The deepening crisis in Ukraine will continue to boost safe-haven demand for gold though any evidence of a resilient U.S. economy in this week's key scheduled data releases may erode prices, CNBC's weekly sentiment survey showed.
"We have been warning about the headline risk out of the Ukraine for some time now, something we felt the bears should not get too complacent about," said Edward Meir, an analyst at INTL FCStone in New York. "We would prefer to tip our trading books towards the long side in gold."
Just over half of the respondents in CNBC's weekly survey (51 percent) agree with Meir, saying the price of gold will rise this week. Reinforcing the bullish view of CNBC's poll, the latest data from IG Markets shows 81 percent of their more than 501 clients with open positions expect gold prices to advance.
But almost a third (31 percent) forecast a decline. Positive surprises in U.S. data this week - which include the ISM manufacturing index and Friday's non-farm payrolls - represent the biggest downside risks.
Reuters' forecasts predict a 200,000 gain in April payrolls, a modest improvement from March's 192,000.
"Geopolitical factors should mean only short-term price noise," gold bears UBS said. "Accelerating economic activity in the U.S. and the developed world favors an end to the Fed's asset-purchase program in late 2014 and rate hikes in 2015."
Ensuing higher interest rates and "solid" economic growth in the U.S. "will increase the opportunity costs of holding the yellow metal and sow the seeds for another wave of ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) gold selling, about 300-400 tons, over the next 12 months," said UBS strategists Dominic Schnider and Giovanni Staunovo in emailed comments to CNBC.