2012-01-07

Gold prices traded in a tight range

The gold price traded near unchanged Friday at $1,623 per ounce despite the stronger than expected December jobs report released this morning from the Labor Department. Gold prices traded in a tight range following the news that nonfarm payrolls rose by 200,000 and the unemployment rate fell to 8.5% – the lowest level since February of 2009.

Gold resiliency was also bolstered by positive commentary from two investment banks. Citigroup analyst Tom Fitzpatrick wrote in a report to clients that the gold price sell-off in recent months “has run its course and a rally is now back on the cards.” As long as the price of gold remains above $1,535 per ounce on a weekly basis, Fitzpatrick contended that gold’s long-term uptrend remains intact and it will proceed to reach a new all-time high of $2,400 per ounce later this year.

Jeffrey Wright, a senior research analyst at Global Hunter Securities, offered a more conservative but still constructive gold price outlook for 2012. Wright forecasted that the price of gold will remain range bound between $1,450 and $1,750 per ounce until a more concrete resolution to the European sovereign debt crisis materializes. ”I don’t think the bull market is over,” he noted, but “near term consolidation” could ensue for at least six more months.

If the euro crisis is resolved in some fashion later this year, Wright predicted that the markets will shift their focus to the United States’ dire fiscal situation. This development would put pressure on the U.S. dollar and provide a tailwind for the gold price. Investors “are going to go ‘what about us?” he asserted. ”We have no ability to repay this debt and the only way to pay it is to devalue the currency.” In this scenario, “gold will definitely come back into focus when depreciating the dollar becomes a practical policy.”

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