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From CBSMarketWatch.com
Thursday, March 21, 2002

NEW YORK (CBS.MW) -- A rise in shares of several metals companies
Thursday prompted the Amex Gold Bugs Index to close at its highest
level in over two years.

Other metals indexes climbed throughout most of the session before
pulling back near the close of trading. Gold futures settled slightly
higher within a recent price range.

In the equities market, the Amex Gold Bugs Index (HUI) stood at
88.43, up 1.3 percent on the session. The index hasn't closed at this
level since October 1999.

Within the index, Newmont Mining climbed 20 cents to $25.24, shares
of Hecla Mining added 9 cents to $1.67, and shares of Kinross Gold
gained 6 cents to $1.16.

"The stocks are clearly moving independently ahead of the metal,
which has moved sideways for five trading days while the XAU index is
up 8 percent," said Prescott Crocker, a fund manager for the
Evergreen Precious Metals Fund.

Crocker believes the move is in response to commodity price strength
as well as some speculation on the likelihood of re-inflation with
the bond market moving down and the Fed changing its policy
characteristics.

The CBOE Gold Index (GOX) rose to a high at 52.7 before closing at
the 51.82 level, down 0.8 percent and the Philadelphia Gold and
Silver Index (XAU) closed at 65.60, down 0.1 percent after touching a
66.75 high.

Shares of Goldcorp (GG) tacked on 55 cents to $16.40 and Agnico-Eagle
Mines (AEM) climbed 6 cents to $12.03.

On the downside, shares of Placer Dome Gold (PDG) declined by 6 cents
to $11.54 and Anglogold (AU) slipped 35 cents to stand at $22.31.

Freeport-McMoran Copper and Gold (FCX), a component of all three of
the indexes, saw its shares fall 34 cents to trade at $16.13.

Over on the futures front, "The Japanese situation is still the focal
point of gold," David Meger, senior metals analyst at Alaron.com in
Chicago, said in a note to clients.

"As the yen strengthens, Japanese gold liquidation is seen," but "as
the yen weakens, Japanese holders of gold remain firm and continue to
lightly accumulate the yellow metal," he said.

On the Commodities Exchange division of the New York Mercantile
Exchange, gold for April delivery closed at $293.10 an ounce, up 70
cents from the previous session. The contract has remained within a
$3 range all week, reaching a high at $294 and a low at $291.

In other metals news, the May silver contract closed down 2.5 cents
at $4.508 an ounce.

Data on metals inventories as of late Wednesday weren't yet available
Thursday. Comex gold inventories were flat at 1.277 million ounces as
of late Tuesday. Silver stocks were down 210,639 ounces at 102.19
million ounces.

Among the industrial metals, April platinum closed at $509.30 an
ounce, down $3.60. June palladium declined $5 to stand at $377.50 an
ounce.

May copper settled down 0.35 cent at 76.25 cents a pound. Comex
copper stocks rose 395 short tons to stand at 309,514 short tons as