Newcrest Mining Limited and gold shares go nuts, should you invest?

What a start to the week it has been for the S&P/ASX All Ords Gold (Index: ^AXGD) (ASX: XGD) index. The gold index is up by over 3% in morning trade thanks to a huge rally in the majority of Australian gold producer shares.

Amongst the best performers on the index and posting exceptionally strong gains today have been Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG), Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST), OceanaGold Corporation (ASX: OGC), and Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM).

But with the spot gold price up only slightly to US$1,322 an ounce, what has been the catalyst for such a strong rally today?

Well the much anticipated US non-farm payroll figures were released on Friday, and underwhelming might be the best word to describe them. Economists were forecasting 181,000 new jobs being added to the US economy in August according to Bloomberg, but the actual reading came in short at just 151,000.

The general view was that a reading at least in-line with expectations would give the US Federal Reserve the green light to raise interest rates in two and half weeks. The knock on effect of that would likely be a stronger US dollar and a weaker gold price.

This non-farm payrolls miss now has gold bugs believing a September rate hike is off the table, which could mean gold is free to stay at its current level or perhaps even climb higher. Hence the rampant buying of Australian gold producers today.

But should you invest in them? Whilst admittedly a rate hike does look less likely now, it is worth remembering that the forecast was provided by economists and not the Federal Reserve. For all we know the result might have been above the Fed’s expectations and it’s actually economists that are terrible at forecasting.

I have no doubt that many of Australia’s gold producers will deliver bumper profits and be great investments if the gold price stays at the current level for a sustained period of time. But that’s a big if in my view and therefore I would personally focus on other areas of the market.

Instead of the gold miners these three fantastic shares could be the best additions to your portfolio right now in my opinion.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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