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Gold Gets Gutted: Here’s Why

Friday, 10 May 2013 | 11:25 AM ET
Gold's Going to $1,100: Pro
Thursday, 9 May 2013 | 1:12 PM ET
Gold's been stuck in a pretty tight range, and it's losing ground. Discussing how gold will break with CNBC's Jackie DeAngelis and the "Futures Now" traders.

Gold dropped three percent Friday, suffering the worst decline of any widely followed commodity as it plunged to a two-week low.

Many experts blamed the weakness on the U.S. dollar. The Dollar Index, which compares the dollar to a basket of foreign currencies, has risen nearly two percent over two days, to levels it had not seen in over a month. A rising dollar tends to hurt gold, because it makes gold relatively less expensive in dollar terms.

That's how George Gero, precious metals strategist at RBC, explained it. "Dollar moves were attracting sellers to gold as a strong dollar priced gold higher," he said.

But Friday fear is also hurting the gold market, Gero said. "Short-term investors unwilling to hold positions over the weekend left sellers with few buyers, so support levels have been breached," he wrote in a Friday note.

On the other hand, Carter Worth, Oppenheimer's chief market technician, said the chart tells you all you need to know. "A multiyear bull market has transitioned to a bear market," he told CNBC.com. "The backing and filling of late is the normal setup for the next leg down."

In other words, the tight range that gold was trading in was a precursor to the selloff—and it's nothing he hasn't seen before, Worth said. "After an initial plunge, and then a partial snap-back, any instrument usual goes quiet ... only to drop again, resuming its downtrend," he said.

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That's the read that GRZ Energy's Anthony Grisanti provided on Thursday's "Futures Now." "We're consolidating in this range," he said. That's why he expected "a big leg coming down."

Grisanti said gold would fall to $1,100, but suggested selling it at $1,470 and buying it it back at $1,425—for a tidy profit. Luckily for the him, his target has been hit. So has the trader taken profits?

"I'm getting greedy now," Grisanti said. "I moved the stop to $1,430, and I moved the target down to $1,400."

But Grisanti sees gold dropping far below that. "If we settle below $1,423, and certainly below $1,400, we're going to take another move to the lows we made at $1,323," he said. "And after that, we could well hit $1,100."

— By CNBC's Alex Rosenberg. Follow him on Twitter: @LilRosenberg

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