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Gold Declines After Jump to Four-Month High Spurs Sales

Gold dropped the most in two weeks on speculation that the Federal Reserve will delay announcing stimulus measures amid signs the U.S. economy is recovering.

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities climbed in June for the first time in almost two years, a private report showed today. The Commerce Department’s first revision to second-quarter gross domestic product tomorrow may show faster growth than earlier reported, according to the Bloomberg survey median. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will speak on Aug. 31 at an annual meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. At the event in 2010, he foreshadowed a $600 billion second round of bond buying.

“The market is in a wait-and-watch mode ahead of the meeting,” Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “We are also witnessing some profit taking.”

Gold futures for December delivery fell 0.4 percent to settle at $1,669.70 an ounce at 1:48 p.m. on the Comex in New York, the biggest loss for a most-active contract since Aug. 14.

Prices surged 70 percent from the end of December 2008 to June 2011 as the Fed kept borrowing costs at a record low and bought $2.3 trillion of debt in two rounds of so-called quantitative easing.

The metal gained 3.3 percent last week, the most since January, amid expectations that any new stimulus measure would boost economic growth and spur rising consumer prices.

Silver futures for December delivery dropped 0.6 percent to $30.963 an ounce on the Comex. The price climbed in the previous six sessions, the longest rally since October.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for October delivery declined 2.1 percent to $1,520.40 an ounce.

Palladium futures for September delivery retreated 2.3 percent to $640.95 an ounce.

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