Calling Northgate Minerals Corp. "oversold" after British Columbia put the kibosh on the Kemess North mine development last month, Canaccord Adams upgraded the stock to "buy" from "hold," with a price target of $3.75 (U.S.). The brokerage also downgraded three stocks to "hold" from "buy," including Barrick Gold Corp. on valuation and expectations of high costs in the third quarter this year; Centerra Gold Inc. on valuation and a reduced risk-reward outlook; and Pan American Silver Corp. on a reduced valuation because of higher costs. Analyst Steven Butler also polished his per-ounce gold price forecasts, with 2007 raised to $689 from $679; 2008, to $800 from $725; and the long-term price going up to $600 from $500. He reiterated his "favourable" view of gold prices, citing the tenuous outlook for the U.S. dollar, gold's safe haven role and certain fundamentals such as strong investment demand and diminished/contained central bank selling of bullion. But he cautioned that the current strong seasonal component of fundamental demand could result in a temporary pullback in prices later this year.
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