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Sector Snap: Gold mining companies

NEW YORK (AP) -- A rebound in gold prices is pushing up shares in the companies that mine it. On Monday, gold rose to $1,326.50 an ounce, the first time it was above $1,300 since late June.

Shares of Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp. Barrick jumped 6.5 percent, or $1.07, to $17.61. Newmont Mining Corp. gained 5.5 percent, or $1.58, to $30.27. Mining giant Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold Inc. gained 55 cents, or 2 percent, to $29.11

A weaker U.S. dollar boosted gold. Gold has trended higher in recent weeks after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that it's too soon to say when the U.S. central bank will start winding down its bond-buying stimulus program.

The gold market had been battered this year as the improving U.S. economy raised expectations that the Fed would ease back on its efforts to pump money into the financial markets. Traders piled into gold in recent years, concerned that the Fed's bond-buying would weaken the dollar and spur higher inflation, driving gold prices higher.

Gold's slump hammered gold mining stocks. Their prices tend to exaggerate swings in the gold market. By the start of July, one fund that tracks an index of gold mining companies, the Market Vectors Gold Miners exchange-traded fund, had lost 46 percent for the year. It has risen by 9 percent since then.

Among other gold miners in Monday midday trading, Goldcorp Inc. rose $1.57, or 5.7 percent, to $28.90. Royal Gold Inc. added $3.31, or 7.3 percent, to $48.99. McEwan Mining Inc. pocked up 11 cents, or 5.8 percent, to $2. And American depositary shares in AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. rose 70 cents, or 5.2 percent, to $14.10.