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Gold May Fall on Speculation Downgrades to Boost Dollar

Gold futures fell, capping the longest slump this year, as the dollar’s rally eroded demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment.

The greenback rose to the highest in almost two weeks against a basket of major currencies, partly on demand for a haven. Moody’s Investors Service cut the debt ratings of six European nations and said it may strip the U.K. and France of their Aaa ratings. Gold dropped for the third straight session, the longest slide since late December.

“The dollar’s strength is acting against gold,” Lance Roberts, the chief executive officer at Streettalk Advisors LLC in Houston, said in a telephone interview. “The weekly sell signal remains.”

Gold futures for April delivery fell 0.4 percent to settle at $1,717.70 an ounce at 1:40 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The metal has gained 9.6 percent this year.

“We’ve had a decent run, and we may well see some softness as that rally consolidates,” Dan Smith, an analyst at Standard Chartered Plc in London, said in a telephone interview. “There’s a bit of risk aversion, and that’s weighing on gold.”

Silver futures for March delivery fell 1.1 percent to $33.348 an ounce on the Comex. The price has climbed 19 percent this year.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for March delivery fell 1.6 percent to $687.25 an ounce, the biggest drop since Jan. 6. The metal dropped for the fourth straight session, the longest slump since early October.

Platinum futures for April delivery declined 1.3 percent to $1,628 an ounce on the Nymex. The metal slid for the fourth straight session, the longest slump since early December.

This year, platinum has climbed 16 percent, and palladium is up 4.7 percent.

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