UBS Lifts 2012 Gold-Price Outlook by 50% to $2,075 on ‘Explosive Cocktail’

UBS AG (UBSN) boosted its 2012 gold-price forecast by 50 percent, citing “ongoing global macroeconomic disappointments.”

The metal will average $2,075 an ounce next year, up from an earlier estimate of $1,380, the bank said today in a report. Prices will average $1,725 in 2013, compared with a previous forecast of $1,200, UBS analysts led by London-based Edel Tully said.

Bullion has surged 28 percent this year, touching a record $1,923.70 an ounce in New York yesterday, as escalating debt woes in Europe and the U.S. spurred concern that the global economy will falter, lifting demand for haven assets. Gold is in the 11th year of a bull market as record-low U.S. borrowing costs boosted demand for an inflation hedge.

“The maintenance of U.S. rates close to zero means that gold is not in competition with assets that offer yield,” UBS said. “Economic growth expectations globally are declining, high debt burdens in Europe will continue to hamper growth, and the risk of a U.S. recession is rising. All of these factors are individually positive for gold. Taken together, they are a potentially explosive cocktail.”

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said that the central bank should move “aggressively” to reduce unemployment and “seriously consider” further stimulus measures. The Fed has pledged to hold rates low for about two years. Unemployment has remained at around 9 percent or higher since April 2009.

Gold futures for December delivery fell $55.70, or 3 percent, to settle at $1,817.60 on the Comex in New York.

The metal will be “increasingly used as the line of defense against additional negative market outcomes,” UBS said. “Money will likely flow into the gold market over the months ahead and into 2012, and this should have significant price implications.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Millie Munshi in New York at mmunshi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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