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PRECIOUS-Gold slips as Turkish currency crisis bolsters the dollar

Kitco News

* Gold set for fifth consecutive weekly fall
* Turkish lira plunges, U.S. dollar hits 13-month high

* Safe-haven demand for gold prevents steeper losses
* GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns: (Updates prices) By Peter Hobson LONDON, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Gold prices were on track for their fifth consecutive weekly fall on Friday as the dollar surged to its strongest in more than a year, making bullion more expensive for buyers with other currencies. Investors rushed to the safety of the greenback as the Turkish lira collapsed as much as 14 percent on Friday to a record low, Russia's rouble crumbled to a two-year low and the euro and pound touched their weakest levels in a year. With the turmoil in Turkey spreading to other markets, gold - traditionally used as a safe investment in times of uncertainty - also saw some extra interest, Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen said, but this was overpowered by the effect of the strong dollar. "There is a battle going on between the strengthening dollar and some safe-haven demand emerging from the contagion risk following the collapse of the lira."

Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,210.15 an ounce at 1130 GMT, with the dollar 0.6 percent stronger against a basket of major currencies. U.S. gold futures were 0.2 percent lower at $1,218 an ounce. Gold has tumbled more than 11 percent from an April high to a one-year low of $1,204 last week as the dollar rallied to 13-month highs and investors exited gold positions and began to speculate on lower prices.

Holdings of gold at exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tracked by Reuters have fallen by 3.7 million ounces, or 6.3 percent, since late May to the lowest in almost a year. Speculators have meanwhile expanded their net short position on the Comex exchange to the biggest ever recorded, helping to drive prices lower. Adding to the pressure on gold are expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next month, bolstering the dollar and U.S. bond yields and damaging the appeal of non-yielding gold. If gold rises, investors could be forced to liquidate short positions, which would lift prices. But this is unlikely to happen until gold reaches around $1,230, according to Hansen.

In the meantime, he said, "the bears are still in control". Momentum indicators suggest prices will fall further, analysts at ScotiaMocatta said, with support at gold's July 2017 low of $1,204.90.

Silver was down 0.3 percent at $15.36 an ounce, platinum was 0.5 percent higher at $825.75 an ounce and palladium lost 0.5 percent to $902.28 an ounce. Silver and palladium were on track for small weekly losses, while platinum was up slightly on the week.

(Additional reporting by Apeksha Nair in BENGALURU; Editing by Dale Hudson and David Stamp)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.

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