Goldman's Currie: Gold Headed to $1,050 at Year-End

Friday, 05 Sep 2014 07:12 AM

By Dan Weil

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Gold prices dropped to a 2 1/2-month low Wednesday amid the dollar's strength and concern that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates sooner than expected.

December gold futures traded at $1,266.50 an ounce early Friday on the Comex.

Jeffrey Currie, head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs, predicts the decline will continue and recommends shorting the precious metal.

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"Obviously the Russia-Ukraine event [is] putting upward pressure on it [gold]. . . . Weakness in Europe and Japan has created an influent to U.S. Treasurys, which has put downward pressure on interest rates and upward pressure on gold prices," he tells CNBC.

"Our target at the end of this year is $1,050, driven by the view that the Fed will ultimately be the dominant force here and put more downward pressure [on gold]," Currie notes.

"Gold is a hedge against a debasement in the U.S. dollar."

While many economists expect the Fed to hold off increasing rates until at least the second quarter of next year, some have started to predict that the economy's strength will force an earlier move. GDP grew 4.2 percent in the second quarter.

As for the dollar, it reached a one-year high against the euro Thursday, as the European Central Bank decided to ease policy further.

Global central bank easing is no longer doing much to boost gold.

"You're getting diminishing returns from that extra cup of coffee" of monetary stimulus, Jorge Beristain, a metals analyst at Deutsche Bank, tells Bloomberg.

"Yes, today people are excited [about the ECB action], but how many positive jolts can the world take from another central bank lowering interest rates before people get immune to that?"

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