Gold's decade-long recovery came to an end with a bump over the course of 2013, as the precious metal suffered its biggest annual fall in more than 30 years.
The metal's reputation as the premier safe haven was badly damaged in the last 12 months as its price ended the year 28 per cent lower than it had stood on January 1st 2013.
Having closed last year at about $1,200 (£725) an ounce, the precious metal was therefore among the worst-performing asset classes, which may persuade investors to steer clear of gold as they build their portfolios for the coming 12 months.
In contrast, many of the world's leading stock markets performed very well in 2013, with Japanese index the Nikkei closing the year 57 per cent up on the start. There were also strong gains recorded by the S&P 500, which was up by 28 per cent, while the FTSE 100 improved by around 13 per cent and the value of brent crude oil futures was 2.5 per cent higher for the year.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank, explained that equities were the victors in the battle with gold during 2013. Mr Hansen correctly predicted gold would fall to around the $1,200 level last year and is now forecasting that prices have bottomed out.
"We won't see a year of big movements after the recent ten-year rally ended. In fact, we could see some consolidation," he told the newspaper.
Sentiment against gold
Mark Bristow, chief executive of African-focused gold mining company Randgold Resources, added that sentiment is "strongly" against gold in the markets at the current time. He said: "Globally, economic policy has been driven by popular politics and not sound business sense."
The specialist argued that one of the reasons the price of gold has fallen in the last year has been because of over-production, which he described as being a major problem.
"There is a lot of pain ahead. A lot of miners are going to have to deal with the market very differently," he said.
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