Top 10 gold price predictions for 2012

With gold prices up 10 percent in January alone, where do professional analysts predict gold prices will go in 2012?

The gold market got a powerful jolt last week when the Federal Reserve announced plans to keep interest rates at historic lows through at least 2014. It was a sign, perhaps, that the gold rally has more than a year’s worth of climbing to do (until the Fed gets serious about combating inflation). The news has helped push gold prices up 10 percent in January alone, and that’s got us wondering what’s in store for the metal in 2012. Let’s take a look then at the Top 10 gold price predictions for 2012:

1) An average price of $1,765 an ounce. A Reuters survey of 45 analysts predicted an average spot gold price of $1,765 an ounce in 2012. That’s 14 percent higher than last year’s average spot price for gold.

2) New all-time high for gold. After getting pressed in an interview with the Washington Post, Puru Saxena, chief executive officer of Puru Saxena Wealth Management, didn’t name a price target for gold, but he did say: “My best guess is the price of gold could reach a new high.”

3) $2,300 an ounce. That prediction comes from Peter Schiff, a former U.S. senatorial candidate from Connecticut. He believes 2012 will be the year the dollar finally starts to “fizzle” out (per ETFDailyNews). “We’re a long way from a blow-off top that you would get at the end of a bubble,” Schiff said in the interview. “We might eventually get there, but we’re years away and thousands of dollars an ounce away.”

4) $1,845 an ounce. Global banking giant Morgan Stanley revised their gold price predictions lower on Jan. 17. They believe gold will average $1,845 an ounce in 2012.

5) $1,681 an ounce. Investment bank Goldman Sachs was more bullish than Morgan Stanley. On Jan. 9, they were predicting gold would hit a new record of $1,940 an ounce in 2012 (per Bloomberg). Two weeks later, they were revising that figure down to $1,681 an ounce in 2012.

6) $1,892 an ounce. Barclays Capital believes the yellow metal will surge 21 percent on the year. That said, they also believe the gold price could go even higher by Q3 2012: “Gold is likely to reach a new all-time record high above $2,000 per ounce during the third quarter of 2012.” (per IBT).

7) $1,450-$1,750 an ounce. Jeffrey Wright, senior research analyst at Global Hunter Securities, believes gold will remain range bound for the year between $1,450 and $1,750 an ounce (per NuWireInvestor). He echoes many other analysts, though, in arguing that we will likely see a sprint north of $2,000 an ounce in 2012 at some point during the year.

8) $1,000 an ounce. The bulls are tempered by Jon Nadler, a senior analyst at Nadler argues gold will hit $1,000 an ounce before it hits $2,000 an ounce. “The question will remain for 2012, to what extent will investment demand be able to remain the principle driver and continue to attract interest from speculators and investors,” Nadler told TheStreet.

9) $3,000 an ounce. John Ing of Maison Placements Canada Inc. expects to see gold at $3,000 an ounce in 2012. “There’s just a lack of compelling investment alternatives,” Ing writes.

10) A Long-Term Prediction: $3,600 an ounce. Frank Holmes, CEO of U.S. Global Investors, believes gold prices could double in the next five years to $3,600 an ounce (per NuWireInvestor). “Does anyone really believe in the long term strength of the U.S. dollar … We’re just going to have to live with this volatility for another 12 months,” Holmes told NuWire.

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