LONDON -- Gold made modest gains last week and peaked at $1,598 per ounce before falling back slightly. Gold for April delivery finished the week approximately 0.7% higher at $1,592 per ounce.
Of course, the only practical way for most private investors to invest in gold is through exchange-traded funds.
The largest gold ETF, the $64 billion SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEMKT: GLD ) , rose 0.9% to $153.97 last week, while London-listed Gold Bullion Securities (LSE: GBS ) rose 1.1% to $153.71. So far this year, shareholders of Gold Bullion Securities have seen the value of their holdings fall by 4.2%, while the value of SPDR Gold Trust shares has fallen by 5%.
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 outperformed the yellow metal last week.
Centamin (LSE: CEY ) gained 7.5% to 58 pence last week after saying it expected gold production at its Sukari mine in Egypt to rise by 22% to 320,000 ounces in 2013.
However, Centamin did warn that supply delays will cause the commissioning of its Stage 4 expansion project to slip into the second half of this year, and said that it now expected the cost of this project to be $325 million, some 13% higher than previously suggested.
Centamin continues to wait for confirmation of the validity of its Egyptian mining concession, after a dispute arose in October 2012.
Patagonia Gold (LSE: PGD ) climbed 13.6% to 17.5 pence last week after confirming that its Lomada de Leiva 'heap leach' project is fully funded and on course to begin production by late Q2 2013, with estimated production of 14,000 ounces of gold in the second half of 2013.
The Argentina-based company also reported that its $9.4 million fundraising during March will enable it so accelerate its drilling program on the Cap-Oeste project, which it believes is "highly prospective".
Sandstorm Gold (NYSEMKT: SAND ) rose 8.9% to $10.08 last week after announcing a resource update for its flagship Aurizona Gold Mine project in Brazil.
Aurizona's measured and indicated mineral resources have risen 15% to 3.63 million ounces since December 2011, while inferred mineral resources have risen 44% to 1.04 million ounces.
Sandstorm is a gold-streaming company, which means the firm finances mine development for other companies in return for a guaranteed right to purchase a percentage of all gold produced from their mines at a fixed price.
Shares vs. commodities
Shares in commodity companies have outperformed their underlying commodities many times during the last ten years, thanks to their ability to magnify their gains through successful development of new resources.
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