Gold prices are set to rise next week with the precious metal expected to build on the gains established so far this month.
As many as 14 of 22 analysts polled in a Kitco Gold Survey said they expected gold prices to rise next week, while four predicted that prices would drop and four forecast prices to remain unchanged.
Bob Tebbutt of Armour Asset Risk Management said the weakening US dollar is expected to continue to support bullion prices.
Gold's safe-haven investment status could get a boost next week from the uncertainty surrounding global economic growth; the ongoing standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine; and from equity investors eyeing the yellow metal, said Jeffrey Nichols, managing director, American Precious Metals Advisors.
There is "shifting sentiment on Wall Street with regard to equities versus gold. [In 2013] to an important extent, gold-price weakness reflected hedge funds and other institutional investors switching from gold, especially gold ETFs (exchange-traded funds), into equities, especially the tech stocks. Now, the momentum is reversing — causing some investors to reallocate, this time reducing their stock-market exposure once again in favor of gold," Nichols added.
Commerzbank Corportes & Markets said in a 11 April note to clients: "The gold price climbed to a 2½-week high of $1,325 per troy ounce [on 10 April] and [on 11 April] is trading not far off this level, finding support from weaker equity markets. The Japanese Nikkei index, for example, dropped overnight to a six-month low, while the Nasdaq suffered its sharpest daily decline since August 2011 [on 10 April]. The gold price is continuing to find support from the unexpectedly dovish [US Federal Reserve] minutes from mid-week because the US dollar has been tending towards weakness ever since."
"Because physical demand is also generating little impetus at present, the latest price rise is likely to have been driven predominantly by speculation," the German firm added.
Gold Ends Higher
Gold prices ended marginally lower on 11 April, but finished higher for the week as a whole amid hopes that the Fed would put off its plans to raise interest rates in early 2015.
US gold futures for delivery in June finished 0.1% lower at $1,319.00 an ounce on 11 April.
Prices rose 1.2% for the week.
Spot Gold also shed 0.1% to $1,318 per ounce.
India Bullion Imports
Gold and silver imports to India, the world's second-largest consumer of the yellow metal, plunged 40% to $33.46bn ((£19.98bn, €24.09bn), in the fiscal year 2013-14 in the wake of tough government restrictions.
However, the drop in gold and silver imports narrowed in March, recording a year-on-year drop of 17.27% to $2.76bn (£1.64bn, €1.99bn), reported Reuters.
Last month, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to allow five private sector banks to import gold, in a move that marked a major step towards easing India's tough bullion import restrictions, imposed in 2013 in order to cut the nation's trade deficit.