Gold seen surpassing $1,110 on central bank buying


By Frank Tang
Tuesday, September 15, 2009

DENVER -- The price of gold could rise above $1,110 an ounce in 2010 as central banks diversify their reserves into gold due to a faltering dollar, economist Martin Murenbeeld told the Denver Gold Forum on Tuesday.

Murenbeeld, president of Canada-based consultant DundeeWealth Economics, forecast gold could rise to an average of $1,116 an ounce in 2010.

Spot gold XAU= was trading at around $1,002 an ounce on Tuesday. Bullion closed above $1,000 for the first time last Friday on the back of dollar weakness.

In a keynote speech at the Gold Forum, an annual industry get-together, Murenbeeld said that there was a positive change in central banks' attitudes toward gold as an investment and a key part of their reserves.

"The central banks and the G20 (countries) have complained more precipitously about the U.S. dollar and the U.S. monetary and fiscal policies, which leads them to think more and more about shifting their reserves," he said.

"They don't have a lot of options for shifting their reserves, and gold is being mentioned more frequently as an important asset."

Recently, China and other emerging economic powers have signaled growing interest in gold rather than stockpiling their currency reserves in U.S. dollar-denominated assets.

In addition, Murenbeeld, who is also an adjunct professor for the MBA program at the University of Victoria, said that gold is becoming increasingly used in investment portfolios for performance and lowering overall risks.

"More and more portfolio managers are starting to think gold and commodities as an asset class," he said.

Murenbeeld also said it was possible that a geopolitical event or crisis could drive gold prices sharply higher.

"Slowly but surely, gold is going back to its days where it was being held in a precautionary form by people worry about currency debasement, inflation, whatever you worry about," he said.

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