Nicholas Larkin, Claudia Carpenter and Pham-Duy Nguyen
Tuesday, Jan 6, 2008
Gold, the best-performing metal in 2008, may appreciate for an eighth year as investors seek a refuge from declining interest rates at the same time that central banks inject more cash into the banking system.
The metal will average $910 an ounce in 2009, 4.3 percent more than last year, according to the median forecast of 20 analysts, traders and investors surveyed by Bloomberg. Silver and platinum, which averaged at least 12 percent more in 2008, will decline this year, the survey showed.
Gold prices may strengthen after about $29 trillion was wiped off equities last year, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates to as low as zero and governments sought to end the worst financial crisis since World War II. The metal was one of only four commodities to rise when the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index fell 36 percent, the worst year in a half-century.
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“People fear inflation, they fear the credit crunch and they fear currency losses, and gold is the perfect insurance against all of that,” said Frederic Panizzutti, a senior vice president at Geneva-based bullion refiner MKS Finance SA, who forecasts gold will average more than $900 in the first half of 2009. Panizzutti was the most accurate forecaster in the London Bullion Market Association’s 2008 survey.
Average gold prices have risen for seven consecutive years, the longest winning streak since at least 1949. While the return of 5.8 percent through 2008 was the smallest since 2004 in dollar terms, gold rose 11 percent in euros and 44 percent in British pounds, data on Bloomberg show.