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.