(Feb 27): Goldman Sachs Group Inc. boosted its gold forecast to US$1,800 ($2,514) an ounce as the coronavirus, depressed real rates and increased focus on the U.S. election continue to drive demand for the metal as a haven.

The bank raised its 12-month projection by US$200, and said “in the event that the virus effect spreads to Q2, we could see gold top US$1800/oz already on a 3-month basis.” Spot gold, which has jumped more than 8% this year, closed at about US$1,641 an ounce in New York.

Gold is trading near a seven-year high, supported by an increasing number of coronavirus cases worldwide that threaten to curtail global economic activity. The metal has outperformed traditional haven currencies including the Japanese yen and Swiss franc as “the haven of last resort,” Goldman analyst Mikhail Sprogis said in a note Wednesday.

The bank expects prices to climb to US$1,700 an ounce in three months, and to US$1,750 in six months. It previously forecast US$1,600 for both time frames. Goldman also raised its silver forecast.