Investment banks are generally upbeat on their outlook for how commodities, including gold and silver, will fare over the next 12 months. But economists at the World Bank are more sanguine and expect many commodities to fall in price next year.
Morgan Stanley (MS), for instance, lists gold, silver, corn and soybeans as its preferred commodities for 2013. It expects gold to average $1,853 an ounce next year and for silver to average $35.
On Friday, gold for February delivery dropped 0.4% to trade at $1,656.30 on the Comex. For the week ending Dec. 28, gold fell 0.3%, while silver weakened 0.7%.
Gold started the year at around $1,598, giving it a roughly 6% increase year to date, its smallest yearly gain since 2008. (The S&P 500, by comparison, rose roughly 15% in 2012.)
“Higher prices in recent years have brought both a supply and demand response, bringing many to call for the end of the commodity ‘super cycle.’ We view this as too simplistic,” Morgan Stanley’s commodities team said earlier this month.
But Barclays just cut its outlook for gold in 2013, though it still sees the precious metal ahead of current levels at $1,815 an ounce. Its silver forecast has remained steady at $32.50.
Its 2013 forecast for platinum is $1,690 an ounce (vs. $1,617 as of Dec. 14), while it sees palladium trading at $736 an ounce (vs. $704 on Dec. 14).
For its part, Bank of America (BAC) sees gold, copper, silver, platinum and palladium outperforming other commodities in the year ahead as global economic grow averages 3.2%.
“We expect large-scale policy easing by the Fed and the ECB should push gold prices higher,” the BofA analysts explained. They forecast gold to hid $2,000 an ounce in 2013. “A stronger Chinese economy will likely lend support to supply constrained metals next year, and we expect copper prices to average $7,750 a ton in the fourth quarter of 2013.”
UBS said earlier in December that its gold forecast is $1,900 an ounce in 2013, while its silver outlook is pegged at $36.80. Its platinum forecast is $1,740, and its palladium outlook is at $780.