Gold prices were rallying Friday in very light trading as speculators squared up their books ahead of the weekend.
Contracts for August delivery of bullion were ahead by $4.50 at $655.10 an ounce in recent action on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver prices were rallying also, with benchmark contracts tacking on 22 cents at $12.80 an ounce.
Possibly helping boost the gold price was news that Denver-based gold giant
announced it had eliminated its entire 1.85 million ounce hedge position, a sure sign that management at the company sees much more upside ahead for bullion prices.
While hedges fix the price of gold to be delivered in the future, dehedging eliminates such arrangements and allows the company's earnings to fluctuate in line with the price of gold.
Newmont also said it will dispose of much of its merchant banking unit by this time next year.
says it produced 80,300 ounces of gold, 870 tons of zinc and 2.3 million ounces of silver during the second quarter. Investors were shrugging, and the stock was barely moved in early action.
Elsewhere in the mining patch, Credit Suisse was busy revising its stock price targets on several names.
The brokerage upped its target on
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold
to $100 a share from $80, sending the stock up 0.4% at about $86 in recent activity.
It also raised its targets in the aluminum segment, with the goal for
now $45, up from $42, and that for
now $65, up from $60.
Shares of Century and Alcoa were both up more than 1%.
streetTracks Gold Shares
exchange-traded fund, which owns bars of gold bullion, was ahead 0.3%.
As for base metals, copper prices were recently were down a penny at $3.59 a pound.
Turning to soft commodities, contracts for frozen concentrated orange juice were gaining 1.4% at $1.31 a pound, while sugar prices were up 1.2% at 9.7 cents a pound. Coffee prices were slipping 0.9% at $1.09 a pound.