NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Investors who hold gold to shield their portfolios from accelerating inflation now wish they were alchemists. Seven of the 10 worst-performing equity mutual funds in January track mining shares.
The Rydex Series -- Precious Metals Fund (RYPMX) tumbled 13% last month, bringing its 12-month gain to 29%. Top holdings include Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX), Newmont Mining (NEM) and Barrick Gold (ABX).
Last Friday's jobs report showing unemployment fell to 9.7% in January from 10% in December has the gold bugs in a tizzy. Turning the corner on jobs -- and the economy -- has reduced the fear-based premium that was supporting the price of gold. After hitting a high of $1,217 an ounce in December, the spot price of gold has plunged to around $1,060.
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