The price of gold fell heavily last week, and gold for immediate delivery ended the week down by 6.5%, at $1,343 per ounce.
LONDON -- Of course, the only practical way for most private investors to invest in gold is through exchange-traded funds. The largest gold ETF, the $51 billion SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEMKT: GLD ) , ended the week 5.4% lower at $131.07, while London-listed Gold Bullion Securities (LSE: GBS ) fell 4.6% to end the week at $131.44. So far this year, shareholders of Gold Bullion Securities have seen the value of their holdings fall by 13.7%, while the value of SPDR Gold Trust shares has fallen by 19.7%.
Gold's big movers
Several miners made gains last week, despite the falling price of gold. Here are three of the biggest risers:
Kirkland Lake Gold (LSE: KGI ) climbed 5.3% to 237 pence after its fourth-quarter production results showed that the firm hit its production guidance, selling 91,756 ounces of gold last year. Kirkland's chairman, Harry Dobson, said that daily ore tonnage in the final quarter had been ahead of plan, at 1,004 tons per day. Dobson said that tonnage would continue to rise to a target of 1,400-1,600 tons per day by the second quarter, and that the firm's full-year guidance for the 2014 fiscal year was to sell 150,000 to 180,000 ounces of gold -- almost doubling its 2013 production.
Centamin (LSE: CEY ) gained 5.8% to 39 pence after it reported record quarterly EBTIDA of $81.7 million, or 6.6 cents per share, a 6% increase on the final quarter of last year. Centamin, whose mining licence in Egypt is currently the subject of legal proceedings, said that gold production was 87,016 ounces, up by 2% on the previous quarter, while the cash cost of production was $556 per ounce, below the firm's full-year guidance of $700 per ounce.
Highland Gold Mining (LSE: HGM ) rose by 1.9% to 82.0 pence last week. Highland Gold, whose gold mines are located in Russia, delivered a 17% rise in production to 216,885 ounces last year, at a very competitive total cash cost of $749 per ounce. These factors, along with its net cash balance of $52 million, may help explain why Highland Gold's share price has only fallen by 16% so far this year, while its debt-laden Russian peer Petropavlovsk has shed 66% of its share price.
Shares vs. commodities
Shares in commodity companies have outperformed their underlying commodities many times over the last 10 years, thanks to their ability to magnify their gains through successful development of new resources. This free report from the Motley Fool, "10 Steps to Making a Million From the Market" contains some excellent tips on identifying and investing in potential multibagger shares, including resource shares like gold miners. I strongly recommend that youmclick here and download it now, as it will only be available for a limited time.