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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Barrick Gold, Goldcorp, Newmont, Agnico-Eagle and Kinross Gold

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – September 19, 2013 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Barrick Gold ( ABX- Free Report), Goldcorp ( GG- Free Report), Newmont ( NEM- Free Report), Agnico-Eagle ( AEM- Free Report) and Kinross Gold ( KGC- Free Report).
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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

Precious Metals Stock Roundup
Last week, the U.S. and Russia set aside their differences and cut an agreement on a framework to seize and destroy Styria’s chemical weapons stockpile by the middle of next year. President Obama asked Congress to delay the Senate vote on a planned airstrike and said that such a move could be shelved if Syria eventually gives up its chemical weapons. However, the President is keeping the door open for using force, should diplomacy fail.  

Gold’s southern march continued on Wednesday as efforts to avert war through diplomatic means remained in place, elevating downside risk for the metal’s prices. Traders who took long positions in gold on hopes that the U.S. would attack Syria continued to offload their positions.

Gold suffered its biggest loss for the week a day after upon increased selling pressure amid prospects that the Fed will divulge a tapering decision in a two-day Federal Open Market Committee (:FOMC) meeting that began yesterday. The expectations were triggered by initial weekly jobless claims data. The Labor Department revealed that the number of people filing for initial unemployment benefits fell 31,000 to 292,000 (lowest since 2006), below analysts’ expectations of 330,000.

Gold’s losing streak continued on Friday on speculations on the outcome of the FOMC meeting (with increased odds of Fed tapering) and the rumor that former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers would be named the next Fed chief as the White House hunts for a successor to Ben Bernanke, whose term ends this January. The sell-off was driven by concerns that Summers would be more hawkish on monetary policy than other potential candidates including the incumbent Fed Vice Chairman Janet Yellen.

Gold prices (for December delivery) on the New York Mercantile Exchange’s Comex division closed at $1308.60 per troy ounce last Friday, a 5.6% slide for the last week. Silver suffered a similar fate and lost 9.1% for the week to close at $21.67 per ounce. Both metals hit a four-week low during the week.

Gold and silver continue their bear market runs with prices trending roughly 27% and 38% below their 52-week highs, respectively. Gold prices (based on last Friday’s close) are down roughly 9% from their three-and-a-half month high of $1,433.31 an ounce logged in August.

The AMEX Gold Bugs Index slipped down 8.6% last week while the Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index, which includes both gold and silver stocks, sagged 7.1%. This compares to a roughly 2% gain for the S&P 500 .

Shares of most major miners, including Barrick Gold ( ABX- Free Report), Goldcorp ( GG- Free Report), Newmont ( NEM- Free Report), Agnico-Eagle ( AEM- Free Report) and Kinross Gold ( KGC- Free Report), traced the daily fluctuations of metals prices through the week and got hammered by tapering fears.

Gold’s fortunes hinge on developments surrounding Syria and Fed tapering. Any possible military action on Syria augurs well for the safe-haven demand of the metal. On the flip side, if the war is eventually averted, gold prices would be under pressure. Moreover, the Fed’s decision on scaling back its stimulus will heavily influence gold’s near-term prospects.
Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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