Commodities & Metals

Gold Concern: Miners Lagging Price of Gold Metal on Upside

The news flow over the weekend and on Monday helped to drive the price of gold higher after one monster sell-off this year. Reports of spot gold shortages and premiums being paid after the sell-off stabilized the drop with what almost feels like a bull market day for gold bugs again, partly confirmed by the World Gold Council opining that the drop in the price of gold has been solely driven by speculators betting against gold. There is just one small problem here: gold miners are up less than the price of gold itself. If you have seen the performance in the key ETFs so far in 2013 you would know why this is such a concern.

As of 2:30 or so EST we have the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEMKT: GDX) up 1.47% at $29.01 and the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSEMKT: GDXJ) is up only 0.67% at $12.09. The SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEMKT: GLD) is up 1.95% at $138.10. Here is why we are concerned about this deep underperformance, with the performance measurements being year-to-date so far in 2013 based upon the closing price from Friday:

  • GLD -16.4% YTD
  • GDX -38.3% YTD
  • GDXJ -39.3% YTD showed that the last price seen after the 2 PM mark was up $19.80 at $1,426.75 for spot gold. This is a 1.4% gain versus the “GLD” exchange traded product backing metal being up actually 1.95% about 30 minutes later. Miners have been bettered to the tune of more than twice as much as actual gold prices on the way down. So if a stabilizing day comes and the miners do not get the bounce back at anywhere close to as much as twice the rate, well it seems that investors who make actual investment decisions rather just speculating decisions may not be as convinced that the rally is real.

We do not want get into a daily or multiple times per day argument over gold prices versus the miners. That being said, this just doesn’t look or feel right on the surface. There are also some still negative on the day as well in the gold mining complex: Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: ABX) down 1.27%; AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (NYSE: AU) down by -0.4%; and Harmony Gold Mining Company Limited (NYSE: HMY) down by -0.6%. None of the major mining players are seeing the major bounces we would have expected.