Talking Numbers

Why this could be a brutal week for gold

This could be a brutal week for gold
This could be a brutal week for gold

The Fed meets, stuff happens. And as markets prepare for the Federal Reserve some investors are wondering what could get hit the hardest—stocks, bonds or gold.

The Federal Open Market Committee is meeting this week with a statement to be released on Wednesday. A slight change in the wording of that announcement could reflect a new outlook by the Fed. Specifically, it may no longer say it expects rates to stay low for a "considerable time."

(Read: Gold snaps 5-session losing streak on soft shares)

Higher interest rates could wreak havoc across a number of asset classes, but it's the gold market that could see significant damage this week.

"I think it could be gold," said Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global. "Expectations before this week were that the Fed was going to continue to toe the line. But we're starting to see a lot of evidence—particularly the paper that came out of the San Francisco Fed—that suggest that in fact the markets may be way too dovish and that there's plenty of evidence we could actually see the Fed move up their timeline."

That, in turn, will affect expectations for interest rates, the U.S. dollar and the overall economy, said Sanchez, a CNBC contributor. "None of that is good for gold," she added. "I think gold is going to get hit."

Richard Ross, global technical strategist at Auerbach Grayson, is equally gloomy on the yellow metal.

(Read: Wall Street view on Fed rate hikes changing)

"Even given the backdrop of this recent macro unrest out of Russia and the turmoil and tragedy that we've seen in the Middle East, gold has had some reasons to rally and it has not," said Ross, a "Talking Numbers" contributor. "That tells you that prices are going lower here."

He sees $1,240 as a key technical level for gold, as that was the low in late May and June. According to Ross' work, that level is now resistance (link to tutorial), and could work to suppress future gains. Ross' charts say a test of previous lows should not be ruled out.

"That double bottom around $1,180 that we established last year presents too inviting a downside target to ignore," Ross said. "That's down about 4 percent from current levels. Momentum is pervasive to the downside right now and I think prices get there."

Gold is already down 4 percent month to date, and the ETF tracking gold miners (trading under the symbol GDX) down 10 percent, so some may believe bullion is due for bounce. But Ross says that's not going to happen anytime soon.

"I think gold goes lower here."

To see the full discussion on gold, with Sanchez on the fundamentals and Ross on the technicals, watch the above video.

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