Gold is red hot right now, and prices could be trudging towards $1,800 by the looks of it. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

New York (Bloomberg): Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has boosted its gold forecast to $1,800 an ounce as the coronavirus, depressed real rates, and increased focus on the US election continue to drive demand for the metal as a haven.

The bank raised its 12-month projection by $200, and said “in the event that the virus effect spreads to second quarter, we could see gold top $1,800/oz already on a three-month basis.”

(Spot gold, which is up more than 8 per cent this year, traded at $1,648.50 an ounce on Thursday.)

Virus boost

Gold is trading near a seven-year high, supported by an increasing number of coronavirus cases worldwide that threaten to curtail global economic activity. The metal has outperformed traditional haven currencies including the Japanese yen and Swiss franc as “the haven of last resort,” Goldman analyst Mikhail Sprogis said in a note.

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The bank expects prices to climb to $1,700 an ounce in three months, and to $1,750 in six months. It previously forecast $1,600 for both timeframes.