Gold hit a six and a half year high of US$1546/oz at the start of September, driven by a spike in investor activity and a slowdown in economic activity. Though prices have since retreated slightly since, Refinitiv sees gold holding its ground in the short term before making further gains further down the line.
"The outlook for gold remains quite supportive and will continue to benefit from ongoing global economic and political tensions, particularly should we see further escalation of the US-China trade conflict, fears of an economic downturn and central banks embarking upon more aggressive monetary measures," Refinitiv's director of precious metals research Cameron Alexander said.
"On the other hand, a weak fundamental picture and a strong dollar will pose a major drag for prices."
The markets data firm forecasts an average gold price of $1455/oz in 2020 and $1505/oz in 2021, "with a possibility to test and move beyond $1650/oz".
Goldman Sachs said in August the metal could reach $1600/oz by early 2020, while Bank of America Merrill Lynch said prices could test $2000 in the next two years.
The gold price is currently around $1486/oz.
The GFMS survey includes fundamentals data for Q3, which shows physical gold demand fell by 26% year on year in Q3 as high prices eroded Asian appetite for the yellow metal. However, interest rate cuts by the US Fed and the ECB, together with various stimulus packages in emerging markets, triggered a significant rise in the purchase of gold exchange-traded products (ETPs).
"ETPs posted a remarkable increase of some 350 tonnes in the first nine months of 2019, with the bulk of purchases taking place in the third quarter, when global holdings jumped by 247 tonnes," said Refinitiv.
"To put this in context, holdings at the end of September were up by 21% year-on-year and were just a bit shy of their record level of some 2,700 tonnes seen back in 2012."
Gold production in Q3 was flat year on year, but strong performances by Russian and US operations earlier in 2019 meant accumulated production was up by nearly 3% for the first nine months of the year.