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LBMA: Hochreiter, O'Connell top 2019 gold forecasters; Dahdah first in silver

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Editor's Note: 2020 is expected to be another year of significant uncertainty and turmoil. But the question is what asset will emerge the victor when the dust settles from the global trade war, Brexit, recession threats, negative bond yields. It's a showdown of global proportions, so don't miss all our exclusive coverage on how these factors could impact your 2020 investment decisions.

Editor's Note: The article was updated as LBMA changed its decision to announced a tie in the 2019 gold forecast.

(Kitco News) - Rene Hochreiter, and Rhona O’Connell of INTL FCStone, were the top forecaster for gold in 2019 and Bernard Dahdah for silver in the London Bullion Market Association’s annual contest, the organization announced Thursday.

Participants in the contest submitted their full-year average forecasts in January 2019.

Hochreiter, who is with Noah Capital Markets/Sieberana Research Pty Ltd, and Rhona O’Connell of INTL FCStone both forecast gold would average $1,365 an ounce, which was the closest to the actual 2019 average of $1,392.60, the LBMA said.

“Analysts were relatively bullish for gold in 2019, but their average annual forecast [of $1,311.71] still fell $80 short of the actual average price forecast for the year of $1,392.60,” the LBMA said.

Hans-Guenter Ritter of Heraeus was third place with an average annual gold forecast of $1,355, the LBMA said.

Dahdah, of Natixis, forecast silver would average $16.20 an ounce in 2019, which matched the actual average. The average of all forecasters was not far away at $16.28 an ounce. James Steel of HSBC was second with an average forecast of $16.27, while Mathew Turner was third at $16.10.

In platinum, Frederic Panizzutti of MKS PAMP Group and Dahdah “could not be separated,” the LBMA said. With the same average forecast of $855 an ounce and the same forecast spread of $150, they ended in a first-place tie. The actual average for the year was $862.90. Standard Chartered’s Suki Cooper was third place with an average forecast of $874.

Independent forecaster Ross Norman won the palladium contest by forecasting an average of $1,505, compared to the actual average of $1,536.74. Hochreiter was second with a $1,418 forecast, while William Adams of Fastmarkets was third with $1,410.

Overall, analysts had been bearish on palladium, with their average forecast calling for a 3.1% decline to $1,267.678.

“How wrong they were, with palladium being the best-performing metal, ending the year at $1,920, nearly $700 up on 2019,” the LBMA said. ”With the average price in 2019 of $1,536.74, the finish was dominated by those analysts who adopted a bullish forecast.”

The winner in each category will receive one-ounce gold bars donated by PAMP.

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