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Wednesday frenzy for gold stocks

The gold price gained $24 to $1,473 in afternoon trade on Wednesday within striking distance of a post-crash high which sent investors scurrying for gold mining stocks.

Bullion bulls are still nursing a 12%  decline in the price of gold this year, but many market observers believe the en-mass dumping of gold counters  may have been overdone.

While others may be convinced that today’s surge is nothing more than a dead cat bounce the fight-back from some of the most beaten down gold miners have been impressive.

Barrick Gold Corp (TSX:ABX) gained 8.6% to $21.50 as the Toronto-based global number one gold miner continues to recover from 20-year lows struck mid-April.  Barrick is now worth $21.5 billion on the TSX, a $3.5 billion improvement in two weeks.

Denver-based Newmont Mining Corp (NYSE:NEM) with a market value of $16.8 added 4.5%, while the world’s third largest gold producer behind Newmont, AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU) shot up 4.7%. The Johannesburg-based company appointed its long-serving CFO  to the top job today.

Fellow South African miner Gold Fields’ (NYSE:GFI) gains were more modest, up 2.4% on the day. Canadian gold counters Goldcorp (TSX:G) and Kinross Gold (TSX:K) – which this year overtook Goldcorp as the world fifth largest gold miner in terms of output – both traded up 6.3%.

Following the steep sell-off in Barrick, Goldcorp took the top spot as the world’s most valuable listed gold miner. After today’s gains  the Vancouver-based company’s market value is $24.7 billion, down from a peak in 2011 of $30 billion.

Australia’s Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) missed out on the hefty gains and ended only slightly up on the Sydney bourse ahead of the gold price improvement in New York, while London-listed Polyus Gold  added just over 1%.

Rounding out the world’s top 10 listed gold producers  Harmony Gold Mining recovered from a hug hit a week ago following the Johannesburg-based company’s dismal forecast for the year and added 7.6% in New York.

Peru’s Compania de Minas Buenaventura (NYSE:BVN), which just edges out Canada’s Yamana Gold (TSX:YRI) in terms of annual gold production rebounded 3.7%. Yamana, which produces just over 1 million ounces per year gained 5.3% on the Toronto big board affording it a market value of $9.3 billion.