Compiled 07/27/11 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,621.00 +$11.00 LME Copper Stocks 469,800 tons +700 tons GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) The gold market continues to claw out higher highs in the face of ongoing debate, gridlock and a general lack of leadership in Washington. Adding into the upward tilt in gold overnight were suggestions from a US analyst/fund manager that Ireland and Portugal were probably insolvent and that the odds those countries would leave the EU was 30%. With a vote on a US debt ceiling plan in the House pushed to Thursday from today, the gold trade could have been disappointed, but seeing credit rating agency officials on Capitol Hill today, could ratchet up anxiety in a different manner. Apparently the gold market wasn't overly concerned that Russian gold production in the January through June 2011 time frame increased by more than 8% over last year. Perhaps that news was offset by mine strike shutdowns in South Africa, or by news that another gold miner was moving to liquidate up to 20% of its gold hedge book. In fact, with several miners in South Africa facing strike shutdowns and the US debt deal vote in the House pushed back, the bull camp has to be happy with the fundamental news setup this morning. With certain US CDS instruments hitting new all time highs overnight, the flight to quality condition remains a key issue for the bull camp in gold. Credit rating agencies are already warning against prioritizing US payments and that simply turns up the tension and anxiety in the marketplace. In the current environment, the gold market might not take that much direction from the Durable goods, Midwest manufacturing or from the Fed Beige book results later today. Comex Gold Stocks were unchanged at 11.433 million ounces. Stocks have declined 11 of the last 20 days. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) While equity markets in Asia were mixed during the overnight session, stock indices in Europe are generally weaker this morning. Early indications are that US equity markets will open slightly lower later on this morning. The US Dollar is weaker against most of the major currencies this morning. Representatives from major credit ratings agencies will testify in front of the US Congress this morning. German Import Prices during June were down 0.6%, lower than expectations. Major US economic numbers to be released this morning will include June Durable Goods at 7:30 AM, and a private survey of US mortgage applications released before the session. The Federal Reserve will release their latest Beige Book at 1:00 PM. There will also be results of the Treasury's 5-Year Note auction announced at 12:00 PM.