So much for a gold rally.
Gold prices fell below $1,200 an ounce for the time in more than a year and half Monday as investors dumped the precious metal in favor of save haven assets paying higher yields amid the ongoing currency crisis in Turkey.
Spot gold, or prices for immediate purchase and delivery, touched $1,299.50 in European trading, the lowest since March 2017 and a move that extends its decline from late January to around 5.1%. The U.S. dollar index, a measure of the greenback's strength against a basket of six global currencies, has risen around 8.31% over the same period to a fresh 52-week high of 96.488.
Gold's decline may also be linked to Turkey's currency crisis, which has taken the lira to fresh all-time lows against the U.S dollar as investors question the soundness of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's broader economic strategy and distaste for interest rate hikes.
"If there is anyone who has dollars or gold under their pillows, they should go exchange it for liras at our banks," Erdogan urged a crowd in Bayburt Friday. "This is a national, domestic battle."
Gold prices have been under extended pressure in recent months, as well, owing to the ongoing rally in the U.S. dollar and signals from the Federal Reserve that it plans to execute a least two more rate hikes this year, followed by "gradual" tightening in 2019, as the economy grows and inflation accelerates. Those moves have taken the yield on risk-free 3-month U.S. Treasury bills past 2% for the first time since 2008 last month.