Salient to Investors:

Damien Courvalin and Jeffrey Currie at Goldman Sachs said the cycle for gold prices, which rose for 12 straight years, has turned as the U.S. recovery gathers momentum and investment holdings collapse. Goldman lowered its 3-month target to $1,615, 6-month forecast to $1,600, and 12-month forecast to $1,550, and reversed its assumption ETP holdings will expand in 2013.

Credit Suisse said an inevitable unwind of gold’s 12-year bull market has begun.

George Soros and Louis Moore Bacon cut their stakes in gold ETPs in Q4 2012, but John Paulson maintained his stake.

Peter Richardson et al at Morgan Stanley said many of the reasons for owning gold remain intact, including currency debasement and rising inflation expectations. Paul Singer at Elliott Mgmt said gold may rally sharply as investors seek real assets.

The IMF said Russia and Kazakhstan expanded their gold reserves for a fourth straight month in January. The World Gold Council said central banks will again be strong buyers in 2013 after boosting purchases 17 percent in 2012, the most since 1964.

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