Silver demand for solar panels is a growing segment of its industrial demand with record levels expected in 2018.
While the US Federal Reserve (Fed) will increase rates this year, inflation will remain stubbornly high, maintaining a low real rate environment. Gold prices could rise 8% in the first half of the year, aided by a weaker US Dollar (USD). However, USD strengthening in the second half of the year and subdued enthusiasm for the metal in the futures market could drive a sell-off, with gold ending the year at US$1230/oz, just 2.5% higher than today.
After dropping for seven consecutive weeks following Donald Trump’s election, gold started staging a relief rally at the end of December as the dollar consolidated, bond yields took a breather and the equity markets ebbed and flowed. Add to that some bargain-hunting as well as support from traditional buying in China ahead of Lunar New Year.