Compiled 02/10/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,715.50 -$17.50 LME Copper Stocks 312,750 tons -850 tons Shanghai Copper stocks GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) The gold market has started the Friday US trade off on a weaker footing. In addition to some technical damage on the charts, the gold market might be seeing added pressure off some disappointing Chinese trade news. With EU Ministers already calling for even more austerity from Greece, before the ink dried on the recent deal it would seem like Euro zone travails won't be erased from the marketplace easily. Not surprisingly, renewed weakness in the Euro has given the bear camp in gold another theme in the early Friday US trade. With a couple noted analysts overnight suggesting that silver prices might be set to gain on gold prices that could be another theme embraced by the gold bears today. On the positive side of the balance sheet, gold saw a reduction in futures margins and there was also some underpin from ideas that Chinese data could signal a change in policy from the PBOC. The bull camp might also garner some support from favorable scheduled data flows later on, but the US data today isn't first tier when it comes to gauging the pace of the economy. Comex Gold Stocks were 11.430 million ounces down 500 ounces. Stocks have declined 11 of the last 20 days. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) Asian equity markets showed some weakness in the face of evidence of slowing in the Chinese January import/export data but some markets were able to recover off ideas the PBOC might now be ready to shift away from a tightening stance. Some traders also suggested that the Chinese numbers were weakened by the extended Chinese holidays. European equity markets were also mixed, with some gains seen, but a larger portion of the action was coming in weaker. European markets were clearly disappointed with calls for even more austerity efforts from Greece. Early US stock market action was weaker in response to ongoing EU bickering and also because of revived fears of slowing in China. In the US trade, the markets this morning will see a US Trade balance reading that is generally expected to show a modest increase in the deficit. Also out during the US trade is a private consumer sentiment reading that is expected to produce a minor up tick. There will also be a couple Fed speeches just ahead of mid session today.