Spot Gold was down 0.3% at 1,753.29 oz at 1044 GMT, having earlier touched a high of 1,759.84, while US Gold futures for February delivery were down 3.20 at 1,755.30 oz.

In the long term, I expect Gold to continue benefiting from low US interest rates, central bank buying and strong demand from key markets like China. LTN renews our positive 12-month view on Gold Wednesday.

We expect US real interest rates to remain lower for longer than announced because our expectation for US economic growth in the US to remain slow through Y 2012 and beyond, Crude Oil price is a Key market that can inhibit growth.

That said Shayne and I expect Gold prices to continue to rise through Y 2012, reaching 2,000 oz over the next 12 months, and recommend a long Gold position.

Among other precious metals Wednesday, Silver was down 0.7% at 34.07 oz. Spot Platinum is + 0.4 at 1,690.99 oz, and spot Palladium is trading up 0.8% at 711.58 oz.

Platinum prices rallied to their highest since 22 September in earlier trade Wednesday at 1,705.50 oz, lifted by ongoing unrest at 1 of the World's biggest Platinum mines, Impala Platinum's Rustenberg facility.

A violent labor dispute at the mine has already cost Implats at least 80,000 ounces in lost output. Implats said Tuesday it was hopeful that most of the workforce at its Rustenburg operations would be persuaded by union leaders to return to work.

LTN's Homework Research sees a slow return to production at Impala's Rustenburg operations over the next month is likely, with total lost output expected to exceed 100,000 ounces of Platinum and 45,000 ounces of Palladium.

Platinum narrowed its historically unprecedented discount to Platinum to around $65 from $230 oz in January.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr. writes and publishes The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a weekly, highly-regarded financial market letter, read by opinion makers, business leaders and organizations around the world.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr has studied the global financial and stock markets since 1984, following a successful business career that included investment banking, and market and business analysis. He is a specialist in equities/commodities, and an accomplished chart reader who advises technicians with regard to Major Indices Resistance/Support Levels.