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Gold price set to go up to US$2,000 by mid-year

GEORGE TOWN: The Gold Bullion Entrepreneurs Association of Malaysia (GBEAM) expects gold price to hit US$2,000 per ounce by mid-year from the current US$1,733 per ounce as the weakening global economy would drive more funds to safe-haven investments such as gold.

GBEAM secretary-general Datuk Joseph Kow said in an interview that from now till March, the price of gold should increase between 5% to 8%.

“We expect gold trading to pick up in the second quarter 2012,” he said.

Due to the Chinese New Year holidays and shorter working days, gold trading is expected to be slower in the first quarter,” Kow added.

Kow added that GBEAM would announce the recommended selling price of gold twice daily to its 4,000 members soon.

“Because gold prices fluctuate every minute, it is necessary to make the announcement a twice-daily routine.

“This will also give our members a clearer picture of the international gold trading market,” he said.

The recommended selling price of gold usually hovers between 22% to 25% of the market price, which would cover labour and operational costs and currency adjustment factors,” he said.

At present, GBEAM announces the recommended selling price of gold via SMS once daily.

Kow said GBEAM’s objective was to promote gold bullion trading to the Malaysians and emphasise the importance of gold investment as a hedge against inflation.

“Gold is generally perceived as money that is universally accepted like a currency,” he added.

An OCBC Bank report last month forecast that gold prices would target around US$1,800 per ounce by end-2012.

The upward trend of gold prices would continue into 2012, largely driven by the negative real-interest-rate environment as central banks were expected to cut interest rates or keep them at historical lows to support growth, it said.

“In 2011, gold purchases made by central banks were seven times higher than 2010, and this sets a bullish tone for gold as the bullion is increasingly being viewed as a store of value by both investors and global authorities, “the report said.

“As such, we believe gold prices to target US$1,800 per ounce by end-2012,” it added.

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