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How gold is defying the haters

The headwinds for gold appear to be mounting.

Stocks are rising to new highs, potentially drawing fresh money into the equity market. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index is nearly at a one-year high, which hurts the classic gold-bug argument that the dollar will weaken and only gold can truly store value.

As for fear, it's nearly absent. The CBOE Volatility Index, or the VIX, is back at levels that indicate a lack of concern about the markets, which is another strike against safe-haven assets like gold.

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Despite everything that's been thrown gold's way, the precious metal has managed to hold its own, falling only slightly below the key $1,300 per ounce level, and looking to end August about perfectly flat.

"I think the resiliency in gold has been tremendous. Look at every reason the bears have had to sell it—and they have not been victorious," said Jeff Kilburg of KKM Asset Management. "So I like owning gold now, due to the fact that it's kind of like the Rocky Balboa right now—it's going around the ring, it's been knocked a bunch of times, but it will not go now."

Of course, some say it's simply a matter of time.

"It doesn't look that good on the charts, and it doesn't look that good fundamentally. I don't see much going for it, really," said Edward Meir, metals analyst with INFL FCStone. "It could retest the June lows" down at $1,240.

Meir says gold prices have been propped up by concerns emanating from Ukraine and Iraq, but that the picture otherwise looks bleak.

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Creativ Studio Heinemann | Getty Images

Still, many argue that the downside for gold could be limited, given that few are interested in shorting an asset that could zoom higher if those tense situations heat up.

"We're not seeing any accumulation of longs or shorts—maybe that's why we're not seeing large downward movement," said Albert Ng of Aurum Options Strategies. He added that many producers are looking at costs of about $1,200 per ounce for gold, so it would be difficult for gold prices to fall well below that level.

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For Ng, there aren't many reasons for gold to leave its recent range for $1,280 to $1,320. But for Kilburg, who is long gold futures as well as shares of gold miners, that tight range is actually a bullish sign.

"I think gold is coiling up," he said on CNBC's "Futures Now" on Tuesday. "And when you see it coil up like a snake, it's going to the upside."

—By CNBC's Alex Rosenberg.

Watch "Futures Now" Tuesdays & Thursdays 1 p.m. ET exclusively on FuturesNow.CNBC.com!

CORRECTION: An earlier version had an incorrect name for Aurum Options Strategies.

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