Gold Shares Turn Higher, Dow Posts 2nd Best Day Since March 2009

Gold equities turned higher Thursday afternoon despite weakness in gold bullion, as the second largest rally in over two years in U.S. financial markets lifted shares tied to the yellow metal.

The AMEX Gold Bugs Index (HUI) rose 0.7% to 571.20 this afternoon, after falling to an intra-day low of 550.34 this morning.  The sector’s advance was fueled by a 423.37 point, or 3.95%, rally in the Dow Jones Industrial Average to 11,143.31.

Following this past Tuesday’s 3.98% climb in the Dow, today marked the Index’s second best day since it surged 6.8% on March 23, 2009, just weeks after the stock market reached its lowest point since 1997.

Furthermore, strength in gold shares came despite a negative reversal in gold futures. COMEX gold futures, per the December contract, reached a new record high of $1,817.60 early this morning, but plummeted to as low as $1,734.50 per ounce in afternoon trading.  As of 4:18pm ET, gold futures traded at $1,757.40 per ounce.

With today’s rally, the HUI and Dow cut their respective year-to-date losses to 0.4% and 3.8%.

Within the gold sector, three of the top performing names included AngloGold Ashanti (AU), Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX), and Newmont Mining (NEM).

AU climbed 3.3% to $45.80 per share, FCX added 5.2% to $45.82 per share, and NEM rallied 4.5% to $58.30 per share.