Gold Prices 2014: Do What Goldman Does, Not What It Says

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Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) must really want to buy more gold; this week it repeated yet again its forecast for gold prices in 2014 to drop to $1,050 an ounce.

That might sound contradictory at first, but not when it comes to Goldman.

Jeffrey Currie, the investment bank's head of commodities research, has repeated his $1,050 target several times since last October, when he declared gold a "slam-dunk sell" along with other precious metals.

gold prices 2014But investors need to be very skeptical when looking at Goldman's forecasts for gold prices. Not only are they often wrong, but the bank frequently does the opposite of what it recommends.

That Goldman has seen fit to repeat its $1,050 so frequently over the past six months smacks of frustration.

While gold prices did briefly slip below $1,200 in December, the yellow metal is up about 17% since then. Gold prices were trading at about $1,327 on Monday afternoon – hardly the tumble Currie predicted last fall.

Last month, as gold prices were touching their high of $1,382, Currie took the opportunity to remind the world that Goldman was still bearish.

"It would require a significant, sustained slowdown in U.S. growth for us to revisit our expectation for lower U.S. gold prices over the next two years," Currie wrote in a research note.

Money Morning Resource Specialist Peter Krauth disagrees. From where he sits, the gold selloff pretty much exhausted itself in January.

"The largest physical gold ETF, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE ARCA: GLD), sold off 42% of its metal between its record high in Dec. 2012 and Jan. 2014, or 564 tons of gold. That selling looks to have bottomed in mid-January and GLD holdings have started to grow again since then – a major trend reversal," Krauth said.

While gold prices may not get back to $1,900 an ounce, neither are they likely to slump down to $1,000. Even if gold prices do slip back below $1,200, demand from central banks as well as Asia is likely to keep them from slipping to $1,100 or lower.

So why is Goldman so insistent that gold prices are going to drop all the way to $1,050, and why should investors view the bank's forecasts with caution?

To answer that, we need to look at Goldman's track record…

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