Once Wall Street gets more clarity from this week's Federal Reserve meeting and rhetoric surrounding the risks of trade wars subside, Vertical Research Partner Michael Dudas expects gold to spring out of its trading range.
And the likely catalyst, according to Dudas, will be the dollar.
"That's going to be the key," he said Tuesday on CNBC's "Futures Now." "If you look at the dollar, it's been kind of bottoming here."
Gold typically has an inverse relationship to the value of the U.S. dollar. So, if the greenback continues to weaken this year as he expects, it could help support higher gold prices. Dudas also sees upside inflation risks pointing to a bullish backdrop.
But the yellow metal, considered a safe-haven asset, is trading around $1,310 and has been flat this year. Even when the Feb. 2 correction gripped the stock market, it failed to rally in the weeks that followed.
"It has, I think, been a little bit frustrating for some of the gold bugs," Dudas said.
But he sees the situation changing. He predicts gold prices will reach 2018 highs of $1,400 an ounce before the fourth quarter — about a 6 percent gain from current levels. His forecast calls for a yearly average of $1,350.
"In this range of $1,320-$1,340, it's been kind of in a tight range, which again in these days relative to the equity market and bitcoin, is a pretty safe haven," Dudas said.