Compiled 04/20/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,640.00 -$2.50 LME Copper Stocks 261,150tons -1,550 tons GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) Gold prices overnight saw a rather narrow trading range perhaps because higher equity price action in Asia was mostly countervailed by weaker equity market action in Europe. Some would-be gold bulls could be discouraged by a lack of fresh economic news today and others might be hesitant to enter gold ahead of the French election outcome this weekend. There is talk that a new French leader is likely to make different demands of the EU leadership and that change in leadership might offer up at least a temporary wrinkle in the handling of Euro zone debt concerns. However, gold should have garnered some support from a higher German Ifo business climate index reading overnight and it might also garner some support from news of a rise in UK March retail sales figures that were released this morning. However, gold prices in the early Friday US trade don't seem to be embracing a positive macro economic view even though the gold trade is seeing marginally supportive early currency market action and there are indications of a minimally higher US equity market opening. While there continues to be talk that the PBOC might be poised to provide some extra liquidity to its economy, there was also some conflict at the IMF meeting with respect to increasing it capital firepower. Apparently the BRIC nations are lobbying for more say or power in the IMF before they commit more capital. In the long run, seeing the IMF increase its capitalization base could be seen as a supportive development to gold and other physical commodity markets. In the end, a lack of US economic data today could leave the focus of the gold trade on US stocks and or on US corporate earnings report. Comex Gold Stocks were 10.995 million ounces up 1,286 ounces. Gold stocks have declined 12 of the last 20 days. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) Equity markets in Asia were generally higher overnight, with Shanghai stocks reaching a new 1 month high off positive leadership from the financial sector. European markets were weaker to start today, mostly off political wrangling within the IMF and perhaps because of the potential for political leadership changes in France. Early in the US trade today, share prices were virtually unchanged, with the markets shifting their focus toward another round of corporate earnings reports later this morning. The US economic report slate today is mostly empty, with a weekly ECRI report the only scheduled release today. However, there could be a series of reactions off an ongoing IMF meeting and a G20 Finance Ministers/Governors meeting.