Don’t be fooled by gold’s recent comeback: Goldman

Goldman Sachs bearish on gold

Gold has regained its shine in recent months, but that doesn't change the dull outlook for the precious metal over the longer-term, warns Goldman Sachs, which sees prices falling to $1,000 in 12 months as the Federal Reserve normalizes monetary policy.

The yellow metal has rallied almost 8 percent since mid-July reflecting a reduction in expectations for a U.S. rate hike in 2015, a spike in global equity market volatility and lower U.S. long-term real rates. It is currently trading at $1,165 an ounce.

"A marked increase in Chinese official sector physical gold purchases during 3Q15 also likely supported gold prices," Goldman said in a note.

However, don't count on these factors bolstering gold in the year ahead, according to the bank, which expects a 25 basis point rate hike at the December Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting followed by 100 basis points of rate increases during 2016.

An environment of rising rates impacts the relative attractiveness of holding assets like gold because the metal provides no yield.

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"Our base case remains for higher U.S. real rates and lower gold prices, albeit with there being risks that the gold price weakness is pushed out further should the Fed surprise us and remain on hold in December," Goldman said.

Just as rate hikes are expected to be gradual, so is the decline in gold prices. The bank sees the precious metal at $1,100, $1,050, and $1,000, in 3, 6 and 12 months from now – marking a 14 percent decline from current levels.