Hussein Allidina, head of commodity research at Morgan Stanley, has an average price forecast for gold of $2,200 an ounce in 2012. David Darst, chief investment strategist at Morgan Stanley, said this is primarily "due to monetary expansion and the lack of faith by investors globally and the desire to diversify the reserves of central banks and individuals."
Frank Trotter, president of EverBank Direct, doesn't see a rally that strong next year but does see a 10% to 15% rise which could create a trading range of $1,800 to $2,000 an ounce. Trotter also said investors have been rotating out of the company's unallocated accounts and have been taking physical delivery instead, "four to five times what it was three-four years ago."
"I think gold is an investment," said Trotter. "I think as people [think a euro breakup] is really coming other people will start to take a look and say there is something to this" and start accumulating physical gold.
One worry brewing is India. India consumed 963 tons of gold in 2010, but in the third quarter jewelry demand fell 26%, according to the World Gold Council. "We would expect Indian demand to pick up but it depends on the currency," said Marcus Grubb, managing director at the World Gold Council, and a stronger dollar has been hammering the rupee. The U.S. dollar is currently up around 1% vs. the rupee, which has left many experts worried about a lack of gold buying in the country. "India as a nation is quite possibly the planet's largest buyer of bullion," wrote Stephen Guilfoyle, economist at Meridian Equity Partners. "When the home currency is weak against a commodity priced in dollar terms, the home team not only will be discouraged from buying said commodity, but will be motivated to take a profit because the commodity is worth much more of the home currency." According to Darst, Indian citizens own a fifth of the world's above-ground gold supply. A big swing in their consumption habits would create waves for the gold prices but Darst thinks their commitment to gold is strong. "In India 73% of their 1.1 billion people still live on the farm and for them gold is the bank," Darst said.
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