Friday's afternoon Gold prices edged 1.25% lower to $1657.10 an ounce, moving against the broader market and reversing from premarket gains that wiped out year-to-date losses. Futures initially rose on the back of strength in the Chinese economy and a sharply declined U.S. dollar.
Today's dip marks one of several times the precious metal has dipped under $1,660 since December 2012, having declined 3.2% in the last 30 days. Gold climbed to a 52-week high of $1,802 in late February 2012, dipping to a low of $1,538 by May 2012. In October, prices nearly clipped $1,800 before closing out the year with a 7% gain, the smallest year's increase since 2008.
Some economists say that while gold prices appear to be stabilizing, we shouldn't expect much more action in the near term.
"With all of the questions about the debt ceiling and the government budget, gold is likely to range trade for the first quarter of this year," Chuck Butler, president of EverBank World Markets told Marketwatch.
"Once the landscape for those things can be laid out, the market will then have a clear direction," he said. "That direction most likely will include kicking the can down the road for the U.S., which would potentially drive the dollar down further, which would be good for gold."
Chris Mayer, managing editor of Agora Financial and editor of newsletter Capital & Crisis, echoed the bullish sentiment, recently telling Marketwatch that gold could easily top $2,000 an ounce in 2013.
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