Since the start of the year, the yellow metal has lost nearly 29% of its value. With the Fed now tapering its bond-buying stimulus by $10 billion to $75 billion per month, gold took another hit and is down 3.5% over the last five days. According to two strategists, the shiny yellow metal may have some dark days ahead.
CNBC contributor Andrew Busch, editor and publisher of The Busch Update, says gold is very near the key technical level of $1,180 per ounce.
"If you get a close below $1,180, that would signal additional downside – and maybe even $1,000 – once you get past that," says Busch. Nonetheless, believes gold's current levels are somewhat encouraging. "The fact that we're holding in at around $1,200 is a good sign for gold."
Still, gold faces serious headwinds, Busch notes. "The short-term problem with gold, of course, is that short-term US rates have been rising, especially the 10-Year [US Treasury bond]," says Busch. "US growth is accelerating [and] stocks are doing great – All the reasons why you wouldn't want to own gold."
Busch also believes that gold would actually benefit if it were sold off by large hedge funds. Should gold continue to keep its current levels in the face of that kinds of a sale, Busch believes it would prove gold's strength. "I'd really love to see them dump more of their holdings and then have gold hold in there," says Busch. "That would tell me that there's upside. But for right now, their positions are kind of overhanging the market."
CNBC contributor Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global, says rising US interest rates are negative for gold prices, even if those rates move up slowly. "You're looking at a situation that isn't supportive in the long-term for gold," says Sanchez of increasing rates.
Several other factors are also not giving Sanchez much hope for gold. "In the short-term, you see the dollar strengthening. You see a lot of that risk premium is really not out there anymore. The markets are quite complacent. And, the economy is recovering, slowly but surely. All of those things bode poorly for gold."
Sanchez says gold prices still haven't taken into account all of these aspects. "I don't think that's all priced in yet," says Sanchez. "I think that there is still quite a ways to go."
To see the rest of the analysis by Busch and Sanchez on what's next for gold, watch the video above.
More from Talking Numbers: