"Following a very strong start, gold has had a disappointing year for the most part, as it printed red for 2018," note TD Securities analysts.
"Although equity market weakness and a recent Fed shift toward a more dovish and pragmatic stance has provided a short covering boost, the same factors that have weighed on the yellow metal for much of the year will also serve as an impediment to prices breaking out above $1,300 in the early part of 2019. We expect choppy range-bound trading in the near-term, as the greenback remains relatively firm, Fed monetary policy continues to be ambiguous and China/EM economic and currency risks continue to manifest — a US-China trade deal will take time to negotiate and Chinese stimulus is unlikely to take hold until later in 2019.
"From our vantage point, much of the poor performance across the precious metals space has been sentiment and capital flow driven. This is a trend which is unlikely to be materially reversed in the near-term, now that US equity markets have caught a bid and data such as the December payrolls continue to beat expectations. But, as markets become convinced that the tightening cycle is done, a weaker USD and a materially slower US growth profile will once again raise equity correction risks in the latter half of 2019, prompting the yellow and white metals to jump higher again."
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