Compiled 05/03/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,642.50 -$10.00 LME Copper Stocks 235,200 tons -3,750 tons GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) With another range down extension to start today, it is clear that the gold trade hasn't been able to foster hope that the US Fed will be inspired to act quickly to head off what appears to be a definitive loss of economic momentum. With adverse currency market action also serving to put gold investors off balance and weak action on the charts potentially fostering technical stop loss selling, the bear camp in gold clearly has a number of themes working in their favor. While the European debt crisis news overnight wasn't particularly worrisome, seeing debt yields rise again would seem to keep the fear of knock on slowing from the Euro zone situation in the headlines. Some traders think the prospect of additional easing from an ECB meeting is providing some support to gold prices this morning and therefore the lack of action from the ECB this morning, could be cause for another wave of selling later on. The gold market will be presented with a private layoffs report early this morning and since the market doesn't seem to be capable of fanning talk of US easing, the bear camp might benefit if the employment news again depicts weakness. Comex Gold Stocks were 10.998 million ounces down 490 ounces. Gold stocks have declined in 11 of the last 20 days. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) Asian equity markets were weaker ahead of the European debt auctions overnight. However, the Shanghai equity market was higher as that market was able to buck the negative trend in the rest of the region off suggestions that the Chinese might liberalize their currency exchange rate mechanism. European equity markets were mostly higher to start and that was somewhat surprising considering that Spanish and Italian debt yields were on the rise overnight. US stock markets were showing little direction early, as the markets generally remain disappointed in the track of the US economy in the wake of a disappointing private employment survey on Wednesday morning. Therefore the markets are likely to pay significant attention this morning to US initial claims and another private jobs report that is due out very early in the Thursday morning US trade. There will also be two Fed members taking part in a conference on the west coast today and that panel discussion starts around 10:30 am cst.