Gold will perform best among commodities next year and may rally to a record as investors seek to safeguard their wealth against slowing economic growth, according to Morgan Stanley.
The 2012 forecast for bullion was increased 35 percent to $2,200 an ounce, while a so-called bull-case target for next year was put at $2,464, analysts including Hussein Allidina wrote in a report yesterday. Silver may also gain, while forecasts for oil and copper were cut, the report said.
Morgan Stanley joins Credit Suisse AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in calling for gold to extend its rally next year as European policy makers battle a debt crisis. The metal is in the 11th year of a bull run as central banks step up purchases and investors seek to protect their assets from weaker currencies.
“With macro headlines threatening demand across the complex, we have become more selective about commodity exposure,” Allidina wrote. “Gold and silver are our top commodity picks heading into 2012.”
Spot bullion, which traded at $1,659.35 an ounce at 4:03 p.m. in Singapore, rallied to an all-time high of $1,921.15 on Sept. 6. The price advanced 8.2 percent in the third quarter, the 12th consecutive three-month gain.
“Gold, and silver to a much lesser extent, are viewed as safe havens and store of value as well as the closest thing to a global reserve currency,” the report said. Gold “has been the most resilient in past recessions,” it said.
Commodities are on course for the first annual drop in three years on concern that the sovereign-debt crisis in Europe may undermine global growth. Most advanced economies are lapsing into recession while the U.S. is already contracting, Nouriel Roubini, the economist who predicted the bubble in U.S. housing before the market peaked in 2006, said in New York last month.
The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index, a raw material gauge, has lost 4.1 percent this year after rising 20 percent last year and 50 percent in 2009. The index lost 12 percent in the three months to Sept. 30, the biggest drop since 2008.
Still, commodities may gain 20 percent over the next year as emerging-markets growth offsets the impact of Europe’s debt crisis and a slowdown in developed economies, Goldman analysts led by Jeffrey Currie wrote in an Oct. 4 report. Goldman reiterated a target for gold to trade at $1,860 in 12 months.
Increased investment and physical demand for gold due to financial-market dislocation helped drive this year’s rally, Credit Suisse AG analysts including Ric Deverell wrote in an Oct. 4 report. The bank lifted its 2011 forecast to $1,575 from $1,480 and its 2012 estimate to $1,850 from $1,540.
Silver for immediate delivery traded at $32.0425 per ounce today, having gained 42 percent over the past year. Morgan Stanley’s 2012 target is $50.