Gold prices turned lower Monday, as equity markets made strong gains on signs the United States could avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. Lawmakers in Washington Friday described talks between Republicans and the White House in positive terms. As a budget impasse would set up mandatory spending cuts and tax hikes that economists have warned would send the country back in to recession, investors viewed signs of cooperation between the two sides as extremely positive. Equities on Monday posted their strongest one-day gains in more than two months. Gold lost some luster and dropped $5 or 0.29 percent to reach $1,729.40 per troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver closed lower, giving up 17 cents to $33.02 per ounce, off 0.5 percent. The euro rose to $1.2765 from Friday\'s $1.2743. Against the yen, the dollar rose to 81.36 from 81.31 yen. The British pound fell to $1.5892 from $1.5909. The U.S. dollar fell to 7.752 Hong Kong dollars from 7.7524 HKD.