Gold is set to advance by as much as 15 percent before the end of next year as the US Federal Reserve goes slow on increasing interest rates and the dollar remains subdued, buoying bullion demand, according to Templeton Emerging Markets Group.
"The Fed is going to increase the rates by a little bit, but not excessively, and there is no guarantee that a rise in interest rates will put people off," executive chairman Mark Mobius said in an interview at a Bloomberg event in Mumbai. "A lot will depend on the real rates."
Bullion has rallied 19 percent in 2016 as concern over the health of the global economy, loose monetary policies and the UK's vote to leave the European Union fanned demand. After raising rates last December for the first time in almost a decade, Fed policy makers have stood pat on borrowing costs in the six meetings since. While the dollar gained to the highest level since March on Friday on speculation that rates may soon climb, it remains lower this year.
"The US dollar is not that strong and may even decline," said Mobius, who also highlighted prospects for increased central bank buying of bullion. "So if that happens, gold gets more expensive."
Gold for immediate delivery traded 0.2 percent lower at $1,263.48 an ounce at 9:30 am in Singapore after rising last week, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. It surged to $1,375.34 in July after the aftermath of the Brexit vote in the UK, the highest since March 2014.
While Fed funds futures show the odds of a rise in December have climbed, investors are still plowing funds into gold-backed exchange-traded funds, with holdings at the highest in more than three years last week. The probability of a December hike is about 68 percent, from 59 percent at the start of the month.
Mobius's forecast for a higher gold price in 2017, even as the Fed proceeds to raise rates, is similar to the outlook from participants at last week's London Bullion Market Association conference in Singapore. Bullion will trade at $1,347.40 in a year's time, according to a survey of people at the gathering.
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said on Friday he'd support one interest rate increase in 2016 and a few more next year. Central bank officials next meet between Nov 1-2, the week before the US presidential election, and again in mid-December. Williams-who doesn't vote on policy this year-also said he would have supported a September increase.