(Updates share prices in second paragraph.)
Aug. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Newcrest Mining Ltd., the worst performer this year among Australia’s 50 largest publicly traded companies, rose to its highest since June in Sydney trading to lead gains by gold producers after the precious metal touched a two-month record price.
Melbourne-based Newcrest rose 4.9 percent to A$13.70 in Sydney, its highest since June 5, after earlier gaining as much as 8.3 percent. Resolute Mining Ltd. jumped 5.4 percent and Perseus Mining Ltd. advanced 5.1 percent. Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was little changed.
Gold prices rose above $1,400 for the first time in more than two months as investors weighed speculation the U.S. Federal Reserve’s $85 billion a month of asset purchases could be sustained for longer as data showed U.S. new-home sales fell more than 13 percent in July. Bullion for immediate delivery traded at $1,397.01 an ounce at 4:28 p.m. in Sydney, after it had earlier risen to as much as $1,407.18 an ounce, the highest price since June 7.
Producers including Newcrest may look to seize on a rally in gold prices to raise capital, said Jo Battershill, a resources analyst with UBS AG in Sydney.
“If there’s an opportunity to raise money in the market, now’s probably the time,” he said by phone. “I don’t know how long the strength in the gold market is likely to last, it seems to be a week by week proposition depending on what comments are made by the Fed.”
St. Barbara Ltd. jumped 17.7 percent, Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. rose 6 percent, Beadell Resources Ltd. gained 3.5 percent and Alacer Gold Corp. advanced 5.5 percent in Sydney.
--Editors: Iain Wilson, Andrew Hobbs