Gold Prices Outlook
Gold prices could hit $1,200 next week on a weak US dollar.Reuters

With little economic data due for release next week, gold prices are expected to take their cues from the US dollar.

Prices could touch the $1,200 barrier next week, and possibly break that barrier, provided the US dollar remains weak through the week.

Most commodity analysts believe the precious metal could build on the week's gains as traders take some of their US dollar profits off the table.

Data and Greece

On the data front, US inflation and fourth-quarter GDP figures due out next week could impact prices, but economists are now focused on the first-quarter of 2015, which is coming to an end.

Economic data apart, investors will also be tracking developments in Greece, where funding talks are expected to resume. Any breakdown in negotiations will boost gold's safe-haven status.

Colin Cieszynski, senior market analyst at CMC Markets, told Kitco News that he could see gold take a run up to $1,200 an ounce next week, but it might not have enough momentum to break that key psychological barrier.

Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, told Kitco he could see gold test resistance at $1,190 an ounce next week as it consolidates with support at $1,150. He said the greenback's long overdue correction will have the biggest impact on the metal's prices.

Hansen said one of the reasons he was looking for a weaker US dollar was because, apart from nonfarm payrolls, most US economic data going back to December has disappointed.

Nic Brown, head of commodity research at Natixis, said the recent US dollar correction was helping commodities. He added that although there was growing optimism in the marketplace, one needed to wait and watch if the dollar has topped out before expecting to see a sustainable gold rally.

Meanwhile, economists at CIBC said dismal core US inflation numbers could further delay expectations of a US Federal Reserve rate hike, a scenario that will be positive for gold.

Cieszynski said: "The US dollar has been on a spectacular run so I think we could see it consolidate lower, which would be positive for gold.

Hansen said: "It's too early to say if this is the start of a new leg higher for gold. A break above resistance at $1,193 would confirm that $1,140 is once again a decent area of support."

Commerzbank said in a note to clients: "Despite the US dollar appreciating again, gold has managed to gain to around $1,170 per troy ounce. In euro terms, it temporarily regained the €1,100 per troy ounce mark on the back of the weak common currency.

"[19 March's] EU summit on Greece and other topics yielded little in the way of new information. The highly-indebted country is supposed to submit another list of reform proposals in order to receive further aid and thus avert insolvency.

"In other words, the uncertainty over whether Greece will remain in the Eurozone remains, which should make gold attractive as a safe haven."

Gold rises

US gold futures for delivery in April finished at $1,184.60 an ounce on 20 March.

Prices gained 2.31% since 16 March.

LBMA

Goldman Sachs and UBS have joined Barclays, HSBC, Bank of Nova Scotia and Societe Generale, as participants in the new London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) Gold Price benchmark, according to the LBMA.

The electronic LBMA price-discovery process, which went live on 20 March, replaced the London Gold Fix, a system unchanged for nearly a century.