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Gold prices: Traders who missed lows wait for a dip

Gold prices have surged above $1,600 an ounce. Some traders who missed the lows are waiting for gold prices to fall again before buying.

By Bruno J. NavarroCNBC Producer / January 4, 2012

Gold bars are seen in this picture illustration taken at the Czech National Bank in Prague, in this 2011 file photo. Gold prices tumbled in late December to their lowest level since early October but have rebounded above $1,600 an ounce in early 2012.

Petr Josek/Reuters/File

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Gold bulls are feeling more comfortable as the precious metal rose more than 2½ percent on positive economic data, but is it time to get in the trade?

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 “I got unlucky in not turning bullish properly,” noted investor Dennis Gartman said Tuesday. “It’s still a long-term bull market, and I’ll get bullish again. It looks like I missed the lows. Those things happen.”

 The Gartman Letter publisher made headlines when he announced he had sold off the gold in his personal account.

Spot gold was up above $1,614 per ounce on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures were up $38 at $1,604 per ounce. Shares of GLD, the gold ETF, traded at $156.

 “If gold’s good, it’s not going to give Dennis a chance to get back in. It’s sort of like, if everyone can get in, then why bother?” said Mark Fisher, founder and CEO of MBF Clearing Corp. “Markets that are really good, stocks that are really good, positions that are really good, you get one chance.”

 “Fast Money” pro Jon Najarian said he would wait for a pullback below the gains GLD made over the past four days.

 “That’s the level that I’d look for it to break before you try to reload, and that is basically to break through $149 again,” he said. “I don’t know that it does.”

 Dennis Gartman said that agricultural commodities — and copper — were worth a look.

 “I think the most important thing to look at, though, is what’s going on in the grain market. You’re leaving gaps behind in everything,” he said, noting that beans, corn and wheat were holding gains. “I think you’ve got something going there that might for a period of time.”

Copper, too, provided another signal.

“The strength in the base metals is telling you that the global economy is in better condition that people thought it was,” Gartman said, adding that there were probably too many people who where short. “All I can tell you is you don’t want to be short of it right now.”

Brian Kelly wasn’t a buyer.

“As China goes, copper will go,” he said. “China buys about 40 percent of the global supply in copper, so if you feel like the Chinese economy is reaccelerating that’s where you want to be. I myself personally will wait on copper. I think you can have a much better opportunity buying U.S. stocks.”

Kelly added that seasonal effects and China’s reliance on exports to Europe made him skeptical of an economic rally for China.

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