Gold approached multiyear lows this week as the dollar strengthened following the Federal Reserve's decision to raise interest rates. Yet according to one highly regarded technician, gold's pain is far from over.
Despite years of ultra-loose monetary policy, bullion has largely underperformed in a world of cheap central bank liquidity. The metal is poised to end 2015 with its third-consecutive year of losses, with the Fed indicating its interest rate tightening campaign will extend well into 2016.
That fundamental backdrop bodes poorly for gold, with its technical apects even less encouraging, an analyst told CNBC recently.
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"The stronger dollar, higher rates and the ongoing collapse in commodities, crude, credit and the curve is pretty much a perfect storm for gold" said Rich Ross of Evercore ISI on "Fast Money" last week.
According to Ross, the gold chart shows a well-defined downtrend, suggesting it could break below the critical level of $1,000 by year end. Gold is down 11 percent on the year, the euro is also down 11 percent, in contrast to the dollar which is up 11 percent, "so it's all about the Benjamins on this chart," said Ross.
But it's the long-term chart that has Ross so troubled. It depicts a head-and-shoulders continuation pattern — a bullish-to-bearish reversal — which Ross says implies a move lower. The battered commodity would need to break above its 100-week moving average. "I simply will not buy gold until it breaks above it … which comes in around the $1,215 level" said Ross. On Friday, gold closed near $1,065.
Rather than trying to catch a falling knife, Ross warned investors to wait until gold tries to make a new run higher.
"Wait for the break, wait for signs of exhaustion. Rather, buy it higher on the way back up than on the way back down," said Ross.