readings. Apparently some investors saw positive economic data in China, as a development that could derail additional stimulus efforts in China. European shares were slightly higher as decent earnings news provided a distraction from recent slowing fears. European markets were able to spin the US Fed meeting into a slight positive, as the talk was that the US Fed didn't rule out easing action in the future. However, US stocks have started out weaker today as if the trade expects to be confronted with renewed slowing fears through the US housing Permits and starts reports. It also seems as if the US Fed Beige Book will provide further evidence of slowing in the early afternoon trade today.