Last week, gold prices continued to solidify support around $1,700 per ounce, closing the week at $1,713.90 per ounce (see the following chart). This base of support could provide the consolidation needed for the next leg up in gold prices during the current bull market. As the long-term effects of the recent shutdown become apparent, more investors may be drawn to its safe-haven feature. CNBC reports, “Gold prices could ‘break the highs’ seen earlier this year, after declining in March along with assets across the board. … “‘There is growing potential (for gold) to break $1,800 (per ounce) in my view,’ Joni Teves, precious metal strategist at UBS Investment Bank, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday. In the near term, the firm has a target price for gold at $1,790 per ounce. … “Teves said the move in gold had been driven by a ‘pickup in investor interest, particularly from institutional investors.’ “‘Gold is becoming attractive in this environment where uncertainty is very high, growth is expected to weaken, and at the same time you have negative real rates which make gold attractive to hold as a diversifier in investor portfolios.’ Teves said.” Rick Andrews is president of Avant Capital Management.