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Gold Slips On Flat Q1 Demand; SolGold plc And Bullabulling Gold Ltd Release Updates

Gold gave up Monday’s gains and fell back below $1,300 per ounce on Tuesday, touching a low of $1,286, before stabilising around $1,294 in mid-afternoon trading. Market appetite for gold may have been dampened by the latest quarterly figures from the World goldbarancoinsGold Council, which showed that demand for gold was broadly flat during the first quarter, as a rise in jewellery demand was offset by reduced investment and central bank demand.

The main routes by which traders and investors gain exposure to gold are exchange-traded gold funds such as the $33bn SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE: GLD.US) ETF, which was down by 1% at $124.59 soon after US markets opened, paring its year-to-date gains to just 5.6%. Meanwhile, a London-listed alternative, Gold Bullion Securities (LSE: GBS), was down 0.3% at $124.22, reducing its gains for 2014 to just 3.4%.

Gold equity news

Despite gold’s lacklustre performance, several small-cap explorers saw heavy trading on Tuesday after releasing market updates.

SolGold (LSE: SOLG), a favourite among UK small-cap investors, slipped nearly 5% to 7.9p on moderate volumes today, after reporting the assay results from hole 6 of its Cascabel drilling programme.

SolGold’s General Manager of Exploration, Dr Bruce Rohrlach, described the assay results as ‘highly encouraging’ and said that they reinforced the company’s magnetic model suggesting “a high grade copper gold porphyry deposit” is nearby. However, shareholders may have been hoping for something more dramatic: SolGold’s shares have risen by 133% over the last year, but are down by 50% from their 52-week high of 16p, as investors have cashed in early gains following impressive early drilling results.

Another hotly-tipped small cap gold miner, Bullabulling Gold (LSE: BGL), was in the news again today, after the firm’s management issued a statement reiterating their opposition to a takeover offer from Norton Gold Fields Ltd. Bullabulling shares rose by more than 5% to 3.9p following the statement, which urged shareholders to reject Norton’s offer by taking no action, and confirmed that none of Bullabulling’s directors intend to accept the offer for their own shares.

Bullabulling’s current 3.9p share price is broadly equal to Norton’s AUD$0.07 per share offer, and some shareholders may be tempted to accept the bid, as it would lock in a 70% gain on the firm’s share price at the start of 2014.

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Roland does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.