Based on analysts' forecasts many investors were expecting 2012 to be another strong year for gold. But looking at the market recently may cause some investors to wonder if the professionals got it right.
Following an 11-year bull run for gold in 2011, market watchers anticipated that 2012 would be another year of gains for the yellow metal gains. But three months into the year and gold has been taking some hits, rattling investors and begging the question: are analysts' forecasts right? 2012 gold prices forecasts covered a wide range of prices with some analysts projecting highs over $2,000/oz. For the most part, analysts were bullish on the yellow metal and many investors undoubtedly looked to their predictions for guidance and reassurance. We are now seeing weakness in the gold market. There has been a sharp decline in gold prices and according to some market speculators, there is the possibility for a further correction. If the price dips below certain technical levels, investors are warned that the door could be opened for a much sharper price decline. But does this mean that analysts got it wrong and the bull run is over? Investors should be aware that the gold market can render shocks and surprises like any other. Despite their optimism, analysts did warn that this year was likely to be another bumpy ride, especially early on. The macroeconomic picture is so complex and some of the pending issues are so unprecedented that forecasting has become a much more challenging task, even for those who may consider themselves market veterans. As a result, investors may see some adjustments to the details surrounding analysts' forecasts, but it is also likely that many of the those analysts will maintain a positive outlook. Such was the case for three major banks—Barclays, HSBC, and OCBC-who lowered their forecasts shortly after the new year but noted that they remain bullish on gold. Emerging markets HSBC's chief commodity analyst, Jim Steel announced a revised 2012 gold forecast of $1,850, down from $2,025. Among the reasons given for the change was lackluster demand from emerging markets.