Aug. 15 (MF Global) -- Precious metals are expected to take on a slightly lower direction this week, with gold falling toward $1,675 and silver to the $36-$37 range. The markets should be pressured by a recovery in risk trades which began to gain momentum on Wed/Thu last week. Weakness in safe-haven instruments occurring at the same time as strength in equities would imply weakness in precious metals in the near-term. Pressure will also come from declines in COT & ETF data, the CME’s hike in gold margins, and from technical factors. On the positive side, the equity market recovery on Friday appeared wobbly and the gold market’s close only $8.90/oz lower wasn’t all that bad. There’s still a possibility that uncertainty over European banks could become an issue again especially given the short-selling bans instituted last week which may prevent them from finding a bottom. Key numbers this week will be Monday’s Empire State survey, Tuesday’s Eurozone flash GDP, and Thursday’s Philadelphia Fed. We still favor using rallies near $1,800 to sell,however, with a downside objective at $1,675.