Futures & Commodities

Has gold regained its safe-haven appeal?

A lot going for gold price, but headwinds ahead: Pro

The price of spot gold extended its seemingly unstoppable run to $1,400 last week but Michael Widmer, a metals strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, believes that persistent headwinds could soon end this move higher.

"There's a few things in the market that make us believe it is not a sustained rally from here onwards," he told CNBC Monday.

Geopolitical tensions in Ukraine are seen as the driver behind gold's short term move as well as lingering growth fears over China. Despite recently trading "extremely well", according to Widmer, he believes deflationary fears in the euro zone could curb gold's rise.

Weaker consumer prices in the euro zone mean the European Central Bank is less likely to raise rates anytime soon. Gold is traditionally seen as having an inverse relationship to interest rates and is often used as a hedge against inflation. With the euro zone showing little inflation and little expectation of tighter monetary policy, Widmer says there is little upside for gold.


(Read more: Gold near six-month high on safe-haven bids amid Ukraine crisis)

Weaker data from the U.S. have also helped drive gold higher. However, many analysts have pointed towards the cold weather as being the reason for the lackluster figures. Widmer believes these "immediate concerns" could subside and lead to a fall back to $1,200 in the gold price.

"I would buy (gold), but it would have to be a very nimble trade," he told CNBC.

Spot gold has risen 14 percent against the dollar so far this year after losing 30 percent of its value in 2013. Early on Monday it briefly spiked to $1,391.76. Last week spot gold it saw its sixth consecutive weekly gain with a rise of 3.1 percent. Research by online gold exchange BullionVault suggests this stretch of gains has only occurred 65 times in the last 46 years.

(Read more: Key driver of gold in 2014: physical demand)

"Rare days indeed for gold investors," said Adrian Ash, head of research at BullionVault in a note on Friday. Ash sees the recent gold price as a direct result from a weaker dollar.

Three reasons the gold run is done

As well as Asian buyers who propped up the precious metal during 2013, it appears that commodity funds which invest primarily in gold-producing companies or gold bullion have started to see inflows again.

Research on Friday from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and EPFR Global showed that inflows to commodity funds - specifically gold and silver - over the last past three weeks had been at their strongest since October 2012.

(Read more: As gold hits 6-month high, traders look to Crimea)

Widmer agreed, adding that it was the fund investors, the "fast-moving" money, that was currently buying gold, pushing up its price. In contrast, he said that the "slow moving" money, the Asian buyers who see it as a store of value, were actually the sellers of gold.

By CNBC.com's Matt Clinch. Follow him on Twitter @mattclinch81.