• ABN sees gold rising to $1,300/oz by year-end, up from $900
  • Bank no longer expects Fed to raise interest rates in 2016

For years, ABN AMRO Group NV’s Georgette Boele has been a staunch bear on gold as prices tumbled. Now with gold on the brink of a bull market, she’s changed her tune.

Boele changed her year-end forecast to $1,300 an ounce from $900, according to report released Tuesday. That implies a 7.7 percent advance from today’s level, instead of a 25 percent decline. The Amsterdam-based bank made similar changes for silver and platinum.

ABN Amro is becoming more pessimistic about the global economy, especially in the U.S., emerging markets and countries with exposure to oil. Boele no longer expects the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year.

“Having been long-standing bears we have now turned bullish on precious metal prices,” Boele wrote. “Our new scenario sees a longer period of weaker global growth.”

Gold is having a standout year on signs of distress in markets around the world -- equities descended into a bear market, oil slid below $30 a barrel and credit markets weakened. It’s sending investors rushing to havens, driving gold up 15 percent since mid-December and making it the best commodity of 2016.

Gold for immediate delivery climbed 0.6 percent to $1,207.82 an ounce as of 2:30 p.m. in London.

ABN Amro also increased price forecasts for other metals. Silver may end the year at $16.50 an ounce, about 8 percent above current level, according to the report. Platinum will be $1,050 an ounce, implying a gain of 12 percent, the bank said.

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