NEW YORK (Kitco News) - The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) releases an annual survey with the industry's top analysts' precious metals forecasts for the year. The newly released 2016 survey shows that more and more analysts are bullish on gold.

One forecaster, William Adams, head of research for U.K.-based, FastMarkets, says he is expecting gold to work in a range of $980-$1,222 in 2016, with an average of $1,132 an ounce.

'We have had a strong run-up and the market was caught off-guard; we have seen strength come in and some investors who missed the initial [gold] rally are chasing prices higher now,' he said in an interview with Kitco News. Adams added, 'we probably will start running into some resistance soon.'

Gold prices ended higher and hit a 3.5-month high on Thursday with April Comex gold last up $16 at $1,157.30 an ounce.

'Safe haven demand will likely be the swing factor for gold, since equity markets look weak after extremely powerful  bull markets, we would not be surprised if money rotates out of equities and into safer havens,' Adams said.

Add the slumping U.S. dollar index to the list of bullish elements helping to drive gold prices. Adams explained that increased concerns over the global macro picture may be underpinning the dollar right now, but still thinks the dollar has already anticipated the first couple of interest rate rises. 'So it may be due for a correction, especially if weakness in financial markets suggest the Fed moved too early,' he said.

On the silver front, Adams is forecasting the metal to trade in a range of $12.80-$17.40 with an average price of $16.20 an ounce. Silver prices also scored a 3.5-month high Thursday. March Comex silver was last up $0.171 at $14.905 an ounce.

The metals now await Friday morning's U.S. employment report for January. The key non-farms payroll number is expected to be up 185,000 following a strong rise of 292,000 in December. A number outside of market expectations is likely to cause higher price volatility.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.

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