Others see simple but long-haul supply-demand arithmetic at work. Their argument runs something like this: in recent years, central banks have switched from net sellers to net buyers of gold, the dawn of the gold ETF earlier in the decade has ended up consuming gold supply, and net output from gold mines worldwide has decreased -- and will continue to do so.
One need look no further than Barrick, which finished unwinding its hedge positions earlier than expected, to see a gold mining concern making a bet on rising gold prices.
As for the shorter term, many traders only last week felt that a gold-price correction was in order, but the dollar continued to weaken this week, and gold futures popped again. One analyst told TheStreet's Alix Steel on Tuesday that he believes the metal could top $1,250 within the next 60 to 90 days.
In our latest gold-bug poll, we move the time horizon out somewhat further and ask readers of
TheStreet to put their own 12-month price targets on the world's favorite precious metal. No need to consult your alchemists' handbook. Simply take our survey. Where do you think gold prices will settle by the time December 2010 rolls around?