Here’s what Yellen’s words could mean for gold prices

Gold has tumbled leading up to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's much-anticipated speech at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday, but some traders believe her words will not bode badly for the precious metal.

As gold fell to its lowest levels in nearly one month Wednesday, RJO Futures senior market strategist Phillip Streible made the case that Friday's speech won't ultimately pull gold lower.

"I think the market will continue to sell off until that meeting, where she'll most likely disappoint" those who are expecting her to talk up rate hikes, he said Wednesday on CNBC's "Power Lunch." "Then I think the focus will shift back to negative global interest rates [with] $12 billion trading at negative interest rates here in government debt, so I think gold prices [will] push back up from there."

Federal Reserve rate hikes are generally bad for gold, as increased yields make nonyielding gold look worse in comparison. In addition, higher rates boost demand for the U.S. dollar, which hurts gold in dollar terms.

As the market waits to hear any guidance Yellen provides, gold's weak technical patterns have taken over, the trader said.

Beyond Fed speculation, the low volatility in the market has also hurt gold prices, according to Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global.

"What you really need to see gold accelerate from here is extreme volatility, so some kind of major event," Sanchez said Wednesday on CNBC.

Gold fell about 1.2 percent on Wednesday, drawing the metal back down to levels it last saw toward the end of July.


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Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

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