Gold just entered into a death cross, and some see more pain ahead

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for gold bugs, it has. Gold has sunk into a correction, and some forecast further downside to come.

The charts could signal more trouble ahead for the yellow metal, Craig Johnson, chief market technician at Piper Jaffray, told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Thursday. The precious metal entered a death cross at the end of June, a bearish technical signal wherein a 50-day moving average crosses below a 200-day.

It’s also struggling to break through a stubborn level of resistance, Johnson said.

“Four times, [gold has] tried to break through $1,360, haven’t been able to do that and now gold is selling off,” he said. “The next real support level is going to come in around $1,200 to $1,210.”

Gold tried and failed to break and hold above $1,360 in late March and through April. It last closed above that level in late January. Gold has not moved below $1,200 since March 2017.

The safe haven asset has fallen more than 6 percent in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has added 5 percent. The U.S. dollar index, which typically moves in opposition to gold, has gained nearly 3 percent.

Stacey Gilbert, market strategist at Susquehanna, does not see much upside to gold this year, either.

“The sentiment certainly is not bullish on gold. We’ve had about $2 billion come out of gold ETFs over the last month. That does put gold ETF lows negative on the year,” Gilbert told “Trading Nation” on Thursday.

The GLD Gold Trust is down 6 percent in the year to date, while the GDX gold miners ETF has tumbled nearly 7 percent.

Gilbert does see some value in gold as a safe play against riskier assets.

“It is a great hedge,” said Gilbert. “Looking at GLD, the gold ETF, that volatility is in the 20th percentile over the last two years. That means the options that you would be purchasing are in the 20th percentile. They are getting as cheap as we have seen them over the last couple of years. So for an investor who wants a hedge, I always love gold.”

Gold was on track Friday to close out the past five sessions with a more than 1 percent drop for its second week in a row. If losses hold in July, it will mark its fourth straight monthly loss.

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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

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.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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