Gold seen rising in 2010 on inflation worries
LONDON (Reuters) - Gold prices will be pushed up next year by a weaker dollar and inflation concerns, even though bullion's appeal as a less risky asset may be waning as the economic outlook improves, Calyon said on Tuesday.
Calyon, the investment banking arm of French bank Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA), forecast the price of gold will average $935 an ounce this year, rising to $975 in 2010 and $1,025 in 2011.
Gold was trading around $950 an ounce on Tuesday.
The yellow metal rose to an 11-month high over $1,000 an ounce in February when risk-averse investors piled into bullion as stock markets tumbled but Calyon said a feeling the worst of the downturn is over is now helping to improve risk appetite.
"It was fear of financial Armageddon that drove gold to those highs," Calyon metals analyst Robin Bhar told a news briefing. "That will not be a driver going forward."
"The two primary drivers we see pushing gold higher are a weaker dollar ... and massive injections by central banks of liquidity to support economic growth," he added. "This unconventional monetary policy is inflationary."
Calyon predicts that the dollar, favoured by investors as a relatively safe asset during the economic crisis, will weaken next year as a gradual economic recovery encourages a return of risk appetite.
A weaker U.S. currency supports demand for gold as it makes dollar-priced commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies, while rising inflationary expectations boost bullion's appeal as a hedge against rising consumer prices.
Investor interest from exchange traded commodity funds (ETFs) -- whose demand for gold increased 540 percent between the first quarter of 2008 and the same quarter in 2009 -- is also likely to be supportive of gold prices, Bhar added.
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