On Thursday, gold was retreating further from near seven-year highs reached Tuesday, but even gold bugs probably aren’t complaining (not too much anyway) about a price in the mid-$1,500s, the highest since March 2013.
The extent of gold’s rally caught most market watchers by surprise. Hedge funds speculating in futures were net short as recently as April and even ardent bulls’ predictions fell well short.
The 2019 entries for the London Bullion Market Association long running forecasting competition show how bearish the consensus view was at the beginning of the year.
The 30 investment and institutional analysts in the competition predicted gold would average $1,311 during the course of the year and even the most bullish – Rene Hochreiter of Noah Capital Markets/Sieberana Research in Johannesburg and Rhona O’Connell of INTL FCStone based in London – fell short of the actual average in 2019 of $1,392.60.
It was Hochreiter’s seventh win which equals that of Ross Norman, CEO of Sharps Pixley, London’s largest bullion broker. Norman came closest to predicting the average price of palladium over 2019 ($1,537).
Another former winner, Bernard Dahdah of French investment bank Natixis, were spot on with silver ($16.20) and shared the platinum prize with a prediction just $8 shy of the annual average of $863.
First place winners receive a 1 ounce gold bar, which today is worth much more than they hoped for a year ago. Predictions for 2020 will be published at the end of the month.