Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Gold Rally Possible Over Inflation Fears
By ALLEN SYKORA Gold is likely to continue trading above $900 an ounce and could perhaps even challenge $1,000 again as investors fret about the potential for inflation stemming from global economic-stimulus efforts and a softer U.S. dollar, many analysts say. The interest in gold comes even as buying of the metal as a safe investment has lessened. Stocks are well up from March lows, and worries about the banking sector appear to have faded somewhat. Still, "there are still plenty of problems out there, and I think you are going to continue to see flight to safety be an important factor," said Bill O'Neill, one of the principals with Logic Advisors. He suggested that by year-end, gold will again test $1,000, which it topped for the first time in 2008. "Inflation seems to be an inevitable development," he said. "I think demand for hard assets will continue to be strong, and gold will slowly but surely benefit from that." May gold futures on Friday rose $7.70, or 0.8%, to $958.50 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the highest settlement price for a front-month contract since Feb. 25. The price is up 8.5% this year. Gold for June delivery, the most actively traded contract, rose $7.70, or 0.8%, to $958.90. But before gold hits $1,000, it could dip below $900, some analysts say. Prices could head toward $800 as seasonal weakness sets in from mid-June to the end of the summer, said CPM Group analyst Carlos Sanchez. Among the skeptics is Leonard Kaplan, president of Prospector Asset Management. He said he expects gold to decline in the months ahead as the global economy remains soft, dismissing ideas that signs of growth may be emerging in the economy. "In a deflationary recession," he said, "everything goes down."