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Gold could plunge to $1,000 quicker than you think

Gold's woes continued Friday when its price slump hit a five-and-a-half year with analysts warning that the precious metal could plunge far faster than recently forecast and hit the $1,000 mark in just a few weeks.

Prices have come under pressure recently and are down around 5.4 percent in the last seven days. On Friday, spot gold hit a low of $1,077 an ounce and was trading down around $1,079.6 by mid-afternoon.

And analysts are seeing further pain for gold to come in the short-term.

"I think we see more of a downtrend particularly over the next couple of months ahead of the market speculation of a September rate hike in the U.S., so I think you can easily see prices over the next two months breaching below $1,000 round level," David Wilson, director of metals research and strategy at Citi, told CNBC in a TV interview.

Dollar strength

A number of factors have been driving gold's weakness. Demand has been poor from China and investors are concerned about the macro outlook for the world's second-largest economy. On Friday, the preliminary China Caixin purchasing managers index (PMI) surprised markets by dropping to a 15-month low in July.

In addition, investors are expecting the U.S. Federal Reserve to hike interest rates this year, pushing the dollar higher.


"As the dollar strengthens off the news that I see, I think one of the results is going to be that you'll continue to see gold maybe get down near $1,000 or bouncing somewhere near $980," Michael Gurka, founder and president of BruinHill Partners, told CNBC in a TV interview.

The gold sell-off saw holdings of the world's biggest gold-backed exchange traded fund (ETF), the SPDR Gold Trust, fall to 684.63 tons, the lowest since September 2008.

Buying opportunity?

Analysts see $1,000 dollars as a key "psychological level" for traders, at which point the metal could be an attractive buying opportunity.

"Markets often gravitate towards "round numbers" such as 100 and 1,000 as can be seen across various markets. As the trend for Gold remains bearish which indicates weakness, the opportunity to see $1,000 as a target remains likely unless we see buyers entering the market at current levels," Sandy Jadeja, chief market strategist at Signal Pro told CNBC by email.

"If Gold does reach $1,000 there may be a flurry of buyers as a potential buying opportunity. Traders will be watching this level quite closely over the coming weeks ahead."