The U.S. dollar, hit by a bout of profit-taking after an easing of tensions in Poland, fell sharply against major currencies yesterday.

Gold plummeted as Russia indicated that intervention in Poland was not imminent. It closed in Zurich at $513.50 an ounce, down $20 from Monday's close of $533.50, and at $512.50 in London, down from $531.50.

In New York gold closed at $514 after trading around $510 earlier. That was down from $527 at Monday's close. The Commodity Exchange settlement price for gold was $512.10 compared with $526.60 on Monday.

Silver fell to $11.80 an ounce from $12.25, and it settled on the Comex at $11.817, down from $12.23.

It cost $2.1935 to buy a pound at the close in London, and $2.2020 in New York, up from Monday's London close of $2.1690.

European closing prices with late New York rates in parentheses:

Frankfurt, 2.1414 marks, down from $2.1475 (2.1220); Zurich, 1.95425 Swiss francs against 1.96225 (1.9380); Paris, 5.05375 French francs, down from 5.06 (4.9975); Brussels, 36.485 Belgian francs, down from 36.735 (34.75); and Milan, 1068.30 lire, down from Monday's record 1069.20 (1055).