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Goldman Sachs slashes gold forecast

Section: Daily Dispatches

By Frank Tang
Thursday, August 14, 2008

NEW YORK -- Goldman Sachs slashed its forecast on gold prices on Thursday, citing overvalued bullion and expected strength of the dollar against major currencies.

The U.S. brokerage said it lowered its 3-month gold outlook to $745 an ounce from its previous view of $890 an ounce.

"The US dollar has recently begun to show initial signs of strength as the fundamental picture for the dollar has improved substantially in recent weeks," Goldman told clients in a research note.

Goldman said that according to its model, gold had overshot its fair value over the past few weeks and the metal is now trading near its price estimate.

Goldman also cut its gold forecast to $810 from $905 on a 6-month basis, and to $740 from $810 on a 12-month basis.

The dollar has recently soared against the euro -- which fell below $1.48 to its weakest level since February.

Meanwhile, the price of gold has tumbled in the past 30 days. It traded at $812 an ounce on Thursday, sharply below its recent high of $987.75 set on July 15.

A higher greenback makes dollar-denominated gold more expensive for investors holding other currencies. Gold is also used as a hedge against the falling U.S. dollar.

Last Thursday, UBS investment Bank also cut its one-month gold forecast by 15 percent to $850 an ounce from $1,000 an ounce, citing improving risk appetite, stronger equities and a firmer dollar.

Last November, Goldman told investors to sell gold in 2008 to take advantage of the falling prices as the dollar steadied, and it named the strategy as one of its top 10 tips for this year.

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