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Bangkok (The Nation/ANN) – A likely US economic slowdown, European recession and Iranian tensions could send gold prices shooting past US$2,000 an ounce, according to YLG Bullion International.

The company plans to start gold trading in Laos next quarter with expected daily turnover of 500 kilograms of gold bars.

The US economy is likely to see a slowdown and the Federal Reserve has decided to hold its benchmark interest rate at record lows until at least late 2014, with a possible third round of bond buying to help boost the economy, he said.

The euro-zone debt crisis threatens the region’s economic stability, so gold is attracting attention from investors as a safe asset.

The risk of a war in the Middle East is mounting after Iran stepped up its nuclear activity, which may prompt sharp increases in oil prices.

Crude oil is expected to soar to $120-$150 per barrel if a war erupts and gold could surge and probably exceed $2,000 an ounce.