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Analysts expect gold prices to hover around $1,950 an ounce in the coming months, keeping close to all-time highs as central banks stop raising interest rates and investors buy bullion as a hedge against economic uncertainty, a Reuters poll showed.

Gold hit a 13-month peak of $2,048.71 in April, just $24 shy of its record high, as bank failures spread fear through markets.

Prices have since slipped to around $1,990 after central bankers made clear they had not finished their interest rate hikes.

Gold is traditionally seen as a safe way to preserve wealth. However, the non-yielding metal suffers when high interest rates raise returns on competing assets such as bonds and boost the U.S. dollar, making gold costlier for buyers with other currencies.

The poll of 41 analysts and traders conducted in April returned median forecasts for gold to average $1,950 an ounce in the second quarter of 2023, $1,965 in the third and $2,000 next year.

So far in 2023, gold has averaged around $1,915 an ounce, higher than the average in any previous full year.

Three months ago, a Reuters poll predicted prices would average $1,852.50 in 2023. All but four of the 35 participants in both polls raised their forecasts.

“We expect gold to challenge the double top at $2,075 this year,” independent analyst Ross Norman said.

Confirmation from the U.S. Federal Reserve that it has finished raising interest rates would boost gold, Saxo Bank strategist Ole Hansen said. Investors expect a rate rise from a Fed meeting on May 2-3. It is not clear whether further increases will follow.

Carsten Menke at Julius Baer said gold had “moved too fast too far.” With neither a rapid fall in interest rates nor a recession likely, “there is more downside than upside for prices,” he said.

For silver, the poll forecast average prices of $23.95 an ounce in 2023 and $25.20 in 2024, above its year-to-date average of around $23.20.

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