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Gold Prices "Peaked Last Year"

U.S. DOLLAR Gold Prices will not set any fresh records in 2012, having hit their "cyclical peak" last September, according to a prominent precious metals research group.

In its 'Gold Yearbook 2012', launched this week, New York-based CPM Group says that fears the global financial system will collapse have subsided, leading to fewer investors Buying Gold through "panic".

CPM Group does however say Gold Prices will hold onto most of their pre-2011 gains for the foreseeable future.

"We are looking for the price to stay above $1500 this year and above $1400 over the next few years," CPM Group founder and managing director Jeffrey Christian said at the report's launch.

Spot market Gold Prices first broke through $1400 an ounce in late 2010, and went through $1500 for the first time in April 2011, before going on to set an all-time high at $1920 in September.

"We reached the cyclical peak later than we thought," said Christian," but by the end of the year the price was down and [gold] has been trading sideways."

By contrast, investment bank Goldman Sachs has reiterated its forecast for gold to set a new record at $1940 per ounce within the next 12 months.

"We believe that the macro environment is likely to soften in second quarter with few near-term upside catalysts other than increased tensions in the Middle East," said Goldman in a note to clients this week.

"Subdued US growth in 2012 will likely support Gold Prices, although risks to our constructive view are rising," it said, noting that continued strong US economic data could pose a risk to its Gold Price forecasts.

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