One to watch: Gold

SINCE the start of the year, the gold price has risen by 14.8 per cent from $1,414 an ounce to a record high $1,624; in contrast, the FTSE 100 has risen only 0.3 per cent.

It is not always easy for a private investor to buy and store gold; however, there are alternatives available such as shares in gold mining companies, funds specifically targeted at gold and gold mining shares, and exchange-traded funds that hold gold on behalf of the shareholder.

Past data shows the second half of the year often witnesses a "catch-up" scenario for gold-related investments and, in the event of an easing of the angst in global markets, it seems likely this may happen again this year.

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Although gold may be considered to be "technically over-bought" at present, the price has risen steadily as investors perceive it to be a safe haven in the face of continued euro and US debt problems. If these problems persist, gold may reach new highs in the second half of the year, stretching the valuation gap between physical gold and shares to a point where share prices respond. Alternatively, any sign of an easing in debt concerns will allow gold mining shares to move higher as the mood of investors improves, closing the valuation gap.

• The value of your investments may fall and you may get back less than you invested. This does not constitute investment advice and you should take professional advice regarding the suitability of this company for your portfolio.



154.5p -0.5p

Broker says HOLD

SEYMOUR Pierce has cut its target price on Edinburgh-based microchip maker Wolfson from 182p to 147p following Monday's profits warning, the second in less than a month. Analyst Ian Robertson said: "The shares appear reasonably valued against international comparators."


229.7p +0.8p

Broker says BUY

NUMIS sees "scope for further upgrades" at Aberdeen Asset Management and has reiterated its "buy" recommendation on the fund manager following Monday's third-quarter update. The broker noted: "The management has been very clear that largescale M&A is now off the agenda."