The gold price jumped to a 3-week high in early trading today, taking its gains to over $40 in less than 2 weeks and with the market expected to remain quiet until after the new year, gold rise should remain intact. So the question is what is in store for gold as the New year kicks off and what factors are likely to support or sink the precious metal? The first thing that needs to be taken into consideration is the amount of rate hikes to be delivered by the US Federal Reserve with most analysts predicting that the Fed will move 3 times as the year unfolds. In their last meeting, Fed president Janet Yellen noted that any future rate hikes would be data dependent which basically means, poor data, no rate hikes. Last Friday we saw core personal consumption index figures and durable good figures from the US which both hit the market below expectations and if this trend continues as the New Year kicks off, rate hikes will be definitely put on the back burner for the time being. The second thing which comes to mind is the standoff between North Kora and the US over the Former's nuclear weapons program which was exasperated recently by China's decision to halt exports of oil to North Korea which will further cripple the nations already devastated economy. How the North's Kim Jong Un will react to this situation remains unclear but one thing is for sure is that is he is not going to back down from his nuclear weapons program and the unpredictability of US Donald Trump's reaction may see gold supported by investors looking for a safe haven. Lastly we have the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and although negotiations for the UK to leave the European union have reached the second stage, there are so many things that could derail the process which threatens to bring instability to the European continent and once again boost the appeal of gold. So as the situation stand now, gold may be a good bet as we enter the New Year until many of the unknowns become clear.