Gold futures rose to the highest in more than a week as world equities dropped and the dollar headed for the first decline in three sessions, boosting demand for bullion as an alternative asset.

The metal also climbed as Greece is expected to hold early elections on Jan. 25 after Prime Minister Antonis Samaras failed to secure the necessary votes to hold office. The nation™s ongoing debt crisis poses a risk to Europe™s economy. Gold priced in euros climbed 13 percent this year.

Gold futures for February delivery rose 1.6 percent to settle at $1,200.40 an ounce at 1:54 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after touching $1,210.90, the highest since Dec. 18. The price is down 0.2 percent for the year.

The MSCI All-Country World Index of shares slid 0.6 percent, heading for the biggest loss in two weeks. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell as much as 0.5 percent.

The yen appreciated versus most of its 31 major peers as the Bank of Japan said it will increase the length of maturity of the government bonds it buys.

Source : Bloomberg