TooBy Kishori Krishnan Exclusive To Gold Investing News

There is some serious flirting going on. Gold futures which have been on a see-saw ride in recent months, unsure whether to make the leap over the $1,000 an ounce hurdle or stay put a while, is flirting like crazy - with the $1,000 figure, that is.

The yellow metal appeared poised to make a third assault on the $1,000 mark earlier this month. Some of the enthusiasm was fuelled by rising expectations of inflation following aggressive prime-pumping measures by the U.S. and other governments to keep their economies from sinking deeper into recession.

The price of gold closed just above $1,000 for one day in March 2008. It retreated after touching that level again in February, and surged to the $985-range recently before another pull back.

Gold for August delivery in the early hours on Wednesday climbed $4.70 to trade near $932.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It settled to 0.4 per cent higher, finishing at $936 dollars an ounce.

As readers might recall, the price of gold, silver, and even crude oil have been building towards sharply volatile movements. As the US dollar is beginning to show signs of weakness from improved consumer confidence and an increase to risk appetite, commodities are beginning to show the early signs of an increase in value.

Clearly, gold may be preparing to enter another upward trend.

More on the go

Franco Nevada Corp. (TSX: FNV), Gammon Gold Inc. (TSE: GAM) and Osisko Mining Corp., were added to the gold index on March 20. Four more companies, including Allied Nevada Corp. (ANV), Centamin Egypt Ltd. (CNT), DRDGOLD Ltd. (ADR), and Semafo Inc., (TSX: SMF) are to be added to the index this Friday.

Analysts are forecasting plenty of earnings growth from certain gold companies. They are also saying that that there are a good number of junior and mid-sized gold stocks that have become apparent favourites over the past six months, and include Norseman Gold, La Mancha Resources, Queenston Mining (with new discoveries at Canada’s Kirkland Lake and Cadillac).

London-listed Patagonia Gold (active in exploration in Argentina, including the complete portfolio of Barrick’s properties in Santa Cruz) is also in the running as is Azteca Gold, which may be headed towards changing its name with a possible world class zinc, lead and silver discovery at its 50 per cent held two mile joint venture in Idaho; Allied Nevada, the state’s “newest gold producer”, with its Hycroft Mine, where annual production may reach 90,000 ounces in 2009; Auex Ventures, busy spending US$21million this year at the Long Canyon and West Pequop projects in Nevada, and a cashed-up Rubicon Minerals, with its prospective Phoenix Gold Project in Canada’s Red Lake Gold District.

Gold stocks

And then there are gold stocks with the potential to glitter. Canada-listed Ventana Gold (TSX: VEN.TO) has registered a stock price increase of more than 13,000 per cent since listing just over six months ago; Appleton Exploration (TSX: AEX) has surged by more than 3,000 per cent; Azteca Gold (TSX: V. AZG) by 2,300 per cent; La Mancha Resources (TSX:LMA) by 2,150 per cent; London-listed Australian miner Norseman Gold (NGL) by 2,067 per cent; Pelangio (PLG:T) by 1,500%, and Australian Solomons Gold Limited by 1,400 per cent.

While these stocks may be generally classified as juniors, even though some like Norseman Gold are in production, bigger gold stocks have also put in some triumphant performances. Russia’s JSC Polymetal, (LSE: PMTL) sporting a market value of US$ 2.8 billion, is up 779 per cent from its low stock price point; Centerra (TSX: CG) (US$ 1.2 billion) has risen by 607 per cent, and Canada’s Osisko (TSX:T.OSX) (US$ 1.5 billion) by 357 per cent, said traders.

These stocks have wings and are ready to fly. Are you?