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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Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen joined CNBC in December 2013 as a correspondent, focusing on the global consumer. She is co-anchor of the 10AM ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET), broadcast from Post 9 at the New York Stock Exchange.

In March 2018, Eisen was named co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

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