Investors want to know if this week's Jackson Hole, WY meeting of central bankers will result in further stimulus measures and a rally in gold prices - but they don't have to wait to know gold is headed higher in 2012.
Gold fought back from its Tuesday morning low of $1,659.10 an ounce after a read on consumer confidence showed sentiment dropped in August to its lowest level in nine months. Americans have become increasingly worried about their employment scenarios and the overall outlook on the sluggish U.S. economy.
"Bad news is good news for gold again," Charles Nedoss of Kingsview Financial told CNBC.
Gold for December deliverylost $5.90, or 0.4%, to end at $1,669.70 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange - but the slip won't last.
"Before you know it, gold is going to push for the next level, somewhere above $1,700 an ounce," Michael K. Smith, president of T & K Futures in Florida, told MarketWatch.
Gold glistened last week on news of possible additional monetary intervention from the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Following the release of the Federal Reserve's minutes last Wednesday, gold prices climbed to a 16-week high on hopes the central bank may engage in a fresh round of monetary stimulus to give life to the besieged U.S. economy.
"Many members judged that additional monetary accommodation would likely be warranted fairly soon unless incoming information pointed to a substantial and sustainable strengthening in the pace of the economic recovery," according to the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes from July 31 - Aug 1.
Gold futures for December delivery hit $1,655.90 an ounce Wednesday after the 2 p.m. announcement, marking a then four-month high.
Gold prices continued the rally Thursday, gaining some $32.70 as the metal relished in renewed safe-haven buying. The precious metal was buoyed by an uninspiring manufacturing report from China revealing production fell to a nine-month low in August. The data suggested more action may be needed to boost the Asian nation's lackluster economy.
Now analysts see even more upside potential as the gold-price trend slopes upward. Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB) expects U.S. and Chinese policy measures to support gold's growth over the next quarter or so.