Gold is holding the $1,300 level but any deterioration would likely be the beginning of an even bigger slide, says one veteran technician.
“If we can’t hold here and we break the uptrend, there’s a possibility that the price could slide toward $1,250,” Louise Yamada, managing director of Louise Yamada Technical Research Advisors, told CNBC’s “Futures Now” on Tuesday.
Gold prices have not seen the $1,250 level since December. The precious metal is still 4 percent from that price.
A few technical signs have raised a warning to Yamada of the potential for a breakdown in price. Among them: Gold prices have fallen below their 50-day and 200-day moving averages. Those trend lines are currently “flattening to falling,” another bearish sign.
Momentum levels could also be signaling downward pressure on gold prices, says Yamada.
“The weekly momentum is on a sell and continuing to decline — that’s the MACD,” she said, referring to the moving average convergence divergence. “The monthly is close to a possible sell.”
Any upward bursts have failed to grow into larger moves higher, she noted.
“The rallies have failed at resistance around $1,365 in 2016, 2017, again in 2018,” she said. “We’ve sort of been talking about these rallies as rallies in a bear market from the 45 percent decline we’ve seen since 2011. Now the price is tickling, possibly breaching, the 2016 uptrend.”
Gold prices briefly rallied as high as $1,369 in April before pulling back below $1,360.
So long as gold’s “inverse relative relationship” with equities holds, the yellow metal will remain under pressure, she said.
“When stocks are in a bull market, gold underperforms, and when stocks are in a bear market, gold tends to outperform,” Yamada said. “I don’t think until we see the equity market actually turn into something significantly more bearish that we are going to see much on the upside in gold, so I think the path of least resistance appears down.”
Gold prices are down 1 percent for the year, while the S&P 500 has added nearly 3 percent. Gold hit its peak of $1,923.70 in September 2011.