Outlook for gold positive in 2010

The World Gold Council said recent moves by India and Sri Lanka to acquire gold suggested that central banks are increasingly looking at the yellow metal to diversify their investment portfolios.

Gold, which has been one of the bigger investment vehicles this year, would remain so as the demand for the metal is underpinned by inflation, economic uncertainty and investors' search for alternative assets, says an official of the World Gold Council (WGC).

Addressing a webinar on gold demand trends, Rozanna Wozniak, investment research manager at the WGC, said the recent moves by India and Sri Lanka to acquire gold suggested that central banks were increasingly looking at gold to diversify their investment portfolios.

Presenting an analysis of gold demand-supply dynamics and trends to investors and traders in the third quarter of 2009, she said it marked the second consecutive quarter-on-quarter improvement for both jewellery and industrial demand. And in the case of industrial demand, it was clear that the turning point for demand had been reached.

Grant Collins, senior managing director, Dubai Commodity Asset Management, said gold investments were gaining favour in markets where exposure to the metal was limited until now.

Uncertain economic conditions and currency fluctuations had encouraged greater allocation to gold in portfolios.

"We expect demand for gold investment to remain strong with investors looking for simpler and secure means to access the gold market," Mr Collins said.

Ms Wozniak said while the outlook for gold investment is healthy in Western economies, "trends in the non-western markets are likely to mirror the jewellery market."

Given the recent rise in the gold price, the outlook for jewellery demand remained uncertain, Ms Wozniak said, adding that Q4 is expected to be a mixed quarter.

While the gold price has repeatedly tested new highs over the last few months and key jewellery markets are looking for opportunities to buy on dips, it is still too early to see where the new levels of key support would emerge now that the gold price has moved into a new trading range, she said.

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