Despite a full-blown currency crisis in Russia and increasingly volatile markets in the U.S., the price of gold has hardly moved. The yellow metal dropped considerably in November and has been almost flat in the last 30 days. It remains close to the $1,200 per ounce level. If it closed there, gold would be looking at a slight loss on the year, which would be its first back-to-back yearly loss since 1997.
Analysts are question why investors are holding back from purchasing gold. Paradoxically, the turmoil in Russia, which should be helping gold, is in fact be hurting it.
“There is concern that Russia—one of the things that should be driving gold up—is in fact really hurting to defend its currency,” said Gina Sanchez, founder of Chantico Global and a CNBC contributor. “If they start to sell their gold reserves … the problems in Russia could lead to more depression in the gold price.”
To put it another way, many gold traders are fearful that Russia, one of the world’s top gold producers, may feel the need to sell some of its large number of gold bullion in order to buy rubles so as to prop up the currency.
Technical analysts are predicting lower gold prices as well. According to the chart work of Todd Gordon, founder of TradingAnalysis.com the metal is touching the $1,180 price for the fourth time since July 2013.
“It has been very well contained in a daily downward trend channel,” said Gordon, looking at a two-year chart of gold. “We’re going to go down and attack that $1,180 level again.”
Gordon ties gold’s downside to the strengthening U.S. dollar. A strong greenback makes gold cheaper to buy. Generally, they move together, meaning that as the dollar gets stronger, gold weakens. Over the last two months though, the two have begun diverging; the dollar continues to rally while gold has been staying more or less in place.
Gordon doesn’t expect that to last, however and has even taken a position shorting gold using put options.