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Did Yellen just ruin the gold trade?

Talking Numbers

It was all working for gold. And then Janet Yellen spoke.

In her first news conference as the Fed chairwoman, Yellen seemed to imply the Fed might raise short-term rates sooner than many market participants expected.

(Read more: Stocks climb on upbeat economic reports; Fed fears abate)

Immediately following those remarks, gold continued to head south, capping off a four-day stretch in which the shiny metal has lost almost 5%. The move also marks quite a reversal for gold, which was in the midst of its best Q1 performance since 1985.

(Read more: Gold settles about 1% lower on Fed, firm US dollar)

So is that as good as it gets for gold? According to some traders: Yes

“Gold is a competitor to cash in a zero interest rate environment,” said Kathy Lien of BK Asset Management.  “But when interest rates are on the rise, or expected to be, gold becomes a far less attractive investment.”

Traders point to some recent changes in the overall market that could provide significant headwinds for gold; higher rates, a stronger dollar and an easing in geopolitical tension. 

Now that Ukraine has cooled, “the need for safe haven seems decreased,” said Gina Sanchez of Chantico Global .

Those factors are unlikely to change in the near-term.

“You still have increasingly hawkish central banks and overly bullish sentiment in gold,” said Enis Taner of riskreversal.com. “That’s probably not changing anytime soon.  I expect gold to be range-bound between $1,200 and $1,400 for the next few months.”

Unfortunately for gold bugs, the technical set up isn’t looking much better. In fact, according to Steven Pytlar of Prime Executions, the charts point to more pain for gold.

Said Pytlar, “we could see a substantial drop to $1200.”

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