Gold to fall to fresh lows on US recovery: Goldman
Acceleration in the U.S.' economic recovery will push the price of gold to fresh lows in 2014 after keeping steady for the remainder of this year, according to Goldman Sachs.
Commodity analysts Damien Courvalin and Jeffrey Currie said the price of gold this year would be supported by the recent string of slightly disappointing data out of the U.S. Consumer sentiment, retail sales and jobs growth in America have all come in below expectations this month.
Their research note comes as the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets in the U.S., with most economists expecting the U.S. Federal Reserve to announce the scaling back – or "tapering" - of its $85 billion-per-month bond-buying program when the meeting ends on Wednesday.
"In particular, our U.S. economists' expectations for a 'dovish' taper and gold's recent decline will likely limit the downside to gold prices heading into the September FOMC," Courvalin and Currie's note said on Tuesday.
But the analysts added that they expect gold prices to resume their decline next year, as U.S. growth becomes more entrenched and the Fed continues to rein its stimulus programs.
An improvement in the U.S. economy will likely hit gold – which is generally seen as a 'safe haven' in times of economic turmoil – as investors gain the confidence to buy up riskier assets like equities.
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"Our economists' outlook for accelerating U.S. growth late in the year (2013), clearly above-trend growth and a less accommodative monetary policy stance in 2014 remain the key driver to our bearish outlook for gold prices into 2014," they wrote.
Goldman expects the gold price to fall to $1,050 in 2014 – a fall of 20 percent from current prices.
The precious metal's price has had a volatile year so far, with unrest in the Middle East, unstable currency markets and uncertainty over the Fed's tapering timetable driving gyrations.
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Gold fell to below $1,200 an ounce following the hawkish FOMC meeting in June, before rallying to peak at $1,420 in late August. Since then it has fallen sharply back down to around $1,300, and on Tuesday morning in London was trading at $1,318.
Goldman's analysts said they expect gold prices to be range-bound to the end of this year, at around $1,300, although they stressed that if the Federal Reserve's taper was more hawkish than they expected, the slide in prices could be accelerated.
Continued pressure on emerging markets – which have been pounded in 2013 amid speculation of an end to the Fed's bond-buying program – also present further downside risk on prices this year, they warned, along with continued unrest in Syria and the U.S. debt ceiling issue.
—By CNBC's Katrina Bishop. Follow her on Twitter @KatrinaBishop