COLUMN-Gold equities may be better bet than physical metal: Russell

Fri May 1, 2015 1:24am EDT
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--Clyde Russell is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own.--

By Clyde Russell

LAUNCESTON, Australia, May 1 (Reuters) - While the price of gold has meandered in a narrow range this year, gold equities have improved somewhat and an analysis of relative performance suggests they may have further to rally.

Spot gold ended Thursday's trade at $1,183.85 an ounce, largely unchanged from $1,183.55 at the end of 2014, as the precious metal battles the competing influences of a firmer dollar and concerns over a Greek exit from the euro zone.

However, major gold miners have shown some improvement, with the S&P TSX Global Gold Index gaining 14 percent so far this year.

The Toronto Stock Exchange-based index groups together the world's top gold producers, including No.1 Barrick Gold Corp , which is up 20.5 percent this year in U.S. dollar terms, and No.2 Newmont Mining Corp, which has gained 40 percent.

The No.3 producer, Johannesburg-listed AngloGold Ashanti , is up 32 percent since the start of the year in dollar terms. These are impressive gains for the top gold miners, especially given the steady price of the precious metal.

However, gold equities are still vastly undervalued relative to the spot price.   Continued...