Compiled 12/27/11 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,607.50 N.A. LME Copper Stocks 372,300 tons Unchanged GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) The gold market looks to start out on a slightly weaker footing today, despite some favorable outside market action. It is possible that residual concern for the Euro zone debt crisis will remain on the front burner until the latest EU sector debt offering weighs in with its results. Some traders might suggest that news of higher physical gold production for both China and Russia, for the first 10 and 11 months of 2011 respectively is weighing on gold prices this morning but the gold trade recently hasn't been overly interested in classic supply side developments. In other words, the gold trade is probably going to take more direction from the prospect of changes in demand, which in turn has been largely a function of the ability to contain the Euro zone crisis. With the initial trade in February gold showing a slide to the lowest level since December 19th, the bear camp might feel like they have the early edge. However, hope for strong post holiday US shopping activity and a flurry of US data points later this morning could serve to underpin the gold market. At least in the short term, the action in the equity markets looks to dictate a moderate portion of the direction of gold prices. The Commitments of Traders Futures and Options report as of December 20th for Gold showed Non-Commercial traders were net long 140,904 contracts, a decrease of 22,265 contracts. The Commercial traders were net short 173,559 contracts, a decrease of 26,584 contracts. The Non-reportable traders were net long 32,655 contracts, a decrease of 4,320 contracts. Non-Commercial and Non-reportable combined traders held a net long position of 173,559 contracts. This represents a decrease of 26,585 contracts in the net long position held by these traders. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) Equity markets in Asia were weaker overnight, with the Shanghai composite hitting the lowest level in 3 years. European stocks were mixed, but were at times clawing back into positive ground to start the Tuesday trade. Early indications are that the US markets will also open with gains later on today. Overnight Russian leadership indicated that revisiting the recent election was impossible and that could spark ongoing protests in that country. In other news, German officials were mostly upbeat toward the status of their economy, but ECB overnight deposits reached another new all time high and that highlights ongoing anxiety toward the Euro zone situation. The markets await an Italian debt auction later this week and that could eventually trump the flow of positive scheduled data from the US. The US Dollar was marginally weaker against most of the major currencies, with the euro minimally higher. The scheduled data flow from the US today brings several Fed regional reports, a private home price survey and Consumer confidence figures. It is possible that hope for strong post holiday sales (mega Monday) could provide the markets with some positive macro economic vibes today.