Gold to hit $1,600 in the next 12 months

The commodity is back in favour on the back of global trade tensions and dovish central bank policies

Gold bars, illustration.
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Gold prices have surged this month, passing $1,400 (Dh5,142) an ounce for the first time since 2013.

It’s become easy to find reasons to be bullish. Everything from dovish central banks, technical indicators, negative-yielding bonds and fears of a military strike between the US and Iran are all working in favour of higher bullion prices.

“There has been a dramatic change in sentiment,” said Adrian Day, president of Annapolis, Maryland-based Adrian Day Asset Management.

Citigroup said on Thursday that the enthusiasm is justified, with $1,500 to $1,600 an ounce possible in the next 12 months under a bullish-case scenario that includes borrowing costs falling below zero. Strategists at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group joined the club on Friday, saying gold will remain a “highly relevant” portfolio diversifier.

In the longer term, one risk to the market is if the Federal Reserve doesn’t follow through with US interest rate cuts, said Wayne Gordon, a Singapore-based executive director for commodities and foreign exchange at UBS Group's wealth management unit. UBS predicts two rate cuts this year, but the market is pricing in three, he said.

Gold for August delivery climbed 4.1 per cent this week, posting the biggest gain for a most-active contract since April 2016. The metal’s ascent to $1,400 faced resistance after US existing home sales topped estimates and as tensions with Iran dialed down some. By the end of trading Friday, the precious metal settled at $1,400.10 an ounce in New York.

“The dollar’s coming up a little bit on existing home-sales figures, and also you’re seeing some profit-taking going into the weekend right now with the fact that Trump is open to dialogue with the Iranians now versus an attack,” Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago, said. “When the market goes up as fast as gold did over the last few days, you can expect pullbacks, but the trend will still remain up.”