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European investors opt for gold

Gold stocksA large number of European investors have cited gold as the best investment opportunity over the next 12 months, according to a Legg Mason survey.

The survey, which polled the views of over 16,000 investors globally, found that about a quarter of those polled in Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the UK identified gold as an investment opportunity.

In the UK, gold was seen as better than equities, bonds, cash and alternatives over the next year.

Gold has become more popular than last year among UK investors, with the total number favouring it up from 22%, the firm said.

Legg Mason noted that the gold price has fallen sharply recently, against the headwind of a strengthening dollar.

Investors who had allocated to gold at the start of the year have seen its price fall from $1,302 to $1,233, a loss of 5%.

Alex Barry, head of UK distribution at Legg Mason, said it was understandable that investors were looking at safe havens such as gold and cash after a prolonged bull run.

“We understand the need for investors to protect themselves. However, they must consider the return profile of such assets. Taking gold as a case in point, the asset has failed to deliver for investors this calendar year, and remains hard to see a catalyst for it currently.”

For Swiss and German investors gold was on a par with domestic stocks (30% and 27%, respectively).

By contrast, less than a fifth of US investors (18%) favoured gold.

The Legg Mason Global Investment Survey surveyed 16,810 investors across the globe, with respondents investing at least €10,000 in the next twelve months.

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