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Gold Drops From Seven-Week High as Dollar Gains on Greece Talks

Gold declined from a seven-week high in New York as the dollar gained after Greece signaled opposition to economic oversight in exchange for aid, lowering demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment.

European leaders won’t finalize Greece’s second aid program today because talks with banks over debt reduction aren’t completed, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos yesterday rejected a reported plan to appoint a supervisory commissioner, citing “national dignity.” The dollar gained as much as 0.7 percent against a basket of six currencies.

“People are in a risk-off mode today,” Rick Trotman, a senior research analyst at MLV & Co. in New York, said in a telephone interview. “The dollar’s strength is acting against gold.”

Gold futures for April delivery fell 0.1 percent to settle at $1,734.40 an ounce at 1:38 p.m. on the Comex in New York, declining for the first time in four sessions. Bullion touched $1,743 on Jan. 27, the highest since Dec. 8.

Prices have climbed 11 percent this month, exceeding the 10 percent gain in 2011.

Gold demand in India, the world’s biggest bullion user, may be “very low” in January because of higher prices and the volatile local currency, the Bombay Bullion Association said.

Silver futures for March delivery fell 0.8 percent to $33.527 an ounce, after jumping to $34.015, the highest since Nov. 16. The metal has gained 20 percent this month and is the best performer this year among the 24 commodities tracked by the Standard & Poor’s GSCI index.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery declined 0.4 percent to $1,616.30 an ounce, retreating for the first time in four sessions. Palladium futures for March delivery fell 0.2 percent to $688.50 an ounce.

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