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

Fri May 1, 2015 8:00am 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.   Continued...