"Gold's technical position is now negative," said Mark O'Byrne, Founder and Executive Director of Dublin-based bullion dealer Gold Core. Last week's close below $1,300 opens up the possibility of further falls to $1,270 and $1,200, O'Byrne added, although recent sharp drops and the prospect of further selling "should bring physical buyers back into the market and support gold."
Dhiren Sarin, Chief Technical Strategist, Asia-Pacific at Barclays said "more downside is in store" for gold and said prices need to test levels between $1,275 and $1,265 "before we can get bullish again." Hans Goetti, Head of Investment, Asia at BIL, added that gold should find support at $1,270.
Despite the strongly bearish tilt of CNBC's latest survey, latest data from IG Markets shows 78 percent of their more than 501 clients with open positions expect gold prices to rise.
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The wildcard - and potentially bullish fodder for gold prices - remains an escalation of the crisis in Ukraine and the threat of further western sanctions leveled against Moscow, said Edmund Moy, chief strategist at gold-backed IRA provider Morgan Gold.
"Globally, the unpredictable Russian sanctions situation could pop next week, which would be a key risk event," Moy said - although he on balance holds a bearish view on gold this week and expects March jobs report to show modest improvement in the labor market. "I would assume a continuation of recent employment trends where it is mixed but leaning slightly more positive over time."
Gold prices face a "difficult near-term problem" to break above $1,300, said David Lennox, resources analyst at equity research firm Fat Prophets in Sydney. But "a good dose of Russian geopolitical risk beyond what we have now could deliver some upside if there is an escalation in events."