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Now that gold touched $1,300, here’s what’s next

Gold futures rose above $1,300 per troy ounce Thursday, breaching the round-number level for the first time since early November. And some traders say the precious metal still has a good deal of upside potential left.

"When you look at gold, it's been all about the technicals," said Brian Stutland of the Stutland Volatility Group. "As soon as we broke above $1,275 basically, it's been a straight push to $1,300. I think it continues—I'm looking around that $1,320, $1,340 level where gold could probably trade. The technical are just too strong behind it."

Like many traders, Stutland is watching closely for gold to reach its 200-day moving average, which falls at $1,308.

"I think it's a given that we hit that either today or at least next week here," he said on Thursday's episode of "Futures Now."

Rich Ilczysyzn of iiTrader agrees that the technicals look favorable. In fact, he explains that the move above $1,300 could be enough to tempt some investors back into the metal.

Gold above $1,300 "is a headline, and gold is a very emotional trade," Ilczyszyn told CNBC.com. "The longer it stays above $1,300, the more people are going to come in."

(Read more: Gold ends above $1,300; boosted by weak US data)

Ilczyszyn relates it to oil's incredible spike in 2008.

"Once oil hit $150, account after account after account was opening up, everyone was saying, 'Get me in!' " Ilczyszyn said. "Of course, then it plummeted. But in general, the higher the price goes, the more attractive it is to folks."

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But Jeff Kilburg of KKM Financial said that beyond the technical set-up, gold got a good reason to rise this week.

"I'm looking at what [Fed Chair Janet] Yellen said Tuesday—they are laser-focused on producing inflation," Kilburg said. "And at some point in time, this inflation trade will get away from 'em—once they swing the pendulum they can't reel it back in."

(Read more: Does China plan to use gold to internationalize the yuan?)

Inflation tends to increase gold prices, because as the value of each dollar decreases, it takes more of those dollars to buy gold. So if investors are anticipating rapid inflation, they might buy gold to hedge against it.

Of course, that's the long-term case. For a short-term trade, Stutland recommends buying April gold futures at $1,298 and targeting a move up to $1,328.


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

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