Compiled 04/16/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,648.25 -$22.25 LME Copper Stocks 261,700 tons -2,700 tons GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) While some equity markets were able to carve out minor gains overnight, the overall macro economic outlook remains subdued and suspect. Fears of slowing in China, mixed signals from the US economy and lingering concerns toward the Euro zone appear to have given the risk off crowd a slight edge. The bull camp clearly needs some help from the scheduled US data this morning but corporate earnings news might also serve to influence sentiment which might be considered a little better this morning than might have been expected at the end of last week. At least in the early action, it would seem like European traders haven't been able to get fully beyond the Spanish debt problems that surfaced last week. Gold might be seeing some minor pressure from news of higher quarterly gold output from a Russian gold miner Polymetal International, but the main focus of the gold trade recently has been on demand prospects and not necessarily on physical supply. While US equities are initially higher and US retail sales are expected to post a minor gain, it is unclear whether macro economic sentiment can improve enough to halt and reverse the initial slide in gold prices. Comex Gold Stocks were 10.993 million ounces down 32 ounces. Comex Gold Stocks are still at the lowest levels since 05/26/2011. The Commitments of Traders Futures and Options report as of April 10th for Gold showed Non-Commercial traders were net long 143,699 contracts, a decrease of 5,900 contracts. The Commercial traders were net short 180,141 contracts, a decrease of 7,090 contracts. The Non-reportable traders were net long 36,442 contracts, a decrease of 1,190 contracts. Non-Commercial and Non-reportable combined traders held a net long position of 180,141 contracts. This represents a decrease of 7,090 contracts in the net long position held by these traders. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) Asian equity markets were weaker overnight, as traders in the Shanghai market decided to bank profits from a recent string of gains. However, the Japanese market was down apparently off lingering Euro zone fears. Surprisingly, European markets were higher to start, as the favorable start to the US earnings cycle last week seemingly prompted some initial gains in that market. Early in the US Monday trading session, share prices were higher with as many as 1/5th of the S&P 500 scheduled to report earnings this week. The US economic report slate today could be important with March retail sales due out and expectations calling for a minimal gain in that report. Also due out today are an Empire State Manufacturing survey, Treasury Capital flows, NAHB April housing index and Business Inventories. Many of the secondary reports are expected to be slightly lower and or unchanged, but it is possible that the brunt of the focus today will be on the US retail sales figures. The markets might also take some direction from Citi Group earnings this morning, which are due out prior to the Wall Street open.