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Why Switzerland holds the key to gold’s next move

Gold traders are keeping a close eye on Switzerland.

This Sunday, the Swiss will vote on whether to mandate their central bank to boost its bullion reserves from 7.7 percent to 20 percent of its total reserve over the next five years. That would likely require the European country to buy a good deal of gold over the next few years.

In fact, Bank of America predicts a "yes" vote could push gold prices above $1,350 per ounce. However, the odds of the referendum actually passing may be low, with one recent poll showing that only 38 percent of the Swiss support such a measure.

"It's not going to end up in the 'yes' vote," predicted David Seaburg, head of sales trading at Cowen and Company. "The odds of that occurring are very low."

In the meantime, Seaburg believes investors should avoid the yellow metal.

"There's no reason to own gold in the near term," he said. "You own it for two main reasons: as a hedge against inflation – [but] inflation is benign – and a hedge against a decline in the dollar. The dollar is going stay strong. You have every central bank is trying to figure out a way to debase their currency."

"Stay away for the next six to 12 months," he recommends.

The charts corroborate Seaburg's view, according to Ari Wald, head of technical analysis at Oppenheimer & Co.

"Gold has really been pressured by rising U.S. dollar/falling inflation expectations," he said. "What we're seeing in the charts suggests that this can continue."

What concerns Wald is the metal has traded choppily over the past year. On top of that, during the course of the year, the 200-day moving average stayed mostly flat and recently began turning down.

"The setup is there for momentum to actually start to turn lower again," he said, adding that he sees the $1,200 level as important because it had served as support in the past, and is now resistance.

"I have a hard time seeing gold really pushing meaningfully higher from current levels," he said. "I would be selling it here. I see it lower, looking out the next few months."

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