Gold jumped over the $600 mark in Europe and ranged as high as $611.50 an ounce in New York yesterday before professional traders unloaded their inventories in preparation for the Venice economic summit conference.

The dollar eased on European markets and was slightly lower in afternoon trading in New York. Trading on all markets generally was quiet.

In London, gold closed at $604.50 an ounce, up $13 from Tuesday's price. In Zurich, the closing price was $605.50 up $14 from Tuesday.

In New York, gold slipped to $595.75 an ounce from Tuesday's close of $599. The Comex settlement price for gold was $595.80 against $599. Silver closed at $15.40 an ounce, and the settlement price was $15.30 an ounce against $15.74 Tuesday.

European closing prices for the dollar with New York Prices in parenthesis:

In Zurich, 1.62625 francs against 1.63575 (1.6245); in Frankfurt, 1.7628 marks after a public holiday, down from 1.7655 Monday (1.7631); in Paris, 4.1010 francs compared with 4.12125 (4.1010); in Brussels, 28.37 Belgian francs, down from 28.525 (28.16); in Amsterdam, 1.9315 guilders, compared with 1.9405 (1.9297); and in Milan, 834.05 lira from 836.30 (833.65).