(Kitco News) – Expectations around which way the precious metals will be heading in 2018 have changed for the better, according to an informal survey conducted by nonprofit Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG). Gold is projected to go up to at least $1,460 an ounce by the end of the year, while silver is estimated to hit $20 and platinum to reach $1,150, said members of the Guild’s Accredited Precious Metals Dealer program. “A majority of the respondents, who are on the front lines of buying and selling physical precious metals coins and ingots with the public, have slightly revised their estimates upward,” PNG President Barry Stuppler said in a press release. “Of course, prices fluctuate during the year, but the average of their estimates now is for gold to be $1,461.33 an ounce at the end of 2018. Gold ended 2017 at $1,306.30, so a predicted close at $1,461.33 would be a $155.03 increase; 11.8 percent,” Stuppler noted. The survey was carried out between January 16-24, 2018, with 25 respondents participating. Dealers have revised up their price expectations only in the last few weeks, citing weaker U.S. dollar, uncertainty around additional Federal Reserve interest hikes, higher inflation, and higher oil prices. Gold has been on a massive rally during the past few weeks, mainly driven by a weaker U.S. dollar. The yellow metal touched a 1.5-year high of $1,365.40 an ounce on Thursday, but prices retreated after U.S. President Donald Trump expressed his support for a strong U.S. dollar. Spot gold on Kitco.com was last at $1,347.30, down 0.77% on the day.  Stuppler added the best thing to do when buying precious metals is cost averaging and making purchases over intervals of time. A deeper analysis of the survey responses revealed that only two out of the 25 votes expected gold to be lower than $1,400 an ounce by year-end, while three said that gold will reach above $1,500. In the meantime, forecasts for silver ranged between a low of $16.25 and a high of $30.70, while platinum projections varied between a low of $1,000 and a high of $1,400. Dealers included in the survey all “undergo a background check, must adhere to a strict code of ethics in the buying and selling of numismatic items and guarantee the authenticity of the numismatic merchandise they sell,” the press release said.

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