NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Gold prices are coming off their highs from this morning after initially popping higher on positive net imports data in China.

TheStreet's Brittany Umar spoke to Mike McGlone, research director at ETF Securities U.S., about the yellow metal and he said gold is  hovering near strong support, currently seen near $1,200 per ounce. Over the long term, McGlone said gold is a great buy at its current price. However, it could remain stagnant over the short term. 

He reminded investors that gold is a good hedge against currency debasement and inflation, although inflation has yet to be an issue.  McGlone also admitted that the huge outperformance of the S&P 500 has also hindered gold from staging a rally.

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So long as equities remain strong, gold is likely to have trouble making any significant moves higher. The best thing that can happen to gold is for 2013 to end, McGlone concluded. Eventually gold will be back in favor. Meanwhile, it still provides solid portfolio diversification.

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.

Follow @BretKenwell

Bret Kenwell currently writes, blogs and also contributes to Robert Weinstein's Weekly Options Newsletter. Focuses on short-to-intermediate-term trading opportunities that can be exposed via options. He prefers to use debit trades on momentum setups and credit trades on support/resistance setups. He also focuses on building long-term wealth by searching for consistent, quality dividend paying companies and long-term growth companies. He considers himself the surfer, not the wave, in relation to the market and himself. He has no allegiance to either the bull side or the bear side.