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Gold stocks come under pressure in early New York trade as profit taking continues

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In New York this morning, the gold futures market has seen some selling, as speculators continue to take profits, capping the gold rally. The December Comex gold contract is trading at $1,003 after revisiting yesterday’s high in Europe earlier today.

Several reports this morning suggest that a further rally in gold would come under pressure as it progressed towards last year’s all time high. Recent weeks have seen investors flock to gold, prices have rallied as high as $1,025 as futures approached all time highs. With today’s momentum building, gold will have achieved it strongest quarterly performance in over eighteen months.

Elsewhere, some analysts insisted that a gradual consolidation period would benefit the gold market. Investors will no doubt be watching any further developments with intent.

On Wall Street equity market have generally come under broad based pressure as the first of this week’s employment reports disappointed. As such North American gold stocks remain hesitant and have traded lower across the board.

The world’s largest gold producer Barrick Gold (NYSE: ABX) fell marginally, slipping around 26 cents to trade at $37.63. Major International producer Randgold Resources (NYSE: GOLD) dropped more decisively, falling $1.13c, to lose over 1.5% to trade at $68.75. Meanwhile Canada-based Yamana Gold (NYSE: AUY) lost 1% to trade at$10.60.

Second-tier gold miners were generally lower also, with few brighter notes.

Keegan Resources Inc (AMEX: KGN) dropped over 3% to change hands at $3.47. Mexico focused explorer Minefinders (AMEX: MFN) was in negative territory again today, losing over 2%. Ontario based developer Rubicon (AMEX: RBY) fell 2% and New Gold (AMEX:NGD) this morning also.

Meanwhile South American focused exploration play Exeter Resource Corp (AMEX: XRA) also slipped lower, losing just 8c per share to trade at $4.50.

International gold producer IAM Gold (NYSE: IAG TSX: IMG) eased 14c and was trading at $13.98, dual listed Eldorado Gold (TSX: ELD; NYSE:EGO) lost 1½%. Agnico Eagle (NYSE: AEM) fell over 1%, losing 77 cents per share.
Nevsun Resources (AMEX: NSU) were relatively unaffected.

Dual listed Fronteer Development Group (TSX & NYSE: FRG) and Canadian AuEx Ventures Inc (TSX: XAU) announced drilling results for their Long Canyon join venture project in Elko County, Nevada. AuEx shares rose significantly, up over 6% in spite of the market trend, while AMEX listed Fronteer was weighed down losing 1%.

Lake Shore Gold (TSX: LSG), emerging gold miner with assets in Ontario and Quebec, announced high grade results from new holes drilled at its wholly owned Bell Creek property, Lake Shore rose 1% to trade at $2.90.

Multi-listed, Middle East focused Centamin Egypt (AIM: CEY, ASX: CNT, TSX: CEE) slipped just 2 cents lower.

Elsewhere in Toronto gold equities were fairly stable. TSX Venture stocks Victoria Gold Corp (TSX-V: VIT), Timmins Gold Corp (TSX-V: TMM) and Hawthorne Gold (TSX: HGC) were unchanged on the day. Low-cost gold producer Gold Resource Corp (OTCBB: GORO) were also unmoved.

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