The London Bullion Market Association survey of traders and analysts indicated that the average price this year will run roughly $1,753 per troy ounce, according to the poll that comes out after bullion pushed to its longest winning streak in more than 90 years.
The yellowish metal achieved a 12th consecutive year of annual gains last year and the poll indicates bullion will achieve a 13th consecutive year in 2013.
"I think we are going to see that continue," senior broker Kurt Pfafflin with Daniels Trading said.
At 12:33 p.m. on Friday, gold futures were down 1.14 percent, an $18.97 loss to $1,656.29 per troy ounce.
International intrigue, impetus
Worldwide central banks including the European Central Bank and the People's Bank of China committed to implementing additional steps to spur the economies they support, which typically drives gold prices higher as the monetary units lose value.
Countries including Brazil, Iraq and Russia are fueling a demand for the yellowish metal by scooping it up and augmenting their reserves.
Bullion is poised to reach higher this year amid continued growth in the U.S., the globe's largest economy, Goldman Sachs Group said late last year. In the meanwhile, the central bank of the U.S. will expand stimulus measures to spur the economy's development, the investment house said.
"Real interest rates remain negative in many countries and look set to remain negative for some time," states a Friday report authored by analyst Walter de Wet with Standard Bank in Johannesburg, according to Bloomberg. "As a result, the cost of holding gold and silver relative to cash remains negligible. We are not turning bearish on gold yet."
But the performance on Friday demonstrated losses for bullion.
The Wall Street Journal reports losses to the precious metal on Tuesday were linked with dealers and traders cashing out after gains from earlier this week.
Also prompting them to pull back was the widening scope of doubts regarding whether the central bank of Europe will implement additional monetary easing.
After having notched its seven-day high on Thursday by monitoring the upward drive of the shared currency of the European Union, its upward tendencies halted.
The European Central Bank opted to preserve interest rates intact without raising them, which also drew down the price of gold futures.
President Mario Draghi with the European Central Bank spoke of his brighter outlook for the region, but he did note challenges are afoot. He said the troubles caused by the sovereign debt crisis are not over but the later part of the year will see some improvement.
Consequently, some investors were prompted to express confidence that the financial institution would not implement policies that are more accommodative.
Economic data from China also played a role in the performance of the yellowish metal on Friday.
Consumer prices rise in China
The Asian nation saw consumer prices increase more than forecast, MarketWatch reports. The country is the globe's second-biggest purchaser of the yellowish metal, trailing only India.
The surprise data raised eyebrows since it might offset a plan to implement monetary easing policies to spur the economy, which trails only that of the U.S. for size.
The yellowish metal might figure in keenly though since its value sharpens when consumer prices rise.
"The fear is that this could discourage further easing from Beijing, which could in turn hamper growth prospects elsewhere," technical analyst Fawad Razaqzada with GFT Markets told MarketWatch. "Consequently, gold and silver — which is also an industrial metal — fell sharply and give back all of the gains made in the previous session."
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