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Why gold is so tough to trade right now

Why gold is so tough to trade right now

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Why gold is so tough to trade right now

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Gold was down 2 percent on Monday, but it has just come off its highest levels in nearly four months after worries over Europe’s banking system subsided. Gold settled at $1,306.70 per ounce.

But, those hoping to use the current pullback as a chance to jump into the yellow metal may want to think again, according to Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global.

“Interest rates are going to go up,” said Sanchez, a CNBC contributor. “Even if they’re not going to go up by a lot, eventually they’re going to go up and that’s bad for gold.”

(Read: Gold hammered by stock surge, tumbles off 4-month peaks)

Seemingly dovish comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as well as geopolitical tensions also helped gold move up over the past several weeks. But, Sanchez believes not enough attention is being paid to the federal funds rate, which is currently targeted between 0 and 0.25 percent.

“The expectation, even from the Fed, even given Janet Yellen’s comments, is that by the end of 2015, they’re at least going to be up to 1 percent; by the end of 2016, up to 2.25 [percent],” Sanchez said. “That will be bad for gold and you’re going to have to take that into consideration.”

On the other hand, Richard Ross, global technical strategist at Auerbach Grayson, is a fan of gold.

“I published a report on Friday [where] I called gold a trading buy,” said Ross, a “Talking Numbers” contributor. “So, if I liked it on Friday, I’m probably going to have to like it down 2 ½ percent from Friday’s close.”

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Ross acknowledges that the gold chart of the past year may justify skepticism in some toward technical in analysis. However, he sees one indicator as working in the chart, at least in the short-term: the 150-day moving average, currently around $1,287 per ounce. As long as gold trades above that level, it can be a buy, according to Ross.

“It was a floor in the past, and it’s been a floor before,” Ross said. “That’s a level you want to keep a close eye on for short-term traders.”

(Watch: Closing Bell Exchange: Geopolitical issues take backseat?)

Nevertheless, longer-term traders may have trouble trading gold at the moment. “It’s very difficult to have high conviction when the chart moves sideways like this,” Ross said. “The best thing to do is look for charts that are trending, and clearly, gold is not a trending chart.”

One example Ross gives is the bullish flag formation that began in June. But, rather than heading higher, gold broke lower.

“That should have been a continuation to the upside last week,” said Ross. “We’ve come in on Monday [and] they’ve pulled the football away like in ‘Peanuts’ and we’re down 3 percent. This is a tough chart to trust [and] it’s a tough chart to trade.”

Yet Ross doesn’t think traders should give up on gold. “I’d still be a trading buyer here,” he added.
“Use that $1,287 [down to] $1,282 as a stop.”

To see the full discussion on gold, with Sanchez on the fundamentals and Ross on the technicals, watch the above video.

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