For the first time since 1998, the price of gold is poised to fall for the second year in a row.
The metal began 2014 at around $1,202 an ounce. At press time it was trading at $1,174 an ounce, below the $1,200 benchmark.
The yellow metal still may end the year flat or slightly up, and any fall will likely be nowhere near as steep as the 28 percent decline it logged in 2013. That decline marked its first annual loss since it began its bull run in 2000.
Still, the metal has had a roller coaster year, at one point edging close to $1,400 an ounce before finishing the year at around the same place it started. Analysts cited the growing strength of the U.S. economy for the metal’s lackluster peformance.
Predictions for the year ahead seem mixed, with forecasters guessing it will stay flat or log modest gains or witness even more dramatic falls. Citi Research predicts it will average $1,220 an ounce during 2015, while others see it falling to $1,000 an ounce and possibly even lower.