Gold on the February contract has climbed steadily during the intermittent trading sessions since Dec. 24 and is currently up 0.95% on its Christmas Eve opening price, at $1,677.
Of course, the only practical way for most private investors to invest in gold is through exchange-traded funds. The largest gold ETF, the $63 billion SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEMKT: GLD ) , has risen by 1.3% to $162.59 since Dec. 24, while London-listed Gold Bullion Securities (LSE: GBS ) has risen 0.75% to $162.00 over the same period. Over the last 12 months, shareholders of Gold Bullion Securities have seen their holdings rise by 4%, while SPDR Gold Trust holders have gained 4.6%.
Gold's big movers
Many investors prefer to invest in gold-mining stocks, rather than gold itself, as gold miners are able to use their operational gearing to outperform the price of gold. Let's take a look at some gold stocks that have gained strongly recently.
Thompson Creek Metals Company (NYSE: TC ) has soared 46% to $4.32 over the last month. The company may be better known as a producer of molybdenum, which is used to strengthen steel, but it is in the final stages of bringing its Mount Milligan copper-gold mine into production -- an asset that boasts 6 million ounces of proven and probable gold reserves alongside a hefty copper deposit. Production is expected to average 194,000 ounces of gold per year and 81 million pounds of copper per year over the anticipated 22-year life of the mine, providing transformative potential for this mid-cap miner.
Anglo Asian Mining (LSE: AAZ ) has climbed 45% to 46 pence over the last year, but currently trades on a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of just 3.2. This small-cap miner, which has been profitable for the last two years, recently cemented its progress by signing a copper sales agreement with FTSE 100 (UKX) giant Glencore International. Anglo Asian's gold production is rising steadily and it has secured a substantial credit line from the government-owned International Bank of Azerbaijan to meet its capital expenditure requirements over the coming year.
Australian gold producer Medusa Mining Ltd (LSE: MML ) has climbed 11.5% over the last six months, as investors have been encouraged by the solid progress being made to bring its new, 200,000 ounce-per-year capacity gold mill in the Philippines into operation. Current gold production is less than 100,000 ounces per year but this well-funded company has development plans under way that could see annual gold production rise to 400,000 ounces over the next three years.
Shares vs. commodities
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