NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Gold prices were little changed following two consecutive trading days that pushed gold up more than $30 to start 2014.

Gold for February delivery at the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange was gaining $2.70 to $1,241.30 an ounce. The gold price traded as high as $1,247.70 and as low as $1,212.50 an ounce. The spot price was increasing $8.26, or 0.67%.

"The key issue is will those underlying fundamentals such as tapering, higher interest rates, are they going to start to resurface along with better economic data?" Phil Streible, senior commodities broker at RJO Futures, asked in an interview. "I think gold prices will start to sell off again, so in the next week to two weeks, we could see it back below the $1,200 level."

Silver prices for March delivery were tacking on 3 cents to $20.24, while the U.S. dollar index was losing 0.27% to $80.65.

What the pros are saying:
  • Barclays: "From both a macro and underlying fundamentals perspective, gold is likely to struggle to find supportive catalysts in 2014. ... [A] more structural shift in market dynamics, such as signs of inflation, delayed interest rate hikes or greater-than-expected demand from China, and from the official sector in particular, would be required to turn the tide for gold." 
  • Morgan Stanley: "We find it difficult to fathom a plausible scenario in which gold prices will move sustainably higher in 2014, given the cyclical headwinds the asset class faces."
  • Marex Spectron: "So, although things look better today than they did last year, this is not the beginning of a major move for gold. We are still range bound in the same way we have been for a while. I said a couple of times last month that if gold dropped below 1200, one should buy it and that remains the case."
  • Commerzbank AG: "All of this is clearly overshadowed by China's gold demand. ... In other words, gold imports may well have been only moderate in December, too. That said, it is highly probable that China will have overtaken India as the world's biggest gold consumer for the year as a whole."

Gold ETF SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was gaining 0.35% to $119.71 a share. NovaGold Resources  (NG) was one of the top performers among the gold miners, adding 3.3% to $2.79 a share.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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