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PRECIOUS-Gold slips as investors pile into U.S. dollar on Turkish tumult

 (Updates prices)
    * Gold may retest support at $1,716/oz - analyst
    * Turkish lira near all-time low
    * Silver, platinum down more than 2%

    By Brijesh Patel
    March 22 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Monday as investors
chose the safety of the U.S. dollar and government bonds,
spooked by Turkey's abrupt decision to replace its central bank
head with a critic of high interest rates.
    Spot gold        was down 0.7% to $1,733 per ounce by 1216
GMT. U.S. gold futures        slipped 0.5% to $1,733.50.
    "We are seeing somewhat a stronger dollar after the
situation in Turkey, which is also a major buyer of gold. Some
might suggest that Turkish citizens, given the fact their
currency is plummeting, will not be buying as much gold going
forward," Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said.             
    The U.S. dollar firmed after Turkey's President Tayyip
Erdogan replaced a hawkish central bank chief with an opponent
of tight monetary policy on Saturday, which sent the lira close
to its all-time low.                   
    Gold, which is priced in dollars, also lost safe-haven flows
to the Japanese yen and bonds, with the metal lower despite a
fall in U.S. benchmark Treasury yields.      
    Following solid gains in 2020, gold prices have come under
pressure this year as a recent spike in Treasury yields weighs
on the non-yielding commodity. 
    "The whole commodity space got out of bed on the wrong side,
we got negative price action across the board," Saxo Bank
analyst Ole Hansen said. "Lower risk appetite to start the week
and the (gold) market is not really catching a bid despite the
higher bond prices."
    Gold may retest support at $1,716 per ounce, a break below
which could cause a fall into the range of $1,669 to $1,691,
according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.         
    Other precious metals were also lower, palladium       
dipped 0.2% to $2,629.86 per ounce, silver        fell 2.5% to
$25.59 and platinum        slipped 2.5% to $1,166.78. 

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirsten
Donovan and Louise Heavens)
  
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