Gold had a wild 2011, starting the year at $1,412 an ounce, hitting a low right out of the gate of $1,314 and then rallying to an intra-day high of $1,923 an ounce.
The past few months have not been kind for gold. The precious metal tanked 13% in September and 8% in just three days last week as a strong dollar hammered prices. Gold's safe haven status looked to be a thing of the past as negative headlines out of Europe triggered a rush into the dollar instead of gold as liquidity dried up.
But gold's recent massacre is not scaring most experts."What I am looking for is a gold price of $1,800 an ounce in 2012," says Jeffrey Wright, senior research analyst at Global Hunter Securities. Wright says there could be spikes to $1,900 or $2,000, especially if gridlock in Congress brings up another budget battle and highlights the U.S.' own fiscal problems. "Once we get back into those discussions, there will be further pressure on the U.S. dollar and a refocusing on gold as a safe haven asset." Leo Larkin, metals and mining analyst at S&P Capital IQ, thinks that $1,900 gold might not be that much of a stretch. "Gold has been going up without interruption for 10 years" and a correction is totally normal, Larkin says. Gold has risen on average 17% annually over the past 10 years, and while Larkin doesn't expect such a juicy return in 2012, he does expect the up-trend to continue. "The United States' M2 supply is up 9% from the beginning of the year and the monetary base is up 30%. They are setting the stage for higher
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