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Gold price heads towards $1,130 - but where will it go in 2017?

After holding firm through much of Monday, gold fell overnight and was heading towards $1,130 an ounce this morning.

The end of New York trading saw gold settled at around $1,140. However, it was down 0.7 per cent at $1,132 in London today.

According to the Financial Times, gold was struggling after another turn higher for the US dollar and government bond yields. Year-to-date gains have now been trimmed to around eight per cent.

Prices have fallen from around $1,164 an ounce following the Federal Reserve's latest policy statement last week, which set out an upgraded forecast for three interest rate rises next year.

The non-yielding metal tends to struggle when rates boost income returns for other assets and is expected to have problems amid a surge in inflation spurred by a stimulus package from president-elect Donald Trump.

 

So what do analysts expect for the year ahead?

Having found resistance around the early $1,120s an ounce in the past week, gold could return to around $1,150 before the end of the year, predicts Mark To, the head of research at Hong Kong's Wing Fung Financial Group.

To also told Reuters the "medium to long-term view is not optimistic" and gold could "move down to $1,050 to $1,080 by the start of next year".

That's a relatively bearish case, however: most analysts seem to expect continued geopolitical and macroeconomic tension should remain supportive of commodity prices in 2017.

Canadian investment bank BMO Capital Markets says gold should average $1,175 an ounce in the next 12 months, according to Mining.com. That's down from its previous prediction of above $1,400 but still up from its current level.

The bank said: "We expect the macro outlook to continue to cloud a precious metal strategy, but recognise that the risk is to the upside given our view that markets are already pricing in the impact of three Fed rate hikes in 2017."

Citigroup predicted a similar level, with mining analyst Trent Allen telling the Sydney Morning Herald gold is expected to "hover around $1,160 an ounce".

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