From the January 2011 issue of Research Magazine • Subscribe!

January 1, 2011

2011: Looking Good for Metals, Oil & More

U.S. Global Investors released its early December market outlook shortly after the price of gold rose to a record $1,430.60 per ounce. Concern that the U.S. economy may need more stimulus funding and Europe’s debt crisis will continue boosted the appeal of gold as an alternative to holding currency, the fund group says. The price of silver has also been surging and recently hit the highest level it has seen since 1980. Silver reached $30.42 per ounce, due to the Federal Reserve announcement of possibly increasing Treasury purchases and over euro zone concerns, says U.S. Global.

Societe Generale has forecast that gold will reach a new all-time high of around $1,485 per ounce, driven by mounting inflation fears and euro zone monetary policies. In addition, Credit Suisse has noted that many of the drivers that have been pushing gold prices higher throughout 2010 are expected to persist into 2011, which would see a gold price as high as $1,600 per ounce by end of next year. Also, Jeff Nichols, senior economic adviser at Rosland Capital, proclaimed that the euro zone troubles could push gold easily to $2,000 per ounce in the next year or two.

Bloomberg consensus has the S&P 500 rallying to 1,325 by the end of 2011 with a spread of 1,200 to 1,500. “Unfortunately, the market has the uncanny ability to move in the direction which disappoints the most people, and there are a lot more people wishing the equity market would go up than those wanting gold to go higher,” shares U.S. Global.

In the commodities arena, the International Energy Agency revised upward its 2010 and 2011 demand forecasts by 130,000 barrels of oil per day and 260,000 barrels per day. However, according to the World Steel Association, growth in global steel demand is expected to slow to 5.3 percent in 2011, but to still hit a record 1.34 billion tons.

Emerging markets still look set for a strong 2011. Taiwan’s November exports surprised on the upside with a year-over-year growth of 21.8 percent.

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