Compiled 05/24/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,558.50 $+3.50 LME Copper Stocks 224,075 tons -1,625 tons. GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) Surprisingly gold clawed out some modest gains overnight and it managed that action in the face of weak data from several different regions. In fact, the UK data confirmed a return to recession, Chinese manufacturing data posted a 7 straight month of contraction and the Euro zone also chimed in with soft May Manufacturing PMI readings. With a weaker Euro mixed to lower equities and gains in metals prices, one could suggest that the markets might be anticipating some type of coordinated easing action. It would seem like the Chinese are already reacting with an announcement overnight of 66 billion yuan allotment for public rental housing construction projects. However, ideas that gold is finding some lift from easing hopes could be put to the test this morning in the wake of a series of critical US scheduled data points, especially since that data is expected to come in on the weak side of unchanged. It is also possible that gold is finding some footing off a growing view that a Greek exit from the Euro zone could be an orderly event. In fact, the Fed's Bullard suggested last night that an orderly Greek exit was possible. Some traders expect to see some increased volatility in gold prices today due to option settlement, while others think that the primary driving force for prices will continue to be the Greece situation. Comex Gold Stocks were unchanged at 11.002 million ounces. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CST) Chinese shares were under pressure again overnight with more evidence of an extending slowing pattern in Chinese manufacturing seen in the headlines. European equity markets were also showing renewed weakness early this morning in the wake of softer data and that has increased uncertainty and anxiety in that region. However, the European stocks did manage a recovery and that seemed to suggest that some easing effort might be forth coming from the ECB. There also seems to be a growing sense in the markets that a Greek exit from the Euro zone might not be a total disaster, but seeing a distinct softening of the Euro zone economy probably keeps a moderate amount of anxiety in place. The US report slate today is somewhat active with Durable goods and claims likely to give the trade a solid lead on the direction of the US economy. Initial expectations call for a minor dip in durable goods and virtually no change in the weekly claims data and that in turn might be seen as evidence of an economy losing momentum.