Why gold may have just capitulated

Big money is running away from gold.

According to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), "managed money" (as in fund managers) have been getting out of gold over the past three weeks at their fastest rate in 2014. And last week, the World Gold Council reported demand for gold bars and coins fell 21 percent in the third quarter of this year compared with last year.

But with both small and large investors now having seemingly fled gold, is there anyone left to sell?

"This fleeing from gold in terms of the flows does represent a big capitulation," said Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global. "However in the short-term, this could actually represent a massive overselling."

In the end, a long-term outlook for higher U.S. interest rates, a subsequently stronger dollar, and an improving economy will do their part to bring bullion lower, argues Sanchez, a CNBC contributor. "The long term really isn't going to be a free-fall," she predicted. "It's just going to be a continued devaluation of gold relative to other currencies."

The charts don't look much better according to one well-followed technician.

"Gold still looks negative here," said Mark Newton, chief technical analyst at Greywolf Execution Partners. "With the U.S. dollar rallying, we continue to think that gold is going to move lower. My target is down near $1,100 – between $1,080 and $1,111."

Gold may have made its way back above a major support level around $1,180 to $1,190 broken a few weeks ago, notes Newton, but the recent rally may not be enough evidence it has turned itself around, he maintains. "Gold bulls are really going to need to see gold move back up above an area near $1,255 to think that lows are in and the metal can continue to rise," he said.

And it is in the long-term chart that Newton sees an important support level where he thinks gold is headed. "Gold has gotten a bit oversold and we've gotten very pessimistic," he said, "but it's still likely we can move down towards $1,080, which is 50 percent of the entire rally from 1999 up to 2011. Potentially, gold could bottom out but I still think it happens from lower levels. Structurally, it's wrong to get too bullish here just yet based on a couple of days' movement. I'm still very pessimistic."

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