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(Kitco News) -Credit Agricole-CIB slightly lowered price forecasts for most precious and base metals, in a research note released Thursday.

Near-term gold prices were left unchanged, but deferred values were tweaked slightly lower. “A successful EU summit could be a catalyst for recent gold speculative longs to bail out, although the broader uncertainty should see other market longs unwilling to go short just yet. Longer-term, the attractions of gold appear pretty solid as faith in paper currencies has been severely eroded,” said Robin Bhar, senior metals analyst.

Bhar wrote that macroeconomic concerns are coming to the fore, noting a spate of weak data releases in the U.S. has led to downward revisions to second quarter growth and the pace of recovery in the second half of 2011. Chinese growth is expected to slow further in the second half of the year and under 9% year-over-year by the end of 2011.

The near-term outlook for gold was left unchanged, with the one month and three month targets left at $1,600 an ounce and $1,500, respectively. The six month forecast was cut by $25 to $1,450 and the 12 month target was cut by $50 to $1,350.

Silver’s price forecasts were mixed. The one month forecast was cut $2 an ounce to $40, while the three month target was left unchanged at $38. The six month target was raised $5 to $36 and the 12 month forecast was lowered $3 to $26.

Platinum saw little price change. The one, six and 12 month forecasts were left at $1,800 an ounce, $1,900 and $1,950, respectively. The three month forecast was cut by $50 to $1,825.

Palladium’s price forecast was steady to weaker. The one month target was lowered by $25 an ounce to $800, the three month forecast was left unchanged at $825. The six month forecast was lowered by $50 to $850 and the 12 month forecast was left unchanged at $950.

BASE METALS

For industrial metals, the macroeconomics could pinch. Still, Bhar wrote that: “It has to be said that the complex has remained pretty resilient to the deepening debt woes on both sides of the Atlantic, although a weaker USD has undoubtedly helped. It does appear that the market might also be looking beyond short-term uncertainties, as underlying demand remains robust.”

The copper forecast for short-term prices were left unchanged at $9,400 a metric ton for one month and $10,000 a ton for three months out. Six and 12 months out their forecast were cut by $500 a ton, to $10,000 and $10,500 respectively.

Aluminum forecasts were mixed. One month out the price forecast was cut by $300 a metric ton, to $2,450 a ton, three months out it was raised by $50 to $2,650 a ton, six months out cut by $50 to $2,725 and 12 months out raised by $250 to $3,000.

The nickel forecasts were generally lowered. The one month forecast was cut by $2,000 a ton to $23,000, the three month forecast was left unchanged at $23,000, six months was cut by $3,000 to $22,000 and 12 months out cut by $2,000 to $24,000.

Zinc forecasts are steady to lower. One month out was left at $2,400 a ton, three month out cut by $100 to $2,200, six months out cut by $200 to $2,400 and 12 months out cut by $300 to $2,500.

Lead was the only base metal to see a rise in most price forecasts. The one month forecast was raised by $50 a ton to $2,700. The three and six month forecasts were raised by $100 to $2,700 and $2,800 respectively. The 12 month forecast was left unchanged at $2,900.

Tin forecasts were mostly weaker. The one month forecast was cut by $1,000 a ton to $29,000, the three month was cut by $2,000 a ton to $30,000, the six month forecast was cut by $1,500 to $32,500 and the 12 month forecast was left unchanged at $36,000.

By Debbie Carlson of Kitco News dcarlson@kitco.com

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