Compiled 12/08/11 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,739.00 +$8.00 LME Copper Stocks 387,400 tons -2,050 tons GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) The gold market has started out under pressure today, as the fear of a negative result in the wake of the upcoming EU summit has put a number of physical commodity markets slightly off balance. Gold might have been partially undermined by news of a possible EU area credit downgrade overnight but the real focus of the gold trade is on the possible outcome of the Friday summit meeting. Surprisingly gold wasn't definitively lifted by news of a decline in South African gold production of 3.3% over last October levels. In fact, total metal production in South Africa also declined by 14% over last year's levels and that suggests the pattern of lower mining output from that key producer has continued. In looking ahead, the gold market looks to be captivated by the upcoming EU summit, but that focus might be temporarily interrupted by an EU rate decision later this morning. Gold might see some support from overnight news of a rise in Russian gold and currency reserves for the week, but recently gold hasn't paid that much attention to classic physical supply side news. There were reports of a slight improvement in physical demand in the European gold trade this morning but from the early US gold price action, that news wasn't given that much attention. The gold market is likely to take some direction from US claims figures and it is possible that gold might also be lifted in the event that the ECB cuts interest rates this morning. Comex Gold Stocks were 11.298 million ounces down 225 ounces. Gold stocks have declined in 12 of the last 20 days. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) While equity markets in Asia were generally lower during overnight trading, stock indices in Europe are generally higher this morning. Early indications are that the US markets will open with moderate losses later on today. The US Dollar is slightly weaker against most of the major currencies this morning. Japanese Machinery Orders during October were down 6.9%, weaker than expectations. The Bank of England will announce any changes to UK monetary policy at 6:00 AM. The European Central Bank will also announce any changes to Euro zone monetary policy at 6:45 AM. Major US economic numbers to be released this morning include Weekly Jobless Claims at 7:30 AM, and October Wholesale Inventories at 9:00 AM.