Gold has surpassed $1,600 an ounce, soaring to an all-time record as investors flee to safety. Gold mining firms have not seen that kind of action.Over the past few weeks gold stocks have been more correlated with the S&P than the price of gold, resulting in days when gold rises but miners fall, something that’s happening more and more.The 50-day correlation between the S&P 500 and the Amex Gold/Silver Index was strong in the middle of July as gold and gold stocks moved in opposite directions. That has reversed recently, to the benefit of Matousek, a trend that hopes to continue. In July the S&P has struggled, losing 1.7 per cent, but the Gold Index is up 3 per cent and gold is up 8.2 per cent.Gold futures have risen, in fact, for the past 10 consecutive years as investors scooped up the yellow metal to protect against economic and political instability throughout the globe. Many industries have benefited from the metal’s rise, but one that has not surprisingly is the gold mining industry, according to a recent report.While gold prices have hit record levels this year — and have logged record after record the past few weeks — shares of many gold miners have fallen, The Wall Street Journal reports.As precious metals buyers and scrap gold buyers alike benefit from the upward march in gold prices, why have gold miners not fared as well? According to industry analysts, this phenomenon is unlikely to last very much longer. Unless gold prices fall precipitously over the coming months — unlikely at best — shares in gold mining companies should start to climb in the near-future, Evy Hambro, the head of the natural resources team at BlackRock, affirms. “The performance of equities against bullion is not looking pretty at the moment,” Hambro said in an interview.This year, gold futures have climbed 2.4 per cent on inflationary pressures and continued instability throughout the Middle East and North Africa, where a wave of revolutions have overturned governments and fueled fears that oil supplies would be disrupted.On the other hand, shares of Barrick Gold Corp, which is the world’s biggest gold producer, have fallen 1.7 per cent during the same period of time. Newmont’s stock has also dropped 7.5 per cent, while shares of Kinross Gold, the seventh-biggest gold producer, have plummeted 18 per cent.The divergent path that gold futures and shares of gold mining companies have taken has caused a bit of head scratching amongst industry watchers. According to experts, gold prices and the shares in gold mining companies tend to rise and fall concurrently.Nonetheless, analysts assert that the combination of political and economic worries could send gold mining stocks higher in the coming months as investors look toward gold and other precious metals to hedge against swiftly rising consumer prices and continued violence in Libya and throughout the Middle East.“At the end of the day, gold equities are equities,” Hambro affirmed. “There has generally been quite a sharp decline in the markets, and gold equities cannot hide from that.” Hambro is bullish on gold mining stocks and contends they could rise much higher as the year goes on and inflation and political fears persist.Even so, the rise would likely be less than the growth gold could experience, according to analysts. In the past, investors have invested in both physical gold and gold mining companies, but they may want to limit their exposure to both fields in case prices fall. One thing, however, is likely, Hambro asserted: “This relationship never breaks down for very long.”Newmont Mining (NEM), the largest US based gold mining company, reported on Friday that second quarter earnings came in at $523 million, or $1.06 per share. While this figure represented a 37 per cent increase over the prior year period, when adjusted for various one-time items, earnings per share was $0.90 — which fell far short of the $0.99 consensus estimate among Wall Street analysts.As a result of the earnings miss, shares of NEM — the only gold stock included in the S&P 500 Index — fell $1.38, or 2.4 per cent, to $56.35 in pre-market activity.
From / Gulf Today