Gold prices are coming off their worst annual performance in over three decades. That sent the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) to a 2013 loss of 28.3%, but silver was much worse, a fact highlighted by a 36.3% loss for the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV).
At least bullion was able to finish 2013 above the psychologically important and Thursday’s gain of 1.7% has led to some chatter that precious metals ETFs will rebound in 2014.One day does not make a trend is advice worth remembering with any security and despite Thursday’s upside, some market observers are leery of gold rebounding in earnest this year. [More Technical Pain Seen for Gold]
The specter of rising interest rates, which would likely boost the U.S. dollar, could hamper gold over the next year or longer.
“I would really think about rate hikes. If you make a 12-month forecast you need to look into 2015 and rate hikes are on the cards,” said Dominic Schnider, head of non-traditional asset classes at UBS Wealth Management, in an interview with CNBC.
Schneider forecasts a decline to $1,050 per troy ounce for gold this year, a more than 16% decline from current levels. UBS is not the only global bank with a bearish outlook for gold this year. Goldman Sachs, as just one example, also sees double-digit downside in 2014 for bullion.
While gold moved above $1,220 per ounce Thursday, that is not comfortably enough removed from $1,180, an area believed to be critical support. Many technical analysts have said that a move below $1,180 for gold means a move a to $1,050 an ounce, which would predictably be a dire scenario for already downtrodden gold miners. The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX) lost 55.1% last year. [Gold Miners Could Write-Down Assets]