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Gold Declines as Europe’s Debt Crisis Strengthens Dollar

July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Gold futures fell for the fourth time in five sessions as the Federal Reserve has refrained from announcing more stimulus measures amid mounting signs of slowing global growth.

The International Monetary Fund cut its 2013 global-growth forecast to 3.9 percent from a 4.1 percent estimate in April amid Europe’s prolonged debt crisis. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will testify before the Senate tomorrow. At its June meeting, the U.S. central bank expanded its program to replace short-term bonds with longer-term debt, while holding off from announcing additional purchases.

“The market wants to know what Bernanke is thinking,” Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The question now is will there will be any hint of new stimulus measures to stem the slowdown.”

Gold futures for August delivery fell 40 cents to settle at $1,591.60 an ounce at 1:45 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The precious metal has declined 0.8 percent this month.

Hedge funds and other money managers cut their bets on higher gold prices by 18 percent in the week ended July 10, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show.

“Gold has been pulled and pushed on the back of expectations of further quantitative easing and remains under pressure from the stronger U.S. dollar,” Suki Cooper, an analyst at Barclays Plc in New York, wrote today in a report.

The dollar gained 3.3 percent against a basket of currencies last quarter, while bullion retreated 4 percent.

Silver futures for September delivery slipped 0.2 percent to $27.321 an ounce on the Comex.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for October delivery fell 1.2 percent to $1,417.30 an ounce. Palladium futures for September delivery retreated 1.3 percent to $577.85 an ounce.

To contact the reporters on this story: Debarati Roy in New York at droy5@bloomberg.net; Nicholas Larkin in London at nlarkin1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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