Compiled 08/17/12 6:00 AM (CT) Statistics: London Gold Fix $1,616.50 +$12.75 LME Copper Stocks 234,550 tons -700 tons GOLD MARKET FUNDAMENTALS: (6:00 AM CST) Despite residual Press coverage of sagging quarterly demand for gold overnight, gold prices have generally retained a positive tilt on the charts into the last trading session of the week. In addition to supportive talk from the German leader, which in turn boosted hopes for the situation in the Euro zone, gold probably continues to draft some support from news that China National Gold might be considering a substantial stake in the world's largest gold producer. It is also possible that gold is drafting some indirect support from the sharp gains in platinum, which are the result of violence and deaths at a key platinum mining facility, as labor troubles in South Africa can sometimes spread in the wake of serious conflicts. South African authorities have indicated that up to 30 people might have died at a Lonmin platinum mining facility yesterday. Gold is probably garnering some additional lift from a firmer Euro and generally higher European equity market action, as that action might reduce drag on the global economy. At least in the near term, the gold bulls have been able to spin somewhat positive US data into their favor which is surprising considering that gold generally finds itself focused on the prospects of central bank easing. Comex Gold Stocks were 10.845 million ounces down 14,918 ounces. Gold stocks have declined in 13 of the last 20 days. OUTSIDE MARKET DEVELOPMENTS: (6:00 AM CT) While Shanghai stocks managed a minor gain on the day, that measure actually finished the week at the lowest levels in roughly 2 1/2 months. The German, French and Spanish equity markets were higher early today, with some yields on key sovereign debt ticking downward in the wake of very supportive dialogue from the German Chancellor Merkel. US stocks were mixed in the early action today, but the US market hasn't been definitively influenced by minor changes in the EU debt crisis lately. Today, the US will see a private consumer sentiment report and a Leading Indicator report. Leading Indicators report is expected to post a modest gain.