Compiled 03/05/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,698.00 -$16.50 LME Copper Stocks 285,825 tons -3,175 tons Shanghai Copper stocks +5,401 tons to 221,487 tons GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) With a slightly negative early chart track in gold, weaker equities and softer oil prices, the bear camp might feel like they have the edge to start the new trading week. Clearly many markets this morning are off balance because of slower than expected official growth targeting from China. While oil prices are showing initial weakness this morning, market dialogue continues to foster talk of global slowing because of the recent spike in crude oil prices above $110 a barrel. Therefore, some gold traders might need to see a decline below last week's lows in May crude oil of $105.30, just to see the fear of global economic headwinds tempered. It is also possible that a portion of the gold trade might be anticipating some pressure from weaker US scheduled data due out later this morning. With a slightly negative track to start this week, some gold traders might be fretting over the potential Fed dialogue due out later in the trading session, as the Fed recently has tended to apply some pressure gold and other physical commodity prices. Surprisingly gold wasn't able to draft much in the way of support from talk of increased central bank gold buying for 2012 that was seen in the European news coverage overnight. Comex Gold Stocks were unchanged at 11.461 million ounces. Gold stocks have declined in 12 of the last 20 days. The Commitments of Traders Futures and Options report as of February 28th for Gold showed Non-Commercial traders were net long 221,542 contracts, an increase of 19,905 contracts. The Commercial traders were net short 275,618 contracts, an increase of 24,511 contracts. The Non-reportable traders were net long 54,075 contracts, an increase of 4,605 contracts. Non-Commercial and Non-reportable combined traders held a net long position of 275,617 contracts. This represents an increase of 24,510 contracts in the net long position held by these traders. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) Asia equity markets were lower off profit taking in the wake of slower growth projections from the Chinese leader at the NPC meeting in Beijing. European equity markets were also weaker in the wake of soft European February PMI readings, a softer Chinese economic outlook and also because of concerns toward the next Greek aid tranche. Not surprisingly, the US equity markets also look to start the new trading week marginally lower because of the slower Chinese growth talk and also because of residual Greek debt concerns. The US economic report slate today is somewhat active, with On-line help wanted, ISM Non manufacturing and Manufacturers shipments due out in the morning trade and at least three Fed speeches scheduled for later in the trading session. Expectations generally call for minor contraction in both the ISM and manufacturing shipments data and that could combine with the early risk-off vibe for a bearish physical commodity market environment.