GLOBAL - Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM) is predicting a boom year for the gold market, claiming that a combination of political and economic factors has created market conditions that are "the strongest seen for years".
Graham Birch, head of MLIM's natural resources team, claims that events such as the Enron fiasco and the Argentine debt default have made investors nervous of paper assets. Gold will benefit from this nervousness as investors turn to “the oldest and most trusted currency in the world” as a safe haven.
Dr Birch and his team at MLIM claim that the above factors, when coupled with the continuing war on terrorism and financial scandals, such as fraud at Allied Irish Bank, are likely to create sustained demand for gold in the upcoming months. MLIM points out that the price of gold is rising rapidly, having already appreciated by 13% since mid-2001 and 7% since the start of 2002.
He also discounted the possibility of gold prices falling in the event of increased demand being met by an increase in production. “Since most gold production tends to be sold forward, the likelihood of production being increased to match demand is low, he said.
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