The 79 Times: Gold prices continue to be attractive for the Australian dollar

MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA (Markets and Money): Forex reports that the Australian and Canadian dollars were both firm yesterday, helped by higher oil and gold prices. Steve Barrow, currency analyst at Bear Stearns, is reported to have said “Gold prices are firm and yields continue to be attractive for the Australian dollar, while the rise in oil prices has coincided with the recovery in the Canadian dollar.”

The Herald Sun reports that the spot gold price finished Sydney trading at $US687.35 an ounce yesterday, up USD$12.60 an ounce on Friday’s local close. The gold miners were mixed, with Newcrest (ASX: NCM) adding 48c to AUD$22.55, Lihir Gold (ASX: LHG) rising 10c to AUD$3.57 and Newmont (NYSE: NEM) shedding 9c to AUD$5.94.

New research at the University of Missouri-Columbia has found a plant extract that can be used to create a new type of stable, nontoxic gold nanoparticle that can be administered orally or injected, and which may be the future of cancer detection and treatment. The extract, gum arabic, is a substance taken from species of the acacia tree and is already used to stabilise everyday foods such as yoghurt, Big Macs and soda.

Gold futures climbed near USD$690 an ounce Monday, sending the benchmark contract to a seven-month high.

Malaysia’s Business Times reports that jewellery export in Malaysia is expected to grow by at least 50 per cent this year according to a senior officer from Malaysia External Trade Development Council. Despite the rising gold price, the jewellery market will continue to expand as consumers tend to buy gold bars for investment purposes.

Chancellor of the exchequer Gordon Brown’s decision to sell off over half of the UK’s gold reserves between 1999 and 2002 has been criticised due to the exponential increase in gold’s value of late, according to reports from the World Gold Council. The Treasury might have missed out on a windfall of £2.6 billion due to Mr Brown’s sale of the reserves, which raised £1.8 billion at auction. Approximately 395 of the country’s 715 tonnes of gold were sold, but critics claim Mr Brown could have made £4.4 billion from the sale at today’s gold prices.

Business Wire has reported that assets in the streetTRACKS(r) Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD), the issuer of streetTRACKS(r) Gold Shares, have surpassed $10 billion. “A weak dollar, renewed inflation fears, and heightened political tensions across the globe appear to be increasing investors’ appetite for exposure to gold,” said James Burton, Managing Director of World Gold Trust Services.

Monarch Gold Mining Company Limited (ASX: MON) has entered into an agreement to acquire the mining rights to the high grade Mt Ida Gold Mine, located approximately 200 km northwest of Kalgoorlie, from International Goldfields Limited (ASX: IGC).

The Mt Ida acquisition significantly boosts Monarch’s gold production target of 500,000 ounces per annum.

Oxiana (ASX: OXR) has confirmed the potential for discovering significant new copper gold deposits in Indonesia as part of its recently signed option deed with Kalimantan Gold Corporation Limited (TSXv: KLG). In setting out its first work program under the agreement, Oxiana reports that the Kalimantan Gold copper gold project in Central Kalimantan showed “significant scale and intensity of mineralisation”.

The 79 Times

Markets and Money offers an independent and critical perspective on the Australian and global investment markets. Slightly offbeat and far from institutional, Markets and Money delivers you straight-forward, humorous, and useful investment insights from a world wide network of analysts, contrarians, and successful investors. Founded in 1999, Markets and Money is published in 7 countries with a worldwide readership of almost 1 million people.

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