Gold is likely to need significant fresh support from a move in the wider financial markets, as well as a drop in the dollar, to push it to fresh highs.

Gold traded below $1,660 an ounce in Europe on Thursday, extending their retreat from two-week highs. Prices are awaiting fresh direction from U.S. data, which on Thursday includes a final reading of fourth-quarter growth, weekly jobless claims and corporate profits numbers. Strong data may undermine the case for a fresh round of monetary easing.

The dollar remained on the back foot after falling to a near one-month low in early trade against a basket of six major currencies, down 0.1 percent. A softer dollar tends to support gold.

Morgan Stanley projects gold prices will rise to $1,845 per ounce in 2012 and $2,175 in 2013. For now they see that absence of central bank sales, limitations in size of the scrap gold pool, the rising demand from ETFs and coin sales is likely to see the bull market last into 2012 - 2013.

HCM have a $2000 2012 and a $2320 2013 target on Gold.

Shayne Heffernan

Shayne Heffernan oversees the management of funds for institutions and high net worth individuals.

Shayne Heffernan holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.