Compiled 08/12/11 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,755.00 -$31.00 LME Copper Stocks 461,775 tons -1,375 tons Shanghai Deliverable socks were 120,819 tons +2,619 GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) December gold saw an $83 an ounce Thursday trading range in the US and the gold trade enters the Friday US trade right on the Thursday close and that suggests little news overnight gave the gold market any fresh impetus. The news flow overnight showed slightly better than expected Japanese economic data and somewhat discouraging Euro zone economic data. The gold market could have drafted some fresh buying interest off comments from US Senator Hatch, who indicated that the US was likely to encounter additional downgrades ahead as he sees further political impasses ahead. In other words, the initial track for the special committee could mean that political gridlock is still alive and well in Washington. While the gold market typically sees a wide variety of analyst views on any given day, the overnight collection of views seemed to have a larger than usual number of aggressively bearish outlooks. With some portion of the gains in gold this month, clearly the result of macro economic uncertainty, the US retail sales report this morning is expected to have a noted impact on gold prices. Expectations call for a slight improvement in the headline retail sales report, but the excluding autos component is barely expected to come in above unchanged and therefore the trade might not come away from the report with a definitive opinion on the track of the US economy. Comex Gold Stocks were 11.374 million ounces up 27,605 ounces. Stocks have declined 13 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 stronger this morning. Early indications are that US equity markets will open with modest gains later on today. The US Dollar is weaker against most major currencies this morning, although posting a substantial gain versus the Swiss Franc. France, Italy, Spain and Belgium have each instituted short selling bans on financial stocks since yesterday's close. The People's Bank of China said that they will use interest rates and the Chinese Yuan to guide that nation's monetary policy. French GDP during the second quarter was unchanged, lower than market forecasts. French CPI during July was up 2.1% year-on-year, smaller than expectations. Euro zone Industrial Production during July was down 0.7%, weaker than projections. Major US economic numbers to be released this morning include July Retail Sales at 7:30 AM, a private survey of US Consumer Sentiment during August just before 9:00 AM, and June Business Inventories at 9:00 AM. In addition, Fed Regional President Dudley will give a speech during the session.